Businesses from across the brewing and pub industry will be showcasing what inclusion means to team members as part of National Inclusion Week this week (26 September – 2 October). Designed to celebrate inclusion and encourage action to create inclusive workplaces, the week will see everyone from publicans to brewery operation managers sharing their experiences of what inclusion means to them in the brewing and pub sector. The celebration comes just three months after the British Beer and Pub Association launched its #OpenToAll Charter, a sector-wide commitment for businesses, to help them embrace inclusion and celebrate diversity across all their sites. In one of the short videos used to showcase staff experiences from across the sector, Tracey Bowen who runs The Unicorn Inn, a Star Pubs & Bars pub in Hanley said: “I am proud to offer a welcoming and safe venue for everyone at The Unicorn Inn, and inclusion to me means being respected for who I am.” Aivy Nguyen, Quality Manager at Budweiser Brewing Group’s Camden Town Brewery said: “As a woman in the leadership team at Budweiser’s brewery in Enfield, I feel I’m always empowered to be my most authentic self, with no barriers. To me inclusion means equal access and opportunities which I feel I have at Budweiser.” The videos also showcase some of the initiatives brewers and pubs are taking to ensure diversity and inclusion throughout their workforce and within their venues. Ben Jenkins from Asahi talks of the organisation’s Shine programme which looks to champion diversity and meet targets for senior level diverse leadership by 2030. Lucy Hartery who works at Molson Coors talks of her experience of announcing she was transgender almost four years ago and describes how the reaction she received from her employer was nothing short of 'superb'. Another showcases Vee Muli, a General Manager for Greene King from north Devon who has taken part in the organisation’s reverse mentoring programme. She notes how the experience of mentoring Greene King’s Chief Executive Nick Mackenzie has helped them both ‘grow as people’. [video width="560" height="315" mp4="https://beerandpub.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Vee-Muli-reverse-mentoring.mp4"][/video] Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said: “The opportunities that exist within brewing and pub businesses are diverse and so it is right that those businesses also have a diverse and talented workforce. We recognise how an inclusive workforce ensures people can thrive and be their very best selves at work. “Our members are not only embracing inclusion but championing it throughout their businesses and we want to showcase that, so everyone feels welcome in our industry not only as a team member but as customers as well.” The week will also see a diversity & inclusion toolkit for BBPA members being made available, created in collaboration with diversity consultants Inclusive Employers; one of a series of steps the British Beer and Pub Association and its members are doing to act and raise awareness about diversity and inclusion within the brewing and pub sector.
Responding to the Chancellor’s Fiscal Statement, Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said: “We welcome the steps taken by the Government in the Chancellor’s fiscal statement. The measures announced today will mean a boost of £500m for our sector, enabling growth following successive crises and allowing us to thrive in the future. Coupled with this week’s intervention on energy bills, these commitments will make a significant difference to our pubs and brewers at an acutely difficult time. “The Chancellor’s plans show that the Government recognises how extreme the cost of doing business has become and the enormous investment our sector makes, not only in the economy, but to the social fabric of communities across the breadth of the UK and why it must be protected. We look forward to the continued reduction of taxation on the sector at the next Budget - the need for a reduced VAT rate for hospitality and business rates reliefs remain as strong as ever. “We will continue to work with the Government to ensure that reforms to the draft beer duty rates are brought forward as soon as possible, meaning that our pubs and brewers can contribute to, and be at the heart of villages, towns and cities for many years to come.”
Leaders of trade bodies representing pubs, brewers, bars, restaurants and hotels have written to the Chancellor ahead of the fiscal statement later this week warning that a lack of clarity on energy package could be fatal for businesses In a letter to Kwasi Kwarteng, representatives from across the hospitality industry called for urgent clarity on the energy cap for businesses and wider support and a long-term plan to secure the future of the sector and save businesses and jobs across the UK. They warned that business owners were making decisions now about whether they could survive the winter, and simply could not wait any longer to understand whether they should sign new contracts or not. The letter came as No 10 said information on energy support for businesses would be announced in the fiscal statement but payments might need to be backdated to October. The trade associations also urged the Government to think beyond the next six months, noting that ‘whilst the energy cap will be a critical lifeline and stem the situation over the next six months…more is needed to ensure businesses can head into winter knowing they have the chance to not only survive but thrive again’. They called on the Chancellor to bring forward the following measures to support the industry both now but also looking to the longer-term: an immediate reduction on VAT on all food and drink sales across hospitality cancellation of business rates for the remainder of this fiscal year for all hospitality businesses regardless of size In addition, the bodies stated that the regulatory burden placed on the sector needed to be eased, noting how upcoming Alcohol Duty and business rates reform had the potential to further reduce taxes on an already fragile sector. In a joint statement industry leaders said: “An energy price guarantee for business will provide some short-term relief for businesses on the brink of closure, but more support is needed, as well as a plan beyond the next six months. The initial announcement helped businesses breathe an initial sigh of relief, but most are still in the dark as to how the guarantee might help them. “Our industry is one of only a few that supports jobs and livelihoods in every single part of the UK, and we have the potential to deliver growth in every single community we serve, but we’re being held back. We need policies that ensure our survival through the winter which will allow us to invest in the long-term potential of our sector, action on the tax burdens that are stunting our growth and a government that understands the extremely critical situation we’re currently in.” Read the full letter here.