According to a report by Diário de Notícias, 45,000 workers are lacking in the tourism sector (15,000 in hotels) and hotels are already using overtime to compensate for missing employees. While this option is working for now, it is not feasible in the long term, which has led the Portuguese Hospitality Association (AHP) to ask the Government for answers.
AHP warns that more workers are needed, not least because hotels "are using overtime immensely" and employees are already "feel the weight" of this. The executive vice president of AHP, Cristina Siza Vieira, says that "this is a situation that cannot last long", even with rising wages, because workers continue to be in short supply.
Because of this hoteliers are asking the Executive to reduce the tax burden and speed up the process of hiring foreigners. This last request is not new, but the Government has responded through worker mobility agreements with other countries, such as India or Morocco.
The Finance Minister said last week that new agreements are already being made with countries such as Tunisia, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Georgia and the Philippines, in order to respond to the lack of personnel in various sectors of the country, but Cristina Siza Vieira says that a faster and more efficient response is needed to bring immigrants.
In addition to the lack of workers, the hotel industry is also asking for a tax reduction, as AHP says this will help hotel companies to hire.
"It is essential for the State to look at this situation. We are almost in a situation of full employment, recruiting more people will cost more. The State has to alleviate the tax burden on hiring staff. It is a very heavy tax burden to hire in Portugal. Salaries are clearly rising are, but this is not the only solution", Cristina Siza Vieira told Diário de Notícias.