Economic Significance and Workforce Dynamics


Employment in the hospitality industry is associated with lots of economic advantages that attract millions of people to choose this profession each year. The UK hospitality sector has gained huge economic development that impacts on overall economic condition and GDP growth of the country. In the UK, hospitality sector consists of restaurants, leisure companies and pubs in which millions of migrants work who come from developing and underdeveloped counties such as South Asian country and African country. This literature review will make a critical discussion on the overall employment structure in the UK hospitality industry. By reviewing the selected literature, this study is going to analyse the advantages as well as disadvantages of the UK hospitality industry. This literature review has used relevant resources and evidence which assists this study to discuss the overall employment structure in the UK hospitality industry and its overall impact on the financial, social and cultural adapts of migrants.


Concept regarding employment in the UK based hospitality industry:

From the Office of National Statistic (ONS) report it is seen that more than 2.9 million people work in the UK hospitality sector that consists of nearly 9% of entire UK workforce. UK hospitality sector has largest economic growth than any other sector in this country. Front h ONS report it is seen that, UK hospitality industry accounts for 9% of the entire GDP growth of this country. The employment structure on the UK hospitality industry is based on the systematic work process which allows the migrant workers coming from the developing a well as underdeveloped county to work synergistically with the UK origin people. As mentioned by Filimonau and Mika (2019), the numbers of migrants into UK hospitality industry increases day-by-day due to the fact that the industry is one of the most attracted places for migrant in which they can have better financial as well as social opportunities than in the other sector on other countries. In this context French (2018) mentioned that, although the UK based hospitality industry provides the high-quality workforce and strong financial support to the migrant workers, there are also cases of discrimination and bias. Evidence-based studies have suggested that many migrant workers working in the UK hotels and bars have been reported to experience high level of discrimination social exclusion and bullying in their workplace by the UK origin co-workers. In this context, Kim et al. (2016) stated that the reason behind the lack of transparency in employment structure of UK hospitality industry can be associated with its political and employment regulation. In the UK, there is decentralised employment framework in which firms operating in this country can have the power to use their own regulations and decision in terms of changing the lives of the staffs. Here in the hospitality industry, the employment regulation and work process are entirely developed by the company itself in which there is no involvement of the UK Government. Many evidence-based studies have considered lack of governmental involvement in the UK based hospitality sector as one of the main reason behind developing the illegal practices such as bullying, abuse, discrimination and bias the migrants’ workers. On contrary Filimonau and Mika (2019) argued that, although there are chances of discrimination in the UK hospitality sectors due to lack of governmental involvement, the decentralised employment structure provides the hospitality firm in the UK proper business freedom which triggers the sharp economic growth of hospitality companies operating in this country. On supporting thus viewpoint many research studies have stated that, although there are cases of discrimination and bias in UK hospitality employment framework, migrants workers get higher financial, workplace and social facilities in the hospitality sector of this country which is the main reason why in each year the number of immigration into UK hospitality sectors increases.

Concept of advantages and disadvantages associated with UK hospitality sector for migrants:

As mentioned by Armstrong and Matters (2016), immigration into the UK hospitality sector is one of the important reasons for increasing number of populations of this country. The report from Office of National Statistics (ONS) has shown that, out of the overall migration to the UK into different sector the number of migration of people into the UK hospitality sectors is highest. While discussing the reason behind rising number of migrant in UK hospitality sectors French (2018), mentioned in this articles that, majority of the migrants working in UK based hotels, restaurants and bars, are from the underdeveloped and developing countries, in which they are unable to get work with good salary, work environment and accommodation facilities. In the other hand, in UK hospitality sector, the high economic growth makes the firms working in this sector to provide huge financial, social and accommodation facilities to migrant staffs which improves not only their living standard by also the lifestyles of their family residing in the home countries. As mentioned by Kim et al. (2016), many migrant workers are provided with rental house and cars, which make it possible for them to carry their family into UK from the home country. In addition to this the UK government has taken strict step in maintaining transparency in the employment structure in hospitality sector as well as in the other sector by reforming the employment acts and regulations, such as Employment Rights Act 1996, Employment Protection Act 1975 and Wage Act 1986. In this context Ferris et al. (2018) argued that, although there are governmental initiatives regarding maintaining transparency in the UK hospital field, the decentralised employment system in this sector makes the firms to develop their own rules and work principles that can sometimes interfere with rights as well as dignity of migrants workers working there. For example, there are many migrants’ staffs working in hotels and pubs in the UK, who are neglected by higher officials in terms of getting the fair remuneration as compared to the UK origin staff who get the salary timely systematically. On supporting thus viewpoint Vassou et al. (2017) mentioned that, in the UK there are many migrants’ staffs who face huge abuse and workplace bullying which not only pose adverse impact on their mental condition by also on their physical health. In addition to this the ONS report has stated that there are many migrant staffs who have to on overnight but they do not receive extra payment for this. The health survey conducted by the WHO on the UK hospitality staffs, it has been seen that majority of the migrant staffs working in UK hospitality files are highly prevalent to chronic health issues such as cardio-vascular disease, pulmonary issues, respiratory issues and diabetes as compared to the UK origin staffs. Analysis of his health survey report has mentioned that, the over-stressed jobs, huge mental and physical pressure in the workplace and poor cooperation of the UK origin co staffs as well as higher office are the potential reason behind increasing mummer of physical and mental health illnesses in migrant workers working in the UK hospitality filed.

