New research by e-recruitment platform, Jobs.ie has found that almost 60% of workers in the retail and hospitality industries say that they are concerned about the security of their job in the weeks and months ahead. Collectively, both of these sectors support almost 330,000 jobs, accounting for approximately 16% of total employment.
For workers in both sectors, a shared concern arises around the future of the industry, with six in 10 (60%) workers in both hospitality and retail expressing worry for the security of their job in the weeks and months ahead.
When asked if the Covid-19 pandemic had made them reconsider a future career in the industry, all retail and hospitality workers surveyed (100%) said yes. In retail, almost four in 10 (39%) workers said that they could not be certain of future job security and almost three in 10 (27%) do not think that there will be enough opportunities to progress their career in the sector.
In hospitality, over half (54%) of workers said that they could not be certain of their job security, and two in 10 (21%) said they will not earn enough to live if they stay working in the industry. Opportunities to progress were less of a concern for this sector, with just 17% citing this as a factor in their decision to reconsider careers.
Sixty eight percent of retail workers and 61% of hospitality workers surveyed say that they have been able to return to work since Covid-19 restrictions began in March, as changes to guidelines during the summer made it possible for some businesses in these industries to continue trading.
Of those who have been able to return to work, almost nine in 10 workers in hospitality (89%) and retail (87%) say that their employer has taken all reasonable steps to protect their health and safety at work.
Despite this, almost two in 10 (19%) retail workers and almost one in 10 (9%) hospitality workers say that they are unable to return to work due to concerns for their personal health, or the health of a family member and the potential of possible exposure to Covid-19.
In some cases, the changing restrictions have prevented employers from offering sufficient hours for workers to sustain a living, with 13% in retail and 20% in hospitality unable to return to full-time work for this reason.
Speaking this week, General Manager at Jobs.ie, Christopher Paye said, "Retail and hospitality are without doubt two of the most impacted sectors of our economy due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For many businesses, the last eight months have been some of the most trying times that they have ever experienced, with restrictions forcing them to change their business model to continue trading, - and where that hasn’t been possible - to close completely."
He added, "For workers in these sectors, the concern around the future is clearly evident, and only exacerbated by the uncertainty surrounding the direction of the pandemic and its impact on the reopening of hotels, cafés, restaurants and pubs and bricks and mortar retail."