Those of us who live in France have been reading warnings from both businesses and unions that we will see severe worker shortages this summer. How does this affect your holiday home?
We are already seeing this, even though the tourist season hasn’t started yet. Cafés and restaurants all over the country are short staffed, with some having to curtail their opening hours because they don’t have the cooks and waitresses needed. The Local France report that the hospitality and restaurant sector lost over 237,000 employees between February 2020 and February 2021 and that there are now over 200,000 vacancies to be filled. Elsewhere, it is increasingly difficult to find cleaners, gardeners, swimming pool contractors and general builders.
Why has this happened?
The Covid epidemic and repeated lockdowns hit the French hospitality sector particularly badly, many workers simply chose to do a different type of work. After all, bars and restaurants have notoriously long hours and are not renowned for paying well. The hot property market in France means that around 1.2m houses were bought last year, with owners looking to install kitchens & bathrooms, upgrade plumbing & electricity, landscape gardens and generally add their personal touches to their new homes. This means that artisans are in real demand and often booked up well in advance.
Over 10% of hospitality workers have changed job since lockdown, with many turning to logistics, construction or sales.Source: Ouest France
How does that affect my holiday home?
Well, it doesn’t if you use Leggett Property Management to manage your property and to look after your seasonal rental business. The issues become ours to resolve and luckily our property managers have the local knowledge and contacts to do so. Our strategic alliance with Homeserve also means that, in an emergency, we can be sure that someone will be on hand to take care of the problem. If you don’t employ a local property manager then you may well find yourself struggling to find people to help maintain your property and look after your guests this summer. This could include gardeners, pool specialists, cleaners, changeover helpers, roofers and any number of artisans.
Which sectors are most badly hit?
According to Pole Emploi, the French Governmental agency which registers unemployed people and helps them find jobs and get financial aid, these are the top five sectors most badly hit.
- Vineyard/orchard workers and seasonal fruit pickers
- Waiters and waitresses
- Cleaners and workers offering changeover services
- Kitchen workers and chefs
- Those working in the agricultural sector