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Hospitality industry launches code of conduct to tackle recruitment crisis

18 November 2019 by

A new voluntary code for employers aimed at alleviating the recruitment and retainment crisis across the hospitality industry has been launched today.

Our Hospitality Commitment has been developed by People 1st International, employers and colleges to combat the key challenges around working hours and learning and development.

The intention is to highlight the diverse career opportunities across the sector and show that the industry is working together to be seen as an employer of choice.

Sandra Kelly, director of skills & policy at People 1st International, said: "Many large hospitality businesses are making fundamental changes to offer a different and better quality job experience. However, attempts to change the wider perception of the industry and to show that it is changing for the better can only be done if industry works together and commits to being an ‘employer of choice', providing good quality training, work-life balance and support to their people."

Sean Wheeler, chair of the People 1st International employer-led college accreditation board and former director of people development for Kimpton UK & Regent Hotels at InterContinental Hotels Group, added: "Our Hospitality Commitment is critical if we want to retain people in the industry. Work life balance, development and wellbeing support are basic needs that all people require today. These have to be part of the day-to-day ways of working if we want to ensure we retain talent today and for tomorrow."

The five-red-AA-star, 300-bedroom Landmark London hotel is one of the first operators to sign up to Our Hospitality Commitment.

Nicola Forshaw, director of human resources at the hotel, said: "We believe that Our Hospitality Commitment sits well with our beliefs and values. As an industry it is important that we show the diversity of roles and careers open to any future applicants, as well as giving existing team members the opportunity and tools to grow and develop. Hospitality is amazing – and we should shout about it!"

The Retreat Group, comprising three hotels in St Davids, Pembrokeshire - Twr y Felin Hotel, Roch Castle and Penrhiw Priory - is also a supporter of Our Hospitality Commitment. Paula Ellis, group general manager, said the initiative highlighted the positive and empowering culture in place across the company which has resulted in an annual staff turnover of just 6%.

"We are located in one of the most challenging geographical locations in the country - in the most westerly point of Wales, surrounded on three sides by the sea, so it is not easy to recruit staff. I therefore run the hotels as a Mother Hen, believing the carrot is stronger than the stick. Words like blame and fault are banned - instead we use support and help."

Our Hospitality Commitment involves a voluntary code of conduct to help attract talent and retain current people. The key points which signatories will be expected to follow include:

• A training/development plan in place for each employee. • The availability of job rotation and cross training. • A good work-life balance, involving the issuing of schedules and rosters in a timely manner, as well as allocating days off where requested according to the employee requirements. • The approval or rejection of holidays in a timely manner. • Treating staff with respect. • The building of relationships with local schools, colleges and universities with the intention of promoting the hospitality industry as a reputable career choice. • Ensuring third party safeguarding/employee assistance support is available to all . • Ensuring mental health, human trafficking and modern slavery awareness is available to all.

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