Average hourly wages in hospitality sector already ‘much higher’ than new NLW

Lamont Pridmore - Accountants

Average hourly wages in the hospitality sector are far outstripping the new National Living Wage (NLW) announced as part of Monday’s Autumn Budget announcements, it has emerged.

According to new research published in The Caterer this week, the average hourly pay of workers aged 25 and above in the industry is £8.60 – that’s 39p higher than the new NLW of £8.21 and a full 77p higher than the current NLW.

The study, which was carried out by cloud software company Fourth, found that all age groups were actually earning more than the new NLW, which is due to take effect from April 2019 onwards.

It found that:

  • The average pay of 21 to 24-year-olds was £8.35; 63p higher than the new NLW.
  • The average pay of 18 to 20-year-olds was £7.37; a full £1.22 higher than the new NLW.
  • The average pay of under-18s was £6.52; an impressive £2.32 higher than the new NLW.

The study’s authors said that the ‘gap’ between the NLW and the level of pay received by hospitality sector workers was likely to continue to widen in the years ahead, after their research found that average hourly wages across the industry had increased significantly over the course of the last few months.

Mike Shipley, Director of Analytics and Insight Solutions at Fourth, said: “Attracting and retaining quality employees is one of the biggest challenges hospitality operators now face and with a well-documented shortage of labour, particularly in skilled back-of-house roles, operators are offering competitive rates, alongside development programmes, incentives and other initiatives to attract the best employees, which are all driving up costs.

“Considering hourly wages of hospitality workers increased by 4.8 per cent over the last six months, it’s likely the gap between real wages and the new thresholds will be further exacerbated between now and April.”