Scotland faces “unemployment crisis” in hospitality sector

Scotland could be facing an "unemployment crisis" in the hospitality industry without additional government support to help save jobs, Labour has said.

Edinburgh's Grassmarket could be hit hospitality staff crisis
Edinburgh's Grassmarket could be hit hospitality staff crisis

Nicola Sturgeon has already pledged to introduce a Jobs Guarantee Scheme for younger Scots, but there are now concerns that if this is implemented before the furlough scheme comes to an end, it could see thousands of workers laid off.

Pubs, restaurants and cafes finally reopened their doors to customers today after months of Coronavirus lockdown. Labour says the hospitality sector employs more than 250,300 people across Scotland, including 47,000 in Glasgow and 42,000 in Edinburgh.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Party leader Richard Leonard said: “The UK Government has responded to pressure and offered restaurants support – but only in the short-term. Otherwise a hospitality unemployment crisis could cause serious damage – not just for the workers laid off, but for everyone in Scotland.

"With a quarter of a million workers employed in the sector, Scotland’s economy depends on hospitality jobs, and Scotland’s hospitality sector needs jobs for good. Extending the furlough scheme in this sector could provide a lifeline to thousands of workers.

“The Scottish Government must step up the fight to save these jobs. Businesses need greater support to make the adaptations they need to accommodate greater social distancing, allowing them to keep more staff on their books. A quality Jobs Guarantee Scheme could stimulate demand as well, so that when the furlough scheme ends in other sectors workers can still afford to visit restaurants and bars.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism.

Subscribe to and enjoy unlimited access to Scottish news and information online and on our app. Visit now to sign up.

By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Joy Yates

Editorial Director



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.