Ireland: Tourism Employers Hike Pay Rates to Manage Staffing Crisis, Survey Reveals

Employers in the tourism sector are fighting against the sector’s staffing  crisis caused by the spread of the Coronavirus and its new variants by increasing pay rates and imposing additional worker-friendly shift patterns, according to a report provided by the Irish Times.

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The same says that tourism employers are also compensating staff for unsocial hours, according to a study by the State Tourism Agency, Failte Ireland, reports.

The latest research by the same agency, shows that the shortages of workers in the tourism industry are notable, while still, a challenge for a large number of businesses has started to ease.

Based on the data provided by the Irish Times, the number of vacant positions in the tourism industry had decreased from 40,000 registered last autumn to about 22,000 in July when the latest research was carried out.

According to Failte Ireland, this does not mean that a total of 18,000 open positions have been filled since autumn, but the agency says that the campaign by State tourism officials as well as industry leaders to address the root causes of the sector’s acute staffing crisis is working.

“The research shows that working conditions are improving. The industry appears to have listened to the results of the last piece of research we did on this,” said Jenny De Saulles, Fáilte Ireland’s director of industry development.

The spread of the Coronavirus and its new variants caused profound damage to the country’s travel and tourism sector, among others, due to the restrictions and other bans imposed to halt the spread of the virus and its new strains; however, at present, with the easing of the restrictions, the situation in the travel and tourism sector has started to ease.

The agency revealed that in the recent study carried out in July, a total of 350 companies participated while they were asked about the impact of the Coronavirus as well as the measures imposed to contain its further spread. Then the results were checked against the previous research carried out at the end of last year.

Based on  the survey, only 36 per cent of the workers who participated in the survey said that they received extra pay for working on public holidays; however, this number rose to a total of 42 per cent in the recent study in July.

In addition, July’s study revealed that the majority of the staff in this industry said they still do not receive any premium for unsocial hours.