Written on 16-Feb-2018
While many people in the hospitality industry are not strangers to unpaid overtime, the recent hectic Christmas period inspired us to find out exactly how prevalent it is for those working as full time chefs. A survey of our chefs produced some fairly damning, but sadly unsurprising, results about their past experiences when being paid an annual salary.
An overwhelming 96.2% of those we asked had worked more hours than they had been contracted for and not been paid for them.
What was more shocking, however, was the sheer number of hours they had been expected to work by their employers, for no additional pay.
We asked for the average number of hours per week they have worked and not been paid for throughout their career. The vast majority, at 43.6%, had been regularly working between 11 and 20 unpaid hours a week, and another 26.9% had been doing more than 20.
When chefs are working more hours in unpaid overtime than most other professions do full stop, then it is clear to see that something has gone very wrong somewhere along the way.
These working conditions are simply unsustainable and with 1.3 million hospitality staff needed by 2024, employers need to begin placing a much stronger emphasis on the chef experience, not just the customer experience.
There are a few simple steps that can be taken to improve the Chef experience in order to improve staff retention, including paying them fairly and transparently.
Being a CJUK chef is all about being given back choices. Our chefs are free to choose which contracts they take, making sure that the number of hours works for them, and, most importantly, they are always paid for every single hour they work. Their workload will never spiral out of their control again, and if they do decide to put in the additional hours, it will be to their benefit, not just their employer’s.