Almost 60% of workers in the retail and hospitality industries say they are concerned about the security of their job in the weeks and months ahead, according to new research by e-recruitment platform, Jobs.ie.

The results show the deep concern of workers in two of the sectors most impacted by the current and previous Covid-19 restrictions.

When asked if the Covid-19 pandemic had made them reconsider a future career in the industry, all retail and hospitality workers surveyed said yes.

In retail, almost 39% of workers said that they could not be certain of future job security and almost 27% do not think that there will be enough opportunities to progress their career in the sector.

In hospitality, 54% of workers said that they could not be certain of their job security, and 21% said they will not earn enough to live if they stay working in the industry.

Opportunities to progress were less of a concern for this sector, with just 17% citing this as a factor in their decision to reconsider careers.

Working through the pandemic

68% of retail workers and 61% of hospitality workers surveyed say that they have been able to return to work since Covid-19 restrictions began in March, as changes to guidelines during the summer made it possible for some businesses in these industries to continue trading. 

Of those who have been able to return to work, almost nine in 10 workers in hospitality and retail say that their employer has taken all reasonable steps to protect their health and safety at work.

Despite this, 19% of retail workers and 9% of hospitality workers say that they are unable to return to work due to concerns for their personal health, or the health of a family member and the potential of possible exposure to Covid-19.

In some cases, the changing restrictions have prevented employers from offering sufficient hours for workers to sustain a living, with 13% in retail and 20% in hospitality unable to return to full-time work for this reason.

Changing work patterns

Of those who have returned to work, 34% in hospitality and 22% in retail have been asked to work shorter hours than they typically would.

A smaller percentage have been asked to work longer hours than they would have normally worked before the pandemic.

The majority of workers in retail and hospitality say that they are happy to facilitate this change.

Commenting on the findings, Christopher Paye, General Manager at Jobs.ie said that retail and hospitality are two of the most impacted sectors of the economy due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"For many businesses, the last eight months have been some of the most trying times that they have ever experienced, with restrictions forcing them to change their business model to continue trading, - and where that hasn't been possible - to close completely. 

"For workers in these sectors, the concern around the future is clearly evident, and only exacerbated by the uncertainty surrounding the direction of the pandemic and its impact on the reopening of hotels, cafés, restaurants and pubs and bricks and mortar retail," he said.