More hospitality businesses across Victoria are today reporting losses due to the worsening post-pandemic staffing shortages in the industry.
Pubs, cafes and bakeries in Bendigo have had to cut back their opening hours because they can’t find enough workers. It follows similar reports from well-known Melbourne eateries Ladro and Entrecôte.
Deputy Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation Steph Ryan said it reinforced the need for incentives to attract Victorians into hospitality and accommodation.
“Lockdown after lockdown saw thousands of workers forced to leave the industry in search of more certain work, but not enough have returned,” Ms Ryan said.
“Who can blame workers for leaving the industry when Labor’s lockdowns and yo-yoing restrictions left them unable to pay the bills?
“This is why the Liberals and Nationals are calling on the Government to fund a sign on bonus for new staff to take up jobs that desperately need to be filled.
“Unless the Victorian Government adopts new ideas to attract and retain workers, we’ll continue to see venues cut back their opening hours at a time when so many Victorians are eager to support local businesses to recover.”
The Liberals and Nationals have listened to the sector and developed a plan to offer sign on bonuses to new staff until June 30, 2022.
In metropolitan Melbourne, new employees would receive $250 after 10 days of work within a 30-day period and a further $250 after another 30 days work within a 90-day period.
In regional Victoria, $500 should be paid after 10 days of work within a 30-day period and a further $500 after another 30 days work within a 90-day period.