Holiday Park Boss Insists On Fair Wages For Staff

Under paying workers in the touring industry
Under paying workers in the touring industry

Wednesday, 13, Jun 2018 04:07

By William Coleman

Fair pay is something we all deserve no matter what industry your in. It seems as though, from what I have read, that a lot of the workers that make our industry so special are often very poorly paid. Is this a trend in the industry or just a few random cases?

One holiday park owner truly believes that the idea of underpaying staff is "ironic and perverse that this industry has so many well paid customers with such low paid staff.

These are the words of Patrick Langmaid, the owner of the family run Mother Ivey's Bay Holiday Park near Padstow. Patrick has been supporting the initiative of fair pay by ensuring his staff are on a real living wage and has done for years. His belief is that you get what you pay for and his business benefits from having well paid staff.

According to Patrick there were only 2, of roughly 10,000, sites in the UK that are fully accredited for paying their staff and realistic living wage. That shocked me when I read that!

In 2015 Patrick became a fully accredited living wage employer after trialling the idea out in 2014. One huge benefit that was apparent was how much it helped with recruitment in an industry that has a large seasonal turnover. Also the boost in moral of the staff went up and retention of staff went down. All these positives improvements reflected on the gustes experiences which in turn made revenue increase and added more return bookings.

"It's a huge irony that tourism requires low wages to function, but you need high wages to go on holiday, go to the restaurant or do activities. For some businesses to think that their customers are well-paid, but it's OK for their staff not to be is perverse." says Patrick.

Patrick took the company over from his family in the 1990s. He wanted to make sure that the company was successful but not at the expense of the staff. After seeing what goes on Patrick felt uncomfortable with the way the tourism and hospitality sector works in regards to what staff get paid.

It would seem that there are some people/companies that are comfortable to pay a low wage so they can take a higher amount home at the end of the month. The thing that I have found in every sector I have worked in is that paying a poor wage does not help productivity, all it does is increase staff turn over.

Patrick said: "When I started running the business and took it off in 1996 I was totally focused on marketing and strengthening the business and the brand. But I did have a nagging feeling about my team. I wasn't running the whole place on my own. The team was delivering the guests' experience, not me.

"With that nagging feeling in my mind I cricked my neck in 2013 and, while seeing my osteopath in Padstow, I was reading the Guardian newspaper in the waiting room. I'm not a Guardian reader, but it had been left there and as it turned out to be on that quiet November day, it was Living Wage Week.

"I didn't know anything about it but there were a lot of stories about the real living wage in the paper. It got me thinking. I got back to the site and looked at what we were paying our staff and what it would cost more to pay the Real Living Wage."

Wanting to see if it was financially possible for him to bring up wage levels up Patrick visited his financial consultant. After looking into it he was shocked to find out he had the backing of both his money man and his parents are on the business's board of directors.

"I thought I would have to champion the real living wage with my parents. I expected a full-on battle. But they welcomed it and thought it was a fantastic idea.

"I was already paying £7 an hour at the time and to pay the real living wage of £7.65 an hour it would have cost me £20,000. It was a real cost to the business, but it worked brilliantly.

"I find recruiting staff so much easier now. I can pick and choose who I recruit because I receive so many more applications," Mr Langmaid said.

"I feel more empowered in that way too. Staff retention is less of an issue and we are now able to offer an even greater guest experience."

When these changes were being made by Mother Ivey's Bay Holiday Park there were 800 accredited real living wage employees in the UK and now there are over 4000.

During the peak season Patrick employs 25 staff with a maximum of 15 all year round.

As I mentioned before fair pay should be standard practice for everyone who is employed. To see an employer taking a stand and drawing a line in the sand is very refreshing to see.

Pictures courtesy of Mother Ivy Bay's Holiday Park and Oliver Vergnault.

Comments - What do you think?
Related stories

Why Diesel Is Not A Dirty Word When Buying A Motorhome

Travelworld MD gives us the low down on diesel engines

Recently CaravanTimes spoke to Ross Edwards, Managing Director of Travelworld, who wanted to share his thoughts on the diesel engine and why they are not as bad as some people may think. The below article comes directly from the man himself.

