21 May 2018 | Digital editions, magazines, websites, e-zines, handbooks and contract publishing for the leisure industry

Leisure Opportunities issue 736, 2018 is now out!


Leisure Opportunities bloggers:

Liz Terry
Leisure Media

Kate Cracknell
Health Club Management

Eva McDiarmid
Chief Executive,

Kurt Janson
Policy Director,
Tourism Alliance

Ufi Ibrahim
Chief Executive,
British Hospitality Association

Philippe Rossiter
Chief Executive,
Institute of Hospitality

Aleatha Ezra
Director of park member development,
World Waterpark Association

Ian Taylor

Gareth Edwards
Director of Education,

Jennifer Fields
Communications Coordinator,
Association of Zoos and Aquariums

John Goodbody
Sports Journalist

Peter Ducker
Chief executive,
Institute of Hospitality

Suki Kalirai
Interim CEO,

Sam Coulstock
Customer Relationship Director,

Stephen Studd

Edwina Hart
Minister for Business,
Welsh Assembly Government

Tim Lewthwaite
Publications manager,
Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Lisa Starr
Senior Consultant,
Wynne Business

Linda Cendes
Program Assistant, Comms,

Julie Becker
Communications and Events Manager,

Anna Bjurstam
Raison d'Etre

Michel Buchel
President of Ecsite and CEO of NEMO, Amsetrdan,

Dieter Buchner
Founding Partner,
Urban Healing

Jean-Guy de Gabriac
Founder/ CEO,
Tip Touch Academie

Leah De Silva
Business development director,

David Grevemberg
Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

Anni Hood
Kis Lifestyle Group

Simon Johnson
Business in Sport and Leisure

David Kerr
David Kerr Associates

Nick King
Sports Think Tank

Fredrik Lindahl
Treasurer & Administrator,
Finnish Cricket Association

Kerry Mabbley
Customer Relationship Manager,

Chris Marriott
Director ,
The Sports Consultancy

Rhona Mennie
Business relations manager,
Springboard UK

Peter Moody
Brook Street des Roches LLP

Matt Partridge
Executive board member,

Tom Pinnington
Associate director,
Capita Symonds

Neil Richmond
Neil Richmond & Co.

Hugh Robertson
Minister for Sport

Louise Routh
Marketing and communications director,
Springboard UK

Dee Smith
Head of Programmes,

David Stalker

Chris Trickey
Chief Executive,

Phillip Villars
Managing Director,
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Andrew Wade
Lawrence Graham LLP

Tom Walker
Leisure Media

Charles Wilford
Co-Head, Leisure Team,
Gerald Eve

Duncan Wood-Allum
Sport, Leisure and Culture Consultancy

National Living Wage

13 Jul 2015
by Eva McDiarmid, Chief Executive, ASVA
For some businesses, an 11 per cent rise in the basic hourly rate will be a challenge.

The much-heralded first all-Conservative budget in 18 years was made public last week by Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. It features some very controversial elements if media stories are anything to go by. But the one thing that is likely to impact on tourism businesses is the introduction of what is being referred to as a ‘National Living Wage’ (NLW), which will effectively become a minimum wage.

The new NLW will be introduced from April 2016 and for staff aged 25 years and above this will be £7.20 per hour, rising to around £9 by 2020.

Although the initial hike of just over 11 per cent is steep, it is considerately less than the Living Wage Foundation’s suggested hourly rate of £7.85.

Scottish Government (SG) includes paying the Living Wage as a “...central commitment in the Scottish Business Pledge”. And although not stated explicitly, the impression is that it would like us all to aspire to paying the higher rate.

Visitor attractions are many and varied with ownership in the hands of charities, trusts as well as private and public sector organisations. With direct funding coming from Central Government, our public sector members will already have been making plans to ensure that all their employees are paid a Living Wage. But for others, an 11 per cent rise in the basic hourly rate will be a challenge. And the next challenge will be the ramifications for those further up existing pay scales, as supervisory and management grades seek to retain the differential.

We will watch with considerable interest, as to the ‘guidance’ SG gives in terms of what it considers the Living Wage to be. And indeed to any pressure it may put onto Scottish businesses in the future who decide they can only afford to pay the legal NLW. There will be severe penalties (£20,000 for each case) levied on businesses who flout the NLW from next year, but note this is at the £7.20 rate until we hear differently here in Scotland.

Osborne did announce some small ‘sweeteners’ one of which is the 50 per cent increase to £3,000 (April 2016) of the Employment Allowance. So for smaller businesses there’s a welcome £1,000 towards your NI bill. And for individuals there are increases in the personal allowance and the basic rate limit.

In as much as this budget will bring challenges, as Chancellor Osborne seeks to bring about a budget surplus in the next few years, spare a thought for the citizens of Greece. Their national debt is off the scale and many of its main creditors do not expect to be repaid in full. Times are very hard with over 25 per cent of the working age population unemployed, with the under 25s looking at just over double that percentage and overall women are more disadvantaged than men. Currently just 11 per cent of the population pays income tax and an estimated 52 per cent rely on pensions as the main source of income. It’s like looking into a black hole.

Currently the UK shows an average monthly minimum wage of 1030 euros, which puts us the top quartile (just!) of EU members. The average gross monthly wage in Greece is 750 euros. (These figures are adjusted to take into account the different costs of living.) And it looks like the mood across the EU is to further raise minimum wages and enshrine them into law. So as bitter as our NLW pill may be, we will need to find ways to comply from next year. And hard as that may prove to be or however much we may dislike the current political ideology, living in Scotland and the UK looks like a decent place to be for most.

Tags: hotels & hospitality  theme & waterparks  ents & gaming  arts & culture  tourism  visitor attractions 

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