Linda leads inquiry into ‘fairness’ in hospitality industry

Auchrannie Resort’s Linda Johnston is the Fair Work Convention’s co-chair.

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A leading Arran hotelier is to take a key role in an inquiry which has been launched into the hospitality industry.

Linda Johnston from Auchrannie Resort is co-chair of the The Fair Work Convention, an independent body working to ensure fair work drives success in the industry.

The 18-month inquiry aims to establish the extent to which work in the industry can be described as fair work and it will make recommendations for changes to practices which will help the industry to attract and keep the best talent which will continue to help make Scotland a world class visitor destination.

The other co-chair is Satnam Ner, the Scottish Trades Union Congress’ first black president, and the inquiry will bring together for the first time, employers, employees, national bodies engaged in the industry, and trade unions, to consider fair work practices in hospitality.

The hospitality industry is a major contributor to the Scottish economy employing 172,000 workers which accounts for around 6.8 per cent of all jobs in Scotland.

The cost of living crisis, issues with recruitment and retention, and pressures from both Brexit and Covid mean the industry has reached a watershed moment and the time is right for an inquiry.

Ms Johnston said: ‘It is essential that people in hospitality work in an industry that provides meaningful, sustainable and fulfilling careers, and which promotes fair work for everyone.

‘Improving the voice of the employee, listening to employers, and understanding and addressing barriers to fair work will help create higher quality jobs, address any longstanding inequalities, improve skills and training, and ultimately create amazing experiences for our customers.

‘In general, work in the industry is rewarding but there is more to be done, and hopefully, the inquiry recommendations will help to further improve the adoption of fair work, creating a more positive industry image which will inspire future generations to pursue a career in hospitality.’

Mr Ner added: ‘With over 60 per cent of the hospitality workforce earning below the real living wage, and a cost of living crisis beginning to bite, there has never been a more important time for this inquiry.

‘Delivering fair work, higher pay, and an effective voice for workers will be essential in the coming period.

‘Hospitality is an important industry that supports work in every community. Supporting fair work in hospitality will make a tangible difference to workers the length and breadth of Scotland and I am delighted to work with Linda to lead this inquiry.’