Government to respond after hospitality worker visa petition gains 10,000 signatures

23 August 2022 by
Government to respond after hospitality worker visa petition gains 10,000 signatures

The government will have to respond to a petition calling for a hospitality worker visa scheme after it gained 10,000 signatures.

The petition, started by Thiago Luz Togni (general manager of Temper Shoreditch in London, which opens next month), called for the creation of a visa like the seasonal worker visa for horticulture workers, to allow EU nationals to come to the UK to work in hospitality for up to two years.

The petition was launched last week and had gained 10,414 signatures at the time of writing. It will run until February 2023. If it gains 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in Parliament.

A statement on the petition said: "There is a massive shortage of qualified labour in the UK to fill vacancies that were in many cases previously filled by EU staff. For years people from the EU countries were the backbone of the hospitality industry and many were affected by Covid and subsequently by Brexit's final terms. Many restaurants are struggling to find people with experience and willingness to work."

The UK hospitality industry has lost 200,000 international workers since 2019, according to a report published last week, with as many as 120,000 European workers estimated to have left the sector.

In recent months, some operators have turned to hiring overseas staff to combat rising staff shortages. An increase in staff poaching has also seen operators having to offer ‘unsustainable' salaries to recruit.

Chefs are eligible for a skilled worker visa due to changes made by the UK government.

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