UK hospitality working hours down nearly 26% since COVID-19 hit

Lucy Harley-McKeown
·3-min read
The working hours of those in the hospitality sector were the worst affected by lockdowns, according to a study. Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images
The working hours of those in the hospitality sector were the worst affected by lockdowns, according to a study. Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images

Working hours in the hospitality sector were the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, as widespread lockdowns hit the sector, sustaining a hit of 25.8% since the start of UK lockdowns.

Meanwhile, those in agriculture, fishing and forestry saw the biggest increase in their working hours in the same period, with time worked being bumped up 8.1%, according to research by Delamere Health.

By tracking Office for National Statistics (ONS) data on average working hours before and after the pandemic, the research found that the agricultural industries have felt the stress more than the other industries.

This strain was followed by public admin and defence, with an average working hours increase of 4.8% and information and communication services, which saw a 2.6% increase.

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Finance, insurance and real estate also got a 2.1% boost in working hours, as jobs that are more easily adapted to working from home were less affected by lockdowns.

According to research, the average person will spend 90,000 hours or one-third of their life at work. This figure is not as shocking as you would think as most of the typical week is dedicated to working.

Looking into industry working hours and quality of work-life the research also determined the industries most at risk of burnout. Construction was found to be the most hazardous industry for burnout potential, with a score of 1.21 out of 4 — lower scores meaning more potential for burnout. The research found that the tech industry has the lowest chance of burnout with information and communication gaining a high score of 2.87 out of 4.

The news comes amid new figures showing that the unemployment rate in the UK rose to 5.1% in the three months to December — the highest level since 2015.

The data from the ONS showed that 726,000 fewer people are currently on payroll in the UK than at the start of the pandemic.

READ MORE: Prime minister Boris Johnson unveils four-stage plan to reopen economy

Almost three-fifths of this fall came from workers aged under the age of 25.

The ONS said there were early indications that the market was stabilising, due to a small increase of those on payroll over the last few months.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to surging unemployment as thousands of businesses have been forced to shut. Boris Johnson on Monday unveiled a "roadmap" for easing lockdown restrictions in England from next month.

The plan could see non-essential retail, leisure and outdoor hospitality sites reopen from 12 April. International travel, indoor hospitality and hotels could resume from 17 May. If all goes to plan, virtually all limits on social contact could be lifted from 21 June.

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