UKHospitality has welcomed the government’s consultation on flexible working, which will consider the right of workers to be given reasonable notice of working hours.
However, while the trade association has called for action to tackle rogue employers, it has urged the government to retain some flexibility for hospitality employers.
The government is seeking views on the proposals made by the Low Pay Commission to address the issue of ‘one-sided flexibility’, where some employers misuse flexible working arrangements and create an unpredictability in working hours, resulting in income insecurity and a reluctance among workers to assert basic employment rights.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said: “Hospitality is a fantastic employer and we are keen to ensure it remains fair. We certainly welcome moves to provide clarity on the rules of flexibility and action to tackle rogue employers.
“If the government decides to legislate, then any new measures must tackle those looking to abuse the system, while ensuring there is a reasonable degree of flexibility for fair employers and employees. Cancelling shifts at unreasonably short notice is not acceptable, but the hospitality sector does need a fair balance.
“Our sector deals with unexpected and exceptional changes in demand and the system needs to suit the constantly shifting needs of both employers and employees. For some of our team members part of the attraction of hospitality is that it offers and allows such flexibility. We need to make sure we retain that while providing a measure of protection for hardworking staff.”
The consultation will seek views on providing a right to reasonable notice of working hours, as well as providing workers with compensation for shifts cancelled without reasonable notice.
The consultation closes at 11.45pm on 11 October 2019. To take part, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/good-work-plan-one-sided-flexibility-addressing-unfair-flexible-working-practices.