Travelodge unveils its solution to a post-Brexit staffing gap

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
Travelodge said that it plans to open 100 new hotels. Photo: Travelodge

One of Britain’s biggest budget hotel chains, Travelodge, said it is creating 3,000 new jobs and is aiming to fill those positions with parents who are returning to the workforce.

Travelodge said that it plans to open 100 new hotels, helping to create that glut of jobs. The hotel chain will offer flexible working hours and roles that fit in with school hours.

While the move seems like a more conducive step towards fostering greater inclusivity in its workforce, it is also a good hedging tool to buoy up a potential staffing gap created by potential immigration rules borne out of Brexit.

EU workers account for nearly a quarter of all jobs in the hospitality sector. Currently, under the Freedom of Movement Act, any person who is from an EU member state can move and work freely without onerous rules, such as minimum salary requirements, in another country that is part of the bloc.

But one of the key changes to post-Brexit immigration rules that has been floated is that all foreign workers seeking five-year visas will have to earn a minimum salary requirement of £30,000. This change will likely be an issue for a glut of service industry roles, such as those in the hospitality industry.

There has been a consistent fall in the number of EU workers coming to the UK over the last year. In October to December, the number of EU nationals working in Britain fell by around 61,000 year-on-year to 2.27 million, according to the Office for National Statistics. This is also down from just after the EU referendum in June 2016 — 184,000 fewer people from the record high of 1.05 million in July to September 2016.