At least half of hospitality businesses will have to make some level of redundancies once the furlough scheme comes to an end, according to the latest Hospitality Leaders Poll carried out by Lumina Intelligence for MCA.

The jobs retention scheme comes to an end at the end of next month and 20% of those questioned said they would have to make minor amount of staff redundant, a further 20% said a moderate amount, and 10% said they would need to make “substantial” cuts to staff numbers.

However, 38% said they didn’t expect to make any redundancies.

Yesterday (9 September), speaking in the House of Commons the Chief Secretary announced grants for forcibly closed venues and criteria for furlough extension consideration.

Responding to the announcment, UK Hospitality CEO Kate Nicholls said: ”It is reassuring that the government has recognised the damage closures will cause businesses. The grants would cover some costs, but more detail is needed to properly assess the benefit. For example, in Bolton at present, venues can open as takeaways, so presumably are not being forcibly closed, making them ineligible for the grants. This cannot be right.

“On furlough, the Chief Secretary said three questions remain unanswered in terms of targeted support. Since the pandemic broke, it has become inarguably clear that hospitality is justifiably front of the queue for inclusion, and our supply chain benefits from our recovery. We realise, of course, that any employment support cannot be open-ended but, based on the rate of recovery of the sector thus far, we would propose a potential winding down at the end of Q1 2021, as the sector looks forward to the summer season.”

Meanwhile this week’s tracker question on how confident operators are about the future saw the figure drop from 77% to 67%.

The poll spoke to 173 board level employees across the hospitality industry.