Hospitality Wellbeing and Development Promise

Ensuring that team members are well-supported is fundamental to any successful business.
This is particularly vital for the hospitality sector which, at its heart, is built on providing fantastic customer service, creating repeat visits and an exciting, enjoyable experience, and driving social mobility in communities across the country.



It is therefore critical that jobs and careers are attractive for jobseekers and existing team members alike. To ensure success, retention is critical for upskilling the sector, and for retention to be delivered, team members must feel valued and supported within their workplace. In effect a positive focus on wellbeing within the workplace has been proven to boost productivity and reduce absenteeism. Creating such environments will deliver a sense of belonging, positively impacting the mental and social health of team members.

To ensure success, a holistic approach must be taken. This in practice goes beyond the focus of the workplace, extending to an individual’s wider life.

This promise seeks to act as a signpost for both employers and their teams to access the necessary resources in existence to support best practice of wellbeing not only in the workplace but also supporting individuals in their wider lives.  Providing such support will enable members of our industry to reach their full potential and ensure longevity for those within our sector.

Industry best practice suggests creating a business or team ethos is critical to promoting wellbeing and building retention. This could be linked to a specific cause or your local community.

The Promise is not an exhaustive, nor compulsory, list for businesses to comply with.

For Northern Ireland specific resources, more information can be found here.

We are committed to providing:

Respect for all team members is a vital pillar in any business, particularly for the hospitality industry due to its social nature. Team members have the right to feel happy and supported within their place of work, attributes that are largely built on a foundation of respect.

A rewarding job and career, where team members are supported to be given the skills and opportunities for professional development. Businesses within the sector boast a range of remuneration packages and opportunities for pathway growth.

The ability to enjoy a healthy lifestyle, first and foremost in the workplace, but also extending such support into the personal lives of team members, regarding their mental and physical health. Team members should have full access to supportive measures provided by businesses, for example through Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs).



The Promise

1. Ensure that you create a working environment that facilitates respect between all team members

2. Promote a diversity & inclusion policy

3. Support a team member on their wider life issues, if appropriate, and provide assistance where possible

4. Ensure that team members are well-rewarded for their work, considering a wide range of pay and benefits, communicated through a clear pay policy

5. Where tips are received have a clear policy for their distribution and keep deductions to an absolute minimum and only to cover costs

6. Identify training and development opportunities for team members at all levels, and promote these to your workforce along with the provision of all necessary compliance training to keep our teams safe

7. Be open to flexible working where you can and offer a range of shift patterns with reasonable notice on changes

8. Produce and maintain a health & safety policy

9. Be aware of the mental health challenges associated with working in hospitality and minimise these

10. Enforce a policy of anti-harassment in the workplace


A place you will develop

Respect for all team members:

Hospitality businesses can be stressful places to work with peaks in trading applying pressure to deliver great service. It is important that management and team members show each other respect and act courteously toward each other. Management should be very clear that threats or bullying are not acceptable. Guidance to support this objective is available here.


Promote diversity and inclusion:

Promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace is essential so people feel valued and they can reach their full potential on multiple levels. First and foremost, providing an environment where team members feel welcome and valued is fundamental for the make-up of an organisation. Moreover, businesses with a diverse workforce experience additional benefits by creating a team of diverse experience, perspectives, and knowledge, enabling skills to be learned across groups, and creating a more harmonious team. It is imperative that diversity and inclusion are embedded within the recruitment policies of all organisations.

Businesses can also ensure they are inclusive employers with the guidance of accredited courses and qualifications available.


Support team members in their wider lives:

To support team members in their wider lives, you can provide information that they may struggle to access and can often be a case of signposting people to the right information. For example, the Money and Pensions Service advises people on how to manage their finances. Citizens Advice, a charity which offers advice on any problem. The Government has a list of organisations from regional to issue-specific support services available, listed on

Additionally, the Employers Initiative on Domestic Abuse, provides employers with support on how to take action against domestic abuse. They offer tools and share best practices to equip businesses to care for team members affected by domestic abuse.

Finally, an EAP, short for Employee Assistance Programme, can enable employers to utilise third party agencies for various aspects to support wellbeing such as counselling, and assistance lines. There is a range of providers that businesses can engage with to find the best fit.


