The proportion of hospitality workers from the EU has fallen to its lowest level in the UK in the past five years, according to the latest data from software provider Fourth.

EU workers made up 37% of the UK’s hospitality workforce in June 2021, compared to 43% in June 2019, while British workers made up 51% compared to 46% over the same time period.

Fourth, which began recording workforce data in 2016, said the figures highlighted an ongoing shift occurring within the sector’s labour market, which has been accelerated by the pandemic, concerns over job security and immigration policy.

The proportion of workers from non-EU countries has remained relatively steady, increasing slightly from 11% in January 2020 to 12% in June 2021.

The total headcount for the sector is down 13%, this month compared to July last year, and down 23% on July 2019.

Sebastien Sepierre, managing director – EMEA, Fourth, said: “A potent combination of Britain’s departure from the EU and the devastating impact of the pandemic continues to significantly shake up the sector’s labour market.

“The much-publicised staffing crisis is proving hugely challenging for operators, as a consequence of a clear shrinking of the labour pool, in back-of-house roles in particular.

British workers accounted for 32% of back-of-house roles in June, and 55% front-of-house, whereas workers from the EU accounted for 52% of back-of-house roles and 36% front-of-house.

Sepierre added: “It remains unclear how long this disruption might last and how it will be resolved in the months ahead during the long road to recovery.

“It will be interesting to see how trading models which evolved during the pandemic, such as reliance on table service, digital ordering and development of new sales channels, will impact labour scheduling and the workforce in the future.”