Hospitality employers split over banning migrant staff from new accession states

Hospitality employers remain divided over whether there should be a blanket ban on Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants working in the UK when the two countries join the European Union next year.

British Hospitality Association (BHA) chief executive Bob Cotton called for a temporary ban on the two states after a BHA survey found 70% of London’s 300,000-strong hospitality workforce already comes from overseas.

It also revealed that 80% of workers in the capital’s top 25 hotels are from abroad, reports Personnel Today’s sister title Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine.

“We need to pause for a while and assess the situation,” he said. “June’s year-on-year employment figures went up by about a quarter of a million, as did the unemployment numbers, which shows the jobs are being filled from overseas.”

However, other industry experts said a blanket ban would not be workable.

Jane Sunley, managing director of hospitality HR consultancy Learnpurple, said that a ban was “not sensible”, and called on UK businesses to do more to recruit and train home-grown talent.

“Employers should identify which are transient workers and which want a career in hospitality – whatever country they are from,” she said.

Trade and industry secretary Alastair Darling has said there would be no ñopen-doorî policy for Bulgarians and Romanians.

But the Home Office has said no definite decision will be made until a firm accession date had been agreed, with January 2007 the likely date.

Comments are closed.