A qualitative investigation into the experiences of workers in the hospitality sector in Scotland

Appendix A: Interview guide

Introduction and consent (3 mins)

Thank you for participating in this interview. My name is _____________ and I am a researcher at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR). We are an independent research organisation and a registered charity. We are conducting a research project on the experiences of people working in the hospitality sector in Scotland. This is funded by the Fair Work Convention, an independent body that advises the Scottish Government. For this project, we are interviewing people like yourself to find out more about your experiences of work in the hospitality sector. We really want to hear about your personal experiences and learn more about how things are – and how things have been – for you at work. The interview will last between 45-60 minutes.

All the information you provide will be treated in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone outside of the research team at NIESR. All the findings will be analysed and reported anonymously. This means that your name and any other identifiable characteristics, such as your workplace and job title, will be either removed or changed in any reports or publications resulting from the research, so that you cannot be identified in any way. Crucially, we will not tell your employer that you have participated in this research, and we will not reveal to them anything that we discuss in the interview. Your participation is voluntary, so you are free to withdraw at any stage without giving a reason, and you are free to decline to answer any of the questions. With your permission, interviews will be recorded so that I can listen back and ensure that I have not missed anything you have said. These recordings will be stored on secure servers. Please can you confirm that you are willing to take part in this research? [obtain consent]. Please can you confirm that you are happy for this interview to be recorded? [obtain consent]. [start recorder after consent obtained]. Do you have any questions before we start?

About you and your work (5 mins)

Could you tell me briefly about yourself: your age, your living situation, and anything else that you think is important to know?

Could you tell me about your current job?

- Who do you work for? [probe for size, location, type of venue]

- What does your job involve?

How long have you worked there?

Why did you apply for this job?

− Do you remember how you found out about the job?

− How did you find the recruitment process?

What did you do before this job? [try to obtain brief job history, focusing particularly on: experiences in hospitality sector/reasons for leaving previous jobs]

Have you ever been in full time or part time education? [try to obtain information on education levels, and any other qualifications]

Are there things you particularly like about your job? Are there things you do not like about your job?

Experiences of migration (5 mins)

Have you ever lived or worked outside Scotland?

[If born outside Scotland]

When did you come to Scotland? [probe for brief history of migration pathway]

Why did you leave [home country]? What were your hopes for moving to [destination]?

Did you have a job arranged in [destination] before you left [home country]? [probe for details on recruitment process]

- [if not] How did you find work when you arrived in [destination]?

What work did you do in [home country]?

Did you obtain any qualifications in [home country]?

What type of visa or legal status do you hold?

- Do you have any concerns about your status, now or in the future?

- Do you think your status affects your job?

- Does your employer sponsor your visa? Do they have any role in determining your legal status?

Does this ever affect your relationship with your employer?

Working conditions: contract and hours (5 mins)

Do you have a contract? What type of contract? [check if self-employed]

- Have you ever been offered a choice of contracts?

Are you happy with your contract? Why/why not?

- What sort of contract would you prefer?

- How does your contract now compare with contracts you have had in the past?

What hours do you work?

- Has this changed since you started your job?

- Has your employer asked you to opt-out of the 'Working Time Directive's 48 h/week maximum'?

How often do your hours change?

- When do you find out about your hours? [probe for max/min amount of notice given of hours]

- Are you ever called in to work at the last minute?

- Are you ever sent home early?

Are you paid in full as planned in these cases?

- Who decides on your hours? How are these communicated to you?

- How many hours do you have between shifts? [probe both for lack of breaks, as well as long unpaid breaks]

Do you know how many hours you are entitled to by law between shifts? [probe for specific answer]

How does it affect you when your hours change at short notice? [probe for childcare plans/financial security/effect on social or family life].

Can you request particular hours?

- What happens if you do not want to work the hours offered?

- What happens if you need to change your hours?

Are you happy with the number of hours you work? Why/why not? [probe for how this might vary in different time periods; also probe specifically for effects on social and family life].

- Have you ever asked to increase / decrease your hours? Why/why not?

What response did you receive?

- How do your hours compare to your colleagues? To other similar jobs in different venues?

What are the advantages of these working hours/type of contract for you? What are the disadvantages?

How are your hours recorded? Is this always accurate?

Do you get paid breaks at work?

- Are these fixed times? [probe for who supervises this]

- Where do you go on your breaks? Is there anything you're not allowed to do?

- What do you do if you need a break outside of fixed times?

- Are you aware of how many paid breaks you are entitled to by law? [probe for specific answer]

How easy is it to get time off when you need it?

- Have you ever requested time off? For what reason? What was the response?

- Is there a formal notice period/process to ask for time off?

Are you aware of your workplace's HR policies? Do you know how to access them?

Pay and benefits (5 mins)

How much are you paid?

- How did you end up with this pay (probe for: advertised at this level, negotiations when recruited, increases)?

Has your pay changed in recent years?

- How did this increase come about? (probe for: formal process, negotiations, new job)

Are you always paid what you expect to be paid? [probe for: process for recording hours, travel expenses, unclear unpaid breaks]

- Are you always paid when you expect to be paid?

Do you have deductions from your pay? [probe for: docking pay for breakages/deductions for transport/uniform/meals/housing]

Do you think your pay is fair?

- How does your pay compare to your colleagues?

- How does your pay compare to other similar jobs?

Do you receive any other benefits from employer [probe for: accommodation, food, travel, bonuses]

Do you receive tips? How do tips work in your workplace? [probe for how they are collected and distributed/management deductions]

How much do you take home in tips? [probe for how this changes over time]

- Do you think this is fair?

- Has this changed at all with COVID?

Do you receive sick pay?

Do you receive holiday pay?

- How is this recorded? Do you believe it to be accurate?

Have you ever been asked to keep information to yourself? [probe for: pay, working hours, anything else?]

Impacts of broader social, economic, and political context (5 mins)

Has anything changed for you at work since Brexit?

Did the COVID pandemic affect your ability to work?

If lost job or furloughed

- How did it affect your pay?

- How did you feel about this?

- Did you receive any support from your employer?

- What did you do during these periods?

- Do you feel you had similar experiences to colleagues? What about to other venues with similar roles?

If continued to work: How did you feel about working during periods of restrictions?

Has anything changed in your workplace due to COVID? [probe for worker numbers and turnover/hygiene restrictions/extra work/enforcing COVID-19 rules/customer confidence/ 'Eat Out To Help Out' / catching COVID-19 and/or isolating]

- Do you think these changes will stay in place?

- Did you receive any support with this?

Did you have times when you had to self-isolate? What were you paid during these times?

Are you being affected by the rising cost of living, such as the increased cost of food, gas, oil and/or electricity?

Has the COVID pandemic affected how you see your work, and your future plans?

- Do you think the situation is getting worse, better or is about the same?

Health and well-being (5 mins)

Do you find – or have you ever found – that your health is affected by work? [probe for: accidents, illness]

- Have you ever taken time off work due to accident or illness?

Do you find – or have you ever found – that your mental health is affected by work, either positively or negatively?

- For example, some people experience their work as a source of satisfaction and contentment. For others, it can contribute to feelings of worry, stress or anxiety, or to feeling down or sad. Do any of those experiences apply to you?

Training and progression (5 mins)

Do you feel that you have the necessary skills and experience to carry out your work?

Do you feel your current job makes good use of your skill set and your talents?

Why/why not?

Are there opportunities to learn new skills in this job?

- Would you be interested in these? Why/why not