This week we welcome further support from hospitality businesses to help Ukrainian refugees coming to the UK and look forward to raising a glass or two to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. On a more sobering note, we take a look at the Chancellor’s Spring Statement and a sickness outbreak at a seaside hotel underlines the importance of having compliance procedures in place.
Hospitality jobs site to help Ukrainian refugees
There is more heartening news from the hospitality sector with a practical response to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. London restaurants will be able to join a recruitment website where they can post available jobs for Ukrainian refugees to help them find work. The Burger & Lobster group is behind the hospitalityforall.co.uk scheme which will launch in mid-April and is designed to speed up the recruitment process. Pret A Manger has already said it can provide jobs for up to 50 refugees.
Rishi serves up mixed news for hospitality in Spring Statement
With the rate of inflation on an upward trajectory, the hospitality sector was hoping that the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, would freeze the 12.5% rate of VAT beyond April when it is due to revert to its pre-pandemic rate of 20%. Sadly, no such announcement was made during his Spring Statement. However, there were some shards of light for business with National Insurance starting thresholds rising to £12,570 from July and small businesses will benefit from a £1,000 increase to Employment Allowance. Fuel duty, will be cut by 5p per litre until March 2023. The Chancellor has also promised to reform the Apprenticeship Levy to focus on training and improving productivity – which is something we definitely think is long overdue!
Queen’s Platinum Jubilee to boost pub trade
The Queen’s 70 years on the throne is a special milestone and pubs will provide real community hubs for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June. It’s good to know that government plans to allow pubs to open until 1am for the celebrations are progressing. Extended licensing at times of national occasions are not new, but after recent challenging times they will be particularly welcome for the pub trade. We’ll drink to that.
Investigation underway as hotel guests fall ill
Reports of guests at a hotel in Wales cutting short their holidays following cases of diarrhoea and vomiting at the premises are a blow for all concerned. Conwy Council has launched an investigation at the Hydro Hotel in Llandudno into the cause of the viral gastroenteritis. It serves as a reminder for businesses to ensure their digital compliance is in place so they can demonstrate to environmental health officers that their processes, paperwork and procedures are all up to date should they be subject to a similar investigation.