Hospitality facing a New Year hangover as Government mulls over new anti-strike laws

Alex South

Alex South


Rishi Sunak is expected to unveil a raft of new hardline laws in an attempt to quell future strikes. 

British media reported that the Prime Minister aims to allow cabinet ministers the power to set their own ‘minimum service threshold’ in an attempt to soften the impact of future industrial action.

The government is also considering plans to make it harder to call a strike by raising the threshold for action from 40 per cent of votes to 50 per cent.

Whilst the time during which a union is allowed to call strikes after a vote could be halved from six months to three - curbing rolling action.

Once finalised, the proposals are expected to trigger disputes between the unions and  The House of Lords, with the proposals likely to be challenged in the courts.

Via social media Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, said: "Hospitality needs all sides to come to the negotiating table with goodwill and compromise to resolve the dispute and draw a line under strikes which are so devastating for our workers, customers and businesses - £2.5bn losses and counting."

A Winter of Discontent 

The UK record it's highest number of working days lost to labour disputes in October for more than 10 years following recent projections that an estimated 1.5 billion pounds of hospitality revenue could be lost nationally.

The Office for National Statistics reported that 417,000 working days were lost to strikes in October, the highest since November 2011 when just under a million days were lost due to public sector workers walking out in a row over pension reforms.

The findings follow growing concerns from hospitality businesses that strike action may result in a significant loss of revenue as punters cancel bookings, plans and parties in response to ongoing strike action.

In December, UKHospitality warned the rail strikes would have a hugely damaging impact during one of the busiest trading periods of the year, with an estimated hit to revenues of 1.5 billion pounds following Christmas cancellations.


A post shared by temper (@temperrestaurant)


To better understand how the strikes are affecting businesses within the hospitality industry, The Staff Canteen held a number of polls across their social media platforms, to find out their audience's thoughts.

38% of respondents had seen 'no change' from the general public relating to bookings or cancellations with 37% of respondents revealing they had 'lost lots of bookings' as a result of the strikes.

The results also revealed that 18% had ‘lost some bookings’, with just 7% registering that they had ‘gained bookings’.

Reacting to the polls, followers of The Staff Canteen gave their opinions on whether or not they supported the ongoing strikes from public sector workers.

Facebook user Michael Price commented his views in support of the strikes.

Agreeing with Michael, Facebook user Darryl Quested argued that those on strike deserved a pay rise.

On Twitter wholesale fish merchant, Nick Jesse, explained all hospitality businesses were in the same boat.

Highlighting how much damage has already been made to Britain's hospitality industry before the strikes came to be UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls painted a grim picture via Twitter.

Even if called off at 11th hour, damage has already been done to hospitality, with cancellations and plummeting consumer confidence to travel Nd come back to towns and city centres

Strikes are expected to continue across Christmas and the New Year as the Government and unions continue industrial disputes over pay.

Fears of lost revenue from hospitality and beyond come after two restrictive past Christmases resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic and hardline restrictions being enforced by central and devolved governments. 

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Alex South

Alex South

Editor 4th January 2023

Hospitality facing a New Year hangover as Government mulls over new anti-strike laws