A rewarding job and career

Ensure team members are well paid:

The hospitality business should ensure that team members are compensated for their work in a fair and rewarding fashion. At a minimum, this would ensure full compliance with the National Minimum Wage Rules. Employers could also consider performance-linked pay transparency, and pay progression policies. Employers might also want to consider incentives such as subsidised meals, voucher schemes, and partnerships with other local employers such as gym memberships. If a team member suspects they are being paid less than the minimum wage rate that they are entitled to, one option is to make a complaint by calling the Acas helpline. Additionally, complaints can also be made online direct to HMRC using the online form.


Tips and service charge:

Ensuring team members receive tips and service charge help to maintain an engaged workforce, and is what customers want to see. Having a clear policy on tips and service charge is strongly advised. Any deduction to tips or service charge should be kept to an absolute minimum, and should only cover relevant costs, such as bank card fees and management of a tronc system. The objective is for the whole team, both back and front of house involved in service to benefit from tips and service charge. If cash tips are received, it’s up to the team members to determine how they’ll share these and report them to HMRC themselves.


Training and development:

Providing training and development opportunities for current and prospective team members is critical to increasing productivity for the business, assisting recruitment and retention, and also increasing social mobility. Internal business training and mentoring can be a powerful part of this process. HIT Training provides more detail on the benefits and guidance detailed in a free e-guide. HIT also has an array of short-courses, workshops and apprenticeships available on their website here. Employers can also ensure they support team members in building career plans and ensure they have targets to work towards. Compliance training is a critical part of onboarding and refresher courses to ensure our team members stay safe.


Flexible working environment:

The hospitality industry has long practiced flexible working and continues to offer its team members opportunities to work dynamically. The sector is renowned for its ease of diverse shift hours for team members to choose from. Whilst the sector continues to take pride in this flexibility, ensuring a sufficient workforce is fundamental to the operation of running a hospitality business. Businesses will always look to grant flexible working requests wherever possible, however, must also take into consideration the commercial realities if they are unable to provide a sufficient team.

Government guidance on The Right to Request Flexible Working was extended in 2014 to all team members with 26 weeks of continuous service. This right includes requesting a change to work location, the number of working hours, and the associated working pattern.

Flexibility must be two-way and it is recommended that you have a clear policy on the notice period given for changes to shift and consult team members where possible.

To promote your businesses as open to flexible working, Working Families provides a strapline for job adverts, enabling job seekers to identify the companies that are open to a conversation on offering flexible working. For further information for employers, the Flexible Working Taskforce, has developed reports and guidance to support businesses.


A place you will thrive

Keeping people safe at work:

The employer has a responsibility to their team members to ensure their workplace is safe to be in. The Health and Safety Executive has a wealth of information to help businesses with this. Their website also includes a checklist for employers to ensure safety in the workplace.


Supporting mental health:

Employers have a duty of care whereby they must do all they reasonably can to support their team member’s health, safety, and wellbeing. Businesses should ensure that they foster an environment that supports the mental wellbeing of team members, this could include workplace mental health champions. Doing so increases team productivity and can mitigate the risk of absence. To assist employers in preventing work-related stress, the HSE has developed a toolkit, designed to help line managers hold initial conversations with their teams as one part of the journey toward preventing work-related stress.

Resources and training are provided by Acas, to ensure that senior team members can identify when other team members may need support. Further support for the individual can be found at, a mental health charity that provides a free helpline. An additional resource aimed at team members is the Licensed Trade Charity, which offers a wide range of support to people who do now or have in the past worked in the licensed drinks trade. Finally, Hospitality Action is a charity that offers a range of services to help those within the industry such as their Employee Assistance Programme, advice hub, and grants available.


Enforce a policy of anti-harassment in the workplace:

Feeling comfortable in one’s working environment is a basic right. Businesses should have in place a policy and practices to ensure that team members are protected from harassment by both customers and their team. Acas provides very helpful guidance in this area.

UKHospitality and the Equality and Human Rights Commission have developed preventing sexual harassment in the workplace checklist for hospitality, which helps venues to put appropriate structures in place to protect their teams.

All the above will only be possible with a foundation of responsible recruitment:


Responsible recruitment:

It is critical that businesses take responsibility for compliance within their direct recruitment process, through recruitment agencies and their supply chain – eliminating any exploitation. This should follow the rules set out by the Modern Slavery, Home Office Guide, and the hospitality recruitment statement. The Government provides further guidance within the Responsible Recruitment Toolkit, consisting of resources that support businesses to achieve responsible recruitment.