Workers in the hospitality industry are in favour of extended licensing laws, according to research.
The law extending licensing hours, due to come into effect on 7 February, will allow pubs to apply to their local authorities for permission to serve alcohol around the clock.
This has led to speculation about a rise in alcohol-related violence, and the Daily Mail launched a campaign against what it called “reckless plans” for round-the-clock drinking.
However, a survey by website caterer.com of those at the industry’s coalface reveals that 55 per cent of pub, bar, hotel and restaurant employees are in favour of saying goodbye to a fixed time for last orders.
This is despite the fact that about half of them believe that the new rules will mean longer working hours.
It appears that positive lifestyle changes are at the heart of their up-beat attitude:
- 50 per cent of respondents believe that the longer drinking hours will give them more chance to socialise on the other side of the bar before and after their shifts
- the ability to earn more money is a draw for 40 per cent
- 42 per cent believe that the longer opening times will enable them to work more flexible hours.
Staff in watering holes, restaurants and hotels across England and Wales also believe that the new rules will benefit the hospitality industry:
- 33 per cent predict that the new licensing laws will encourage more sensible drinking
- 32 per cent of respondents believe they will encourage tourism
- 45 per cent believe that the 24-hour entertainment licenses will bring England and Wales in line with the rest of Europe.
However, there are a number of concerns about the regulations.
While many pubs and clubs plan to stagger their business hours rather than remain open all day, 44 per cent of respondents still believe that the laws will encourage anti-social behaviour.
Almost one third (29 per cent) of jobseekers claim that the rules will put them off applying for roles in the industry.
Men are the most keen to burn the candle at both ends, with 61 per cent in favour of the new legislation compared to 49 per cent of women.