Neoclassical model of migration:

The neoclassical model is based on the theoretical perception that the immigration into the developed countries such as UK occurs due to the disparities in wage rate as well as in the work-related facilities in the host and the home countries. As stated by Wright et al. (2019) the neo classical approach highlight the poor sociological an economic condition in the home countries which trigger the countrymen to go or seeking the job opportunities in the foreign developed countries. For example, as compared to the under developed counties such as Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nigeria, the overall UK hospitality industry has higher workplace opportunities such as higher remuneration, accommodation facilities for the staffs as well as for their family members and the car facilities which insist the migrants leave the home county and cone to the UK it gets biter workplace this context Sharrif et al. (2017) argued that, although the neoclassical theory has highlight advantages in the host country which insist workers go there for getting better workplace opportunities, It is unable to discuss the cases in which workers are obliged to leave the job in the developed countries in spite id having higher work facilities. In this context, it can be stated that, neo classical theory make his study able to discuss only the positive aspects of UK hospitality field which attract the migrant to leave their home country to get a job here but the theory cannot highlight the cases of negative aspects that are associated with the UK hospitality industry such as discrimination, partiality and bias in the workplace. Therefore, it can be stated, the UK government needs to take necessary steps in terms of implementing proper employment regulation, that will assist the migrant staffs to get proper respect and dignity in their workplace. On the contrary Wright et al. (2019) argued that, although the theory has highlight the disparities in job facilities in the host and the home countries that insist migrant to go for the job in foreign countries, it does not mention the other additional factor such as cultural, demographic and social factors that also triggers the migrants to get a job in the foreign country by leaving the home country. For example, in Arabian country there is string job opportunities and financial growth hospitality sectors, arabinan staffs leave the home country and come to the UK job searching of suitable jobs here just because of political instability, social turmoil and turbulent cultural aspects in the country. In addition to the changing cultural and social trend in the society also tigers the migrants to go for the jobs in the foreign country which is not mentioned by the theory (Sharrif et al. 2017). From the overall analysis of the neoclassical approach of the immigration, it can be stated that, the are many factors such as political, financial, social, demographic and cultural that insisted people to leave the home county and get a job in feign country. Above factors insist the people leave their county and attend job in host county in the workplace facilities as well as financial advantages that they cannot get in their country which is economically weak than the UK (Angioloni and Wu, 2020). As the value of money is higher in the UK than in under-developed as well as developing countries such as India, Africa and Pakistan, migrants who work in the UK hospitality sectors can send large amount of money to their home in this country. Therefore, it can be stated the overall financial advantages and the high standard of living in hospitality field attracts migrant workers to get a job here.

International migration and economic theory:

This theory considers the economic disparity between the two places as well as countries is the main reason behind the immigration. As mentioned by Angioloni and Wu (2020), the UK based hospitality industry has higher economic growth than any other county that insists migrants to switch to the UK hospitality sector I which they can find high financial, social and demographic advantages. Although this theory successfully highlights et reason behind the immigration into the developed countries there are many criticisms regarding its concept. As mentioned by Angioloni and Wu (2020), although the theory highlights economic disparities in the two countries in describing reason behind immigration, it can not mention the other associated factors that are associated with job changes of staffs. On the other hand, although the theory highlighted h economic difference of host as well as home countries it is unable to highlight the exactly what types of financial advantages the migrants gain in foreign country. On the UK, the immigration is associated not only with the financial advantages of country but also the additional facilities such as accommodation social facilities and political facilities that are provided to immigrants. As the UK has decentralised political system it gives enough freedom to UK hospitality companies to choose their own decision and operate the business on their own terms. The political advantages are associated with the huge economic growth in the UK hospitality filed, which insists people in the poor countries to choose this country to get a handsome job. This theory described that how the international migration occurs due to the financial disparities between two counties, in which the people of economically lower country go to the economically strong country in term of getting the occupational advantages. Apart from other sectors, the UK hospitality sector is highly organised and financially strong sector which provides definite opportunities to migrants that are associated with meeting their basic need such as accommodation, foods, hygienic condition, housing and education of the children. In this context, Lugosi et al. (2016) mentioned that, international migration is associated not only with financial aspects but also with social, physical, psychological and healthcare factors that make it obligatory for people residing in the developing as well as under developed counties to leave the home country and join the host country. There are many migrants from the Pakistan, who join the hotels and resultant in the UK due to the poor healthcare facilities, psychological distress and poor physical condition in the home country. Although his theory highlights the financial disparity in two countries as the reason of international migration it can not justify the huge turnover of migrants in the UK hospitality industry in each year. As mentioned by Horsfall (2019), although the UK hospitality industry provides high level of financial advantages to its migrants, it posed external job pressure on them which sometimes interfere with the personal lives. The report from ONS has stated that, there are many staffs coming from Bangladesh and Pakistan working in hotels and pubs in the UK, have to work for seven days continuously and do not get any holidays or the leave. In most of the cases the migrant staffs are not paid for extra work or over-times they do frequently. These malpractices in the UK hospitality employment framework poses adverse impact on physical and mental condition of migrants. In most of the cases, they are obliged to leave the job and come back to their home country. In UK hospitality sector many migrants are the victims of workplace bullying and abuse that pose adverse impact not only on their mental condition but also on their emotional condition.

