Abstract: The aim of this discussion paper is to investigate the socio-economic situation of migrants working in British hospitality industry and identify the negative effects of low-paid salary upon these working migrants. This paper considers underlining the challenges that migrants are currently confronting by being stigmatized as 'foreigner" and also labeled as "low-paid" individuals. The results will be achieved by conducting a secondary research.
Key words: migrants, low-paid salary, hospitality industry, socio-economic status, challenges.
Hospitality industry, as well as the entire sector of tourism have been constantly facing a number of challenges that cause anxious environment for the management teams running these businesses. Some of these critical problems are high rates of staff turnover, a lack of full-time, all year around employees, a negative image of the industry perceived by the potential employees (including students), a vast number of migrants, occupational gender segregation, gender pay gap, lack of highly qualified workforce and low paid wages. (Bahcelerli & Sucuoglu, 2015)
Low paid wages seem to be completely neglected by the tourism industry corporations. And this topic has been repeatedly brought up into a pivotal attention by the politicians only (London Assembley, 2016), rather than the hospitality industry representatives or labor unions of tourism sector. For another consecutive year, the jobs in hospitality industry have been remarked by the lowest paid wages in U.K., despite the fact that the tourism and hospitality industry are seeing a constant growth in revenue and development expansion. (People1st, 2016) Another important aspect of this situation involves the migrants who are engaged in the biggest part of executing the lowest paid occupations in hospitality: as serving, housekeeping, working at the bar, etc. (People1st, 2016) It is important to pinpoint that being already in an unacquainted habitat drags a diversity of problems and unsecure bearings of the migrants related to the new place. And desperately relying on the low-paid jobs as the unique sources of living burden another multiplicity of troubles for migrants. (Baum, 2007)
The secondary research of this discussion paper focuses on a combination of the social aspects of the human resources activity in hospitality, tackling chiefly the research of Baum T. (Baum, 2007) and the psychological aspects of mental health under the low-paid wages investigated by Meltzer H. N. (Meltzer, et al., 2002). Other sources were also being regarded in order to confirm, to explain and to develop the description of the received results.
According to People1st Report, currently there are 38% of 'hard-to-fill' vacancies in tourism and hospitality businesses. This phenomenon might affect even greatly this industry in the upcoming decade. Since the rates of unemployment have already decreased in double and the demographic level of the U.K. staying stable, it evidences a future lack of personnel members for these businesses. And the main reason that sways this consequence are the low salaries. (People1st, 2016) Apparently, the low pay defines the demanding impetus for acquiring the necessary workforce in industry. As it is mentioned hitherto, at the moment the migrants are exposed to accepting this impetus, that evidently affect their socio-economic status.
Low-income individuals encounter huge difficulties in many aspects of their lifestyle and habitual activities. The comprehensive work of Wilcox B. W. indicates that low wage earners are more likely to retreat from marriage that leads to single parenthood, instability of the family climate, social and economic disadvantages of the partners and their children, etc. and that will inevitably contribute to unstable development of the individuals within these economic group. (Wilcox, 2015)' Meltzer H. N., also indicated that there is direct connection between low-income individuals and mental health problems. In his research he shows that the low-income individuals are feeling labeled by the society that leads to their social exclusion. Also, he states that the lowest income employees have twice probability to confront mental health issues. (Meltzer, et al., 2002)
In conclusion, it can be stated that low paid salary affects drastically the socio-economic conditions of the individuals. And this factor explains the high staff turnover and unoccupied positions in hospitality and tourism industry. It also underlines the harsh circumstances under which the migrants have to adopt the new flow of their lives.
Bahcelerli, N. M. & Sucuoglu, E., 2015. Undergraduate Tourism Students' Opinions Regarding the Work Conditions in the Tourism Industry. Procedia Economics and Finance, Volume 26, pp. 1130-1135.
Baum, T., 2007. Human resources in tourism: Still waiting for change. Tourism Management, 28(6), pp. 1383-1399.
London Assembley, 2016. Hospitality sector needs to up workers' wages. [Online]
Available at: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/assembly/hospitality-sector-needs-to-up-workers-wages
[Accessed 09 05 2018].
Meltzer, H. N., Bebbington, P., Brugha, T. & Jenkins , R., 2002. The social and economic circumstances of adults with mental disorders. London: TSO.
People1st, 2016. Migrant workers in the hospitality and tourism sector and the potential impact of labour restrictions. [Online] Available at: https://www.tmi.org.uk/files/documents/resources/people-1st-brexit-report-aug2016.pdf
[Accessed 09 05 2018].
Wilcox, B. W., 2015. Challenges Facing Low-Income Individuals and Families in Today's Economy. [Online]
Available at: https://ifstudies.org/blog/challenges-facing-low-income-families
[Accessed 01 05 2018].