Keep Calm And Keep Blooming This Summer

Trophy triumph: Green-fingered Kim Hodson-Walker (right) with the park's Michael Holgate and Ellen Cartwright

Cumbria's Holgates Holiday Parks have returned from the North West in Bloom awards with a whole bunch of floral and conservation accolades. The six-strong group scooped no fewer than nine top prizes in the annual competition which saw hundreds of businesses and communities take part from across the region.

Storage

Has anyone used the storage facilities at Lee Valley Caravan Park, Dobbs Weir, Hertfordshire and would you recomme...

Elddis 1980s

I have a mid 1980s Elddis Whirlwind De Luxe - at least that's what it says on the side. But it doesnt actually loo...

Making life easier going to the waste water drain!

Fed up with dragging the Wastemaster to the drain every couple of days and after ending up with a sore back after ...

Alko Wheel Lock

Hi guys, I have just swapped our Caravan and now have for sale an Alko Wheel Lock, No24, Its in great condition , ...

Fridge problem ?

Our Topaz,, year 2000 fridge in the cold weather a draught comes through a vent above the fridge between the work ...

Bulldog QD33 Wheel Clamp for 13" Tyres

Bulldog QD33 Wheel Clamp for 13" Tyres, was on 2001 Bailey Ranger 500/5 Used 3 times only in excellent condition a...

2010 Sprite Alpine 2 Roof Weight Strength ?

Hi Guys Has anybody any info on what weight a Alpine roof will withstand, for instance will it take my bodyweight...

Coachman Amara 560/4 2011 model

hi can anyone advise the wd key no for the key that opens the external lockers on this model ? Many thanks for any...

Weight Distribution/Nose Weight Issue

Hello I wonder if anyone can help please. I have an Avondale Sanbeck van with a Toyota Auris tow car. in terms of ...

Weight Distribution/Nose Weight Issue

Hello I wonder if anyone can help please. I have an Avondale Sanbeck van with a Toyota Auris tow car. in terms of ...

For Sale

Burstner Nexxo t720 - 2012 - £44995

Burnster Nexxo t720

Low Low profile chasis motorhome

Rapido A-Class 999M - 2009 - £54995

Rapido A class 999M

This flagship Rapido model is based on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis (very rare) with the fantastic Mercedes 3.

Monaco Knight 38 PDQ - 2006 - £79995

x

THE most practical RV layout ever on the market with four slide out rooms, full cream leather interior and light oak cabinetry creates even greater feeling of space.

Niesmann+Bischoff Arto 69 PL (auto) - 2011 - £61995

Niesmann + Bischoff Arto 69 PL

One of the best build qualities in the industry including aluminium sandwich construction, deep double floor and front electric thermo windscreen blind make this motorhome fully winterised.

Benimar Tessoro Part 1: The 483 Full Test

The Tessoro 483 is built on a 170BHP Ford

At CaravanTimes we recently had a Benimar Tessoro 483 on test for a couple of weeks. We have done just over 2000 miles in the Tessoro and tested in various ways - as you will find out in our inspiration features coming up. But before we give you some ideas of where and why you should use a motorhome like the Tessoro we wanted to bring some information on the Tessoro range and the very interesting 483.

Bristanbul Video Documentary Part 1

Part one of the documentary is here

So as most of our readers will know, the CaravanTimes team were lucky enough to be part of Bailey of Bristols, Bristol to the Bosphoros trip. Travelling 21 countries in 21 days the team did a fantastic job to take the 2 caravans and motorhome cross-continental.

In pictures: testing the new Auto-Trail V-Line Sport 635 to the extreme

Caravan Times' Favourite Adventure Couple, Simon & Faye, CHeck out the new Autotrail V-line

This weekend however, we decided to test out how sporty the Auto-Trail V-Line Sport 635 really is.

PLANS VETOED: Essex caravan park plans vetoed again

Possible site location at Port Flair

Plans for a 70 pitch caravan park in Essex have been rejected by the local council for a second time.