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As a result of the extended period of COVID-19 restrictions, many employees will not be returning to their former roles, including door staff. They will instead stick with the sources of employment they have been forced to take up during the pandemic.

With social distancing expected to be removed by July 19 and the wider reopening of the hospitality/events sector, the demand for door supervisors is huge. The number of events scheduled for late July and early August is around double that of pre-Covid levels.

To keep up with demand there is a scramble amongst venues and security companies to recruit enough security staff, and there is also competition from other industries. The UK Door Security Association (UKDSA) has warned these events may not be able to take place if staffing ratios cannot be met. Having the correct ratio of security staff is a condition of holding a licence to operate.

Venues and security companies are trying to figure out what they need to do to get people through the door. Prior to the pandemic you would have 50 or 60 people a day apply for a door vacancy. Since the reopening, the number of daily applicants is in single figures. To lure workers, some employers have boosted starting pay by between 20% to 35% and some are even offering a £100 signing on fee.

The UKDSA and Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) last month called on the Government to urgently address the shortage of door staff available for the re-opening of hospitality and night life venues. In an open letter to the Government, they warn 6 in 10 door supervisor positions are at risk of being unfulfilled.   

The trade bodies warn:

A spokesperson for the UKDSA said, “It is obvious to everyone that the upcoming season for events and festivals, coupled with the reopening of hospitality and nightlife, will present an unprecedented level of demand in a very short period. This is a demand we will not be able to fulfil and could put public health at risk.”

“While we appreciate the Government is aware of the situation, awareness will get us nowhere. We need action and we need it now.”

Michael Kill, Chief Executive of NITA said, “While we welcome the opportunity to reopen, there is a sleeping giant emerging in the supply chain and workforce resource.”

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