Hospitality Today Oct-Nov 2016 - Page 26

26 | Hospitality Today | Oct/Nov 2016 Hourly pay in hospitality racing ahead of living wage The reality of hourly pay-rate inflation has been shown in new figures confirming that actual pay is significantly outstripping new legal minimum wage thresholds. Figures from Fourth Analytics on the pay for thousands of hourly-paid UK hospitality workers reveal that average rates have now hit £7.71 – averaged across all age cohorts. Consumer spending bounced back in September Visa’s UK Consumer Spending Index for September showed consumer spending bounced back. The Index reflects overall consumer spending, not just that on cards. Kevin Jenkins of Visa commented: “Economic concerns took something of a backseat in September, with consumers reverting to more traditional spending patterns as they took advantage of the last of the summer sun. “Overall spend bounced back strongly from a broadly flat August, and was the highest level seen in the past five months at an annual rate of 2.4%. “Growth was once again driven by the experience economy, as people spent more on meals out, family holidays and trips to the theatre.” Quan Nguyen of Chi Cafe, London commented: “September was a good month for us, with sales improving following a distinctly quiet August. “Many of our regular customers returned from the summer holidays, and we saw an increase in passing trade from people opting for a staycation in London. “The warm and sunny weather might have contributed, as people were more tempted to leave the offices for a nice lunch in the sun.” Average pay for over-21s in hospitality is now £7.92. This rate is 72p (10.0%) ahead of the national living wage (NLW) of £7.20, a new rate that was introduced for workers aged 25 and over in April 2016. Mike Shipley of Fourth, said: “With actual pay significantly outstripping the legal minimum for all age thresholds, businesses are clearly experiencing very strong employmentcost inflation. We expect to see the hourly-rate average in hospitality hitting £8 in January 2017, and we could well see average rates approaching £8.50 by April 2017.” Fourth’s data shows that the actual average hourly pay for all ages in hospitality (£7.71) has risen by 12.6% in the past two years – and is up by 24p in the three months since June 2016 alone. Shipley added: “What’s particularly striking is that the under-21s are fast catching up, earning on average £1.53, or 29%, above their legal rate. This could be driven by wage parity policies, and also general competitive pressure for good people.”