Professional services firm PwC Ireland has published a new report that contains what the firm believes are key proposals for protecting employment and businesses in Ireland's hospitality sector.
The "Covid-19 and the Irish Hospitality Sector - Impact and Options" report calls on the government to step-in and keep employees in the hospitality sector in their jobs, and cover 75% of the net take home pay of employees in the sector. The report states that this would have a net additional cost to the exchequer of €2.4 million per week when compared to the €203/week unemployment payment.
The report also calls for an interest free loan mechanism to provide working capital for the industry to restart itself post-COVID-19. The report states that, unsupported, a business in Ireland's hospitality sector could take up to 62 weeks from the onset of a COVID-19 closure to return to profit and recoup losses sustained during the closure period.
"Core To Our DNA"
PwC Ireland retail & consumer practice director Owen McFeely said, "These proposals are aimed at being constructive and supportive to the efforts government is already seeking to provide at this vulnerable time. Hospitality is core to our DNA and goes to the heart of brand Ireland. Without major step-in supports, we will see significant human, economic and societal stress, particularly for areas outside the Dublin region where hospitality is often the cornerstone of local communities.
"We recognise that this is a significant action over and above current supports, however, bold steps are necessary now to ensure that we do not have a delayed recovery. To avoid or alleviate the damage of another recession, it is simply essential that employees are ready to go back to work when this situation eases. This isn't just about the hospitality industry - the options and suggested framework identified in this report can easily be applied to other sectors and industries."
The report argues that bold and early action will ultimately be positive and impactful for both Ireland's economy and wider society.
"Flattens The Curve"
PwC Ireland retail & consumer practice lead John Dillon commented, "A subvention based approach as proposed allows businesses to remain connected with their employees. This will be critical to enabling the sector to mobilise rapidly and transition to post-COVID realities once current social barriers are lifted. It 'flattens the curve' economically. The hospitality sector, supported by Ireland's food industry, has spent many years developing Ireland's image and reputation as a unique destination for food tourism. Failure to support key players including restaurants, hotels and pubs and the wider ecosystem including local farmers and producers could do irreparable damage to the long term future of the industry."
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