Hospitality operators struggling to recruit as holidays near
Hospitality operators across the region are fearing a nightmare holiday period to come with staff battling exhaustion as recruitment dries up.
Several businesses across the Coast have reported difficulties in recent weeks in acquiring staff, with many taking to social media in a bid to recruit.
Alex Surf Club general manager Ashley Robinson said he needed another 40-50 staff before the September school holiday period started.
He said they’d had little to no take-up of job offers in recent weeks, although they were “starting to get a little bit of traction” in the past few days through word of mouth.
Mr Robinson said he thought the JobSeeker payments were having a noticeable impact, as they’d expected to be inundated with people chasing work.
“We thought people would be dropping out of the trees looking jobs,” he said.
“Our core staff are great, but they’re getting a bit tired.
“Everyone’s (other operators) telling me the same thing.”
Mr Robinson said he thought the Federal Government needed to “define the rules a bit more” around the support packages, to ensure no disincentives for people to return to work.
“It’s called JobSeeker for a reason,” he said.
“There’s plenty of work (at the moment).
“The more you work the more you’ll get paid.”
Sunshine Coast Hotels owner Scott Armstrong said it was “difficult everywhere” trying to recruit staff with the current JobSeeker payments.
He said he understood the payments would be scaled back in the coming months, which he expected would trigger a rise in people seeking work.
“It probably won’t improve until the first week of October,” Mr Armstrong said.
He said unless he could guarantee people 35-40 hours a week, it was difficult to compete with the payments, as recipients were effectively “getting the first 15-16 hours by sitting on the couch”.
Others, including local cafe owners, had reported difficulties on social media in recent weeks with attracting staff.
Fairfax MP Ted O’Brien said it had been a common issue over recent months, across several industries, but most prominently in tourism, hospitality and agriculture.
He said local businesses had told him they’d faced two main challenges, one being that some workers on JobKeeper were refusing shifts, but expecting the payments.
The other being that the JobSeeker payment, with coronavirus supplements and loading, was too close to the award wage to encourage people back to work.
Mr O’Brien said there would be some changes in the next phase of packages due to being in late-September, with the JobSeeker payment to effectively reduce from $1100 a fortnight to $800.
“We’re now looking at a transition,” Mr O’Brien said.
“What we need to avoid is a cliff.
“It needs to be a transition for both businesses and employees.”