Research from the Royal Society for Public Health has revealed that mental health and wellbeing is under significant strain amongst hospitality employees.

Its latest report, Service With(out) a Smile, shows that four out of five (84%) hospitality workers reported increased stress which was believed to be a direct consequence of their job.

As a result, almost half (45%) of respondents said they would not recommend working in hospitality. Other key findings from the RSPH research include:
  • Almost two thirds (62%) do not think the hospitality sector takes care of its employees
  • Three quarters (74%) have experienced verbal abuse from a customer
  • Almost a quarter (24%) required medical or psychological help
  • Only around one in ten (10%) had received training to support health and wellbeing, or access to mentoring, health champions or mental health first aiders

The report highlights a number of initiatives which have been introduced to address concerns around staff health and wellbeing.

Hospitality Action set up an Employee Assistance Programme and Me, Myself in Mind run classes on mental health awareness for the hospitality industry.

While these programmes are a welcome step, the survey’s results indicate that more needs to be done.

Shirley Cramer, CBE, Chief Executive of RSPH said: “At some point in our lives many of us will have experienced working in the hospitality industry, so we understand how demanding this working environment can be. Having access to good mental health support is essential for workplaces, and we are pleased that there are a number of initiatives being rolled out across the sector."

In response the report calls for hospitality employers to put in place a package of support to protect the mental health and wellbeing of staff including sick leave, regular one-to-ones between managers and employees, health champions and mental health first aiders.

The survey results and recommendations will be discussed at an event in London, held in collaboration with The Springboard Charity on 20 May.

Find out more about good practice in implementing Mental Health First Aid England training in the workplace here.