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Fri 23rd Jun 2017 - ALMR – PM’s immigration announcement provides stability for hospitality
ALMR – PM’s immigration announcement provides stability for hospitality: The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has welcomed Theresa May’s statement in Brussels, in which she set out her plans for migration upon Brexit and said that she didn’t want anyone working in Britain to have to leave. The Prime Minister announced that, subject to reciprocity and negotiation on detail, EU nationals resident in the UK for more than five years would be offered residency. A criteria to build up a new ‘settled EU status’ for those with shorter residency is another stated aim, along with other assurances to assuage concerns for EU nationals working in the UK. Although much detail is yet to emerge, including which legal jurisdiction would wield authority and what date will be used to measure current residency, the overall nature of the announcement was welcomed by the ALMR. Chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The Prime Minister’s statement is a welcome indication that the government recognises the value of EU workers to the UK economy, and that a sensible solution will prevail. This has the makings of an insightful and pragmatic step to safeguard the rights of EU workers’ rights and, in turn, economic growth. The eating and drinking out sector relies on migrant workers, particularly those from the EU, and the uncertainty that has surrounded the security of their status has been unhelpful. A KPMG report in March found that without EU workers, hospitality would face a recruitment shortfall of around 60,000 workers per year. That is without taking into account projected employment growth of 200,000 – those numbers could not possibly be met by UK workers alone. Around 180,000 workers in eating and drinking out businesses are EU nationals. This is a huge part of a workforce that plays a significant role in the UK’s economy. The plans outlined by Theresa May – albeit with many questions remaining – represent a positive signal for hospitality businesses and workers alike. For a sector that is such a driving force and significant contributor to the UK’s wider economy, the benefits of an outcome that balances domestic employment needs with retained rights for EU workers would be wide-reaching.”

Whitbread “extremely concerned” over cladding at three Premier Inn sites: Whitbread said it is “extremely concerned” about cladding on three of its Premier Inn hotels. The company said three of its hotels “do not appear” to meet the required fire safety standards. This includes a hotel in Prime Minister Theresa May’s Maidenhead constituency. Cladding is believed to have contributed to the unusually rapid spread of fire at Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, in which at least 79 people died. An estimated 600 high-rise blocks have been covered in cladding in England alone, all of which are now undergoing urgent tests to see if the panels contain the flammable material that made Grenfell a deathtrap. Three of the buildings that failed the tests were refurbished by the same firm that fitted cladding to Grenfell, using the same highly flammable material. Premier Inn said external aluminium composite cladding on its hotels in Maidenhead, Brentford and Tottenham did not appear to comply with government guidance for tall buildings. The company added that the cladding on its buildings appeared to be a less flammable product than that thought to have been used at Grenfell Tower. The hotel chain said developers were responsible for the construction of the buildings. In a statement, Whitbread told the BBC’s Newsnight programme: “We were extremely concerned to learn that they had used a cladding that does not appear to comply with recognised government guidance on compliance with the Building Regulations for use in high rise buildings and are seeking to address this with the developers.” However, the company said an independent expert has assured them the buildings are safe to continue using because of their “robust” safety measures, such as fire detectors and smoke alarms in every room.

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