By: Khalid Anib Chief Executive Officer – Abu Dhabi National Hotels (ADNH)
Giant hotel groups operate in different countries, some with strong social security systems while others offering weak or totally nonexistent support, leaving employees at risk when forced out of work.
During my career, this is the third time when employees are being either made redundant or forced to take unpaid leave on a large scale.
Operators once again are sending their compassionate newsletters to the hotels, whilst employees are in desperate need of financial help due to their country’s social welfare failure.
I urge operators to act responsibly and share a tiny portion of their generous fees collected during the previous years to support the staff across all levels, particularly associates at the properties; and to seriously consider creating some sort of solidarity fund dedicated to preserve the dignity of employees should something like this arise in the future.
The hospitality industry all over the world has been dramatically disrupted by the ongoing drastic measures imposed yet critical to preserve life.
The main focus facing every hotel owner today is how to deal with this unprecedented challenge of occupancy having reached unbearable levels in a very short period of time with growing uncertainties around the rebound and related timing.
Forcing employees to be on paid / unpaid leaves is unfortunately necessary to partially reduce payroll costs; owners will continue to bear in full all other employee benefits: accommodation, food, insurance etc… along with other massive fixed liabilities such as loans and interest repayments / building maintenance and insurances / necessary capital expenditures and others.
Having strong empathy towards our employees despite the importance of preserving the cash to back up the above expenditures, I have recommended the release of a portion of each employee’s accrued end of service benefits to financially help them to support their loved ones’ back home during such difficult times. I would like to thank our Board Executive Committee members for approving and supporting this initiative. I remain optimistic and confident that the industry will bounce back soon, meanwhile Stay home, stay safe and God bless us all.