Strategies taken to improve the overall UK hospitality sector;

The UK government has taken effective strategies to improve overall UK hospitality sector. In this context, the UK government has reformed the overall employment regulation and legislation which will assist migrants’ workers to get their rights and workplace facilities (Ruhs, 2017). In addition to this, the UK government has conducted training and development program, for all the staffs working in hotels, pubs, bars and restaurants in term of assisting them to understand the what are the ethical and moral values of the organisation. These training and development programs are associated with bringing positive changes in mentality and behaviour of staffs which will make them able to provide proper respect to the values and decision of the co-workers. As mentioned by Horsfall (2019), though providing the ethical and moral values in the hospitality field it is not possible to eliminate the malpractices in the sectors such as discrimination, abuse and bias regarding the ethnicity, body colour, races, caste and religion of staffs the UK government focuses on maintaining equal rights and facilities to all the staffs in the hospitality industry by implementing the relevant regulations and legislation. In this context Angioloni and Wu (2020) argued that, although UK government has taken action in promoting equal values and facilities for all staffs regardless of their caste, race and ethnicity in hospitality field as the government involvement in the business process of hospitality firm are low, most of the firms do not implement the government instruction in proper manner. As a result, many of the hospitality companies still have malpractices over the workplace such as bullying, negligence and discrimination to the migrants. This is the reason why many of the migrant staffs are obliged to leave their jobs in UK and go back to their home country in spite of knowing that they will not get amount of salary that they get from the previous company in the UK hospitality sector.

Literature gap:

Although the selected articles are able to provide the proper information regarding the employment of migration in the UK hospitality sector, there are some limitation in the literature. First, the literature although describe the overall reason behind why migrant chose UK hospitality industry as their professional place, it is unable to highlight the overall statistical analysis of the economic and social condition of the UK hospitality filed. Second, though the literature is able to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of the UK hospitality sector for migrants, it is unable to highlight that how the migrant can cope up with the issues that they face during the employment in this sectors. Third, although the literature is able to highlight the overall, strategies that have been taken by the UK to eliminate the overall malpractices in this sector, it is unable to highlight the strategies that are taken by the individual hospitality companies to avoids the malpractices in the workplace. Fourth , the literature has mentioned the addition factor there are associated with international migration such as social, demographic and political factors, buy it is unable to discuss the critically the impact of these factors on overall UK hospitality industry.


From the above-mentioned discussion it can be concluded that, employment stem in the UK hospitality sector is associated with different aspect as financial, political and social aspects which attract the migrants to leave the home country and choose this country as their professional place. Although the UK hospitality companies provide higher financial, social and healthcare facilities to immigrants, it has several disadvantages such as buying, bias and discrimination by the UK origin co-worker that makes the migrant obliged to leave UK as the professional place. Therefore, it is important for UK government to develop effective strategies in eliminating the malpractices in the workplace and make the UK hospitality workplace transparent for all staffs regardless of their caste, race and ethnicity.

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Reference list:

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Armstrong, R. And Matters, R.T., 2016. Modern slavery: risks for the UK hospitality industry. Progress in Responsible Tourism, 5(1), pp.67-78.

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French, S., 2018. Between globalisation and Brexit: Migration, pay and the road to modern slavery in the UK hospitality industry. Research in Hospitality Management, 8(1), pp.23-31.

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Horsfall, D., 2019. Medical tourism from the UK to Poland: how the market masks migration. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, pp.1-19.

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Lugosi, P., Janta, H. And Wilczek, B., 2016. Work (ing) dynamics of migrant networking among Poles employed in hospitality and food production. The Sociological Review, 64(4), pp.894-911.

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