Restaurants and hotels lose 49,000 jobs in Q3

  • Lusa
  • 10 November 2020

AHRESP said this Tuesday that the sector lost 49,000 jobs in the third quarter of this year,

The Hotel, Restaurant and Similar Association of Portugal (AHRESP) said this Tuesday that the sector lost 49,000 jobs in the third quarter of this year, according to an open letter sent to Prime Minister António Costa.

“At the present time we know that restaurants and accommodation lost more than 49,000 jobs in the 3rd quarter of 2020 (the normal period of greater employability) and according to the latest AHRESP survey, 41% of restaurant and similar companies are considering insolvency and 19% of tourist accommodation is going in the same direction,” the association said.

“We know the difficult and unstable scenario we are living in, we know that the current pandemic situation makes life difficult for all of us, but it is not possible to continue on this disastrous course for our economic activities”, reads the missive.

AHRESP warned the prime minister that “every fortnight economic agents see the rules of the game changed, with all the uncertainty and insecurity that this situation generates, to which all the costs they face and have been demanded of them add”, according to the letter.

The association said the new restrictions, which impose a “ban on driving”, from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. every day, with the aggravated measure at weekends, when driving is banned from 1 p.m. to 5 a.m.” are “an unprecedented attack”, bearing in mind that “many catering and similar establishments do a lot of their work precisely at the weekend”.

“We cannot understand that a number of exceptions, some of a comparable nature, such as the exception for travel purposes, are established, for example to supermarkets which, it should be noted, often have identical establishments within them to catering establishments” regrets AHRESP.

“On the other hand, there is no basis for travelling to grocery shops and other food outlets, but not to restaurants and the like,” it points out.

If the restrictions “are absolutely fundamental to the current situation” then they must “respect the principle of proportionality to the impact of the limitations imposed on us, with the revision and urgent reinforcement of the support that is planned, based on the 10 measures that AHRESP has identified and presented as the only ones possible to avoid mass insolvencies” that will lead to a loss of thousands of jobs and a social crisis, the organisation warned.

The organisation recalled the measures it had proposed “and which involve non-repayable funding for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises corresponding to 50% of the recorded fall in turnover, the extension of the furlough scheme until 31 December 2021 to include managing partners and exemption from Social security contributions” and a temporary reduction in the VAT rate on food and drink services.

The AHRESP also calls for the “exemption on rents in proportion to the monthly drop in invoicing” and for “exceptional measures for night entertainment, which has been without any activity since March 2020, as well as the implementation of new tax and contribution moratoriums, as well as all taxes and duties due by 30 September 2021”.

Finally, the association recalled, “that already this month a period of great burdens for companies begins, with the payment of wages and Christmas allowances and the respective payment of taxes and social security contributions”.