Government efforts to promote a better work-life balance for employees have met with a poor response from the hospitality industry.
Out of 176 employers set to benefit from £10.5m allocated to help employers implement more flexible working practices, only three were from the hospitality sector.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and industry professional body the HCIMA hope to improve this situation with a guide launched last week.
Alan Johnson, minister for employment relations and the regions, said the hospitality industry had been singled out because it was at "the sharp end" of employment conditions and had had a bad reputation. The guide showed that: "Even here you can introduce flexible practices and highlight the business benefits."
David Wood, chief executive of HCIMA, commented: "Our industry is 24 hours a day, seven days a week and this inevitably leads to concerns about work-life balance for all employees in the sector. In turn, if businesses are suffering from common problems such as high staff turnover, they cannot be working to their best advantage."
The guide outlines a variety of working patterns such as flexi-time, staggered hours, and term-time working.
A free copy of the guide can be obtained from DTI Publications on 0870 1502 500. Quote reference number URN 01/1186.