Unions are calling on the government for immediate support for those who work in the hospitality sectors as they have waned of a “jobs crisis.”
Pubs and restaurants across the country have had thousands of cancellations a downturn in booking which has cost the industry and the economy £2bn this month.
Omicron has also caused many live event to cancel performances including a number of theatres.
Sharon Graham, leader of the Unite union, said, “The Government must bring forward a package of support for hospitality workers today.
“The uncertainty the Prime Minister is causing is devastating – workers don’t know if they will even have a job to go to next week. This is an appalling position to put people in.
“Hospitality workers did not cause this crisis and they should not be the ones who pay for it.
“They still have rent to find and bills to pay but are seeing their incomes disappear before their eyes. They need help now.”
Bectu, the theatre workers union, has written to the Chancellor, urging him to provide urgent support for the industry to prevent a “jobs crisis”.
Head of Bectu, Philippa Childs, said, “We now face a New Year theatre crisis with a lack of leadership from Government, a rising wave of Omicron cases and an anxious public. This started as a public health crisis but it could quickly become a jobs crisis as well.
“With the recent tightening of Covid restrictions, there has been little commentary on the significant impact these will have on self-employed workers working in theatres and live events.
“Bectu is concerned that self-employed workers again appear to be at the back of the queue when it comes to planning for any further financial disruption to our everyday lives.
“We need to give business stability and the support for the creative industries to be open and trading safely, but we must also contemplate what happens if the Government imposes restrictions that actually or effectively closes them.”
UKHospitality boss Kate Nicholls has made a plea to the government for business rates relief and for VAT discounts to be extended.
The hospitality sector has been battered by the new government’s new Covid restrictions and the messages coming out of Downing Street that a “tidal wave” of Omicron is set to hit the UK.
Nicholls added, “It is quite clear that the impact of the current guidance and restrictions has been more hard hitting on an already beleaguered hospitality sector than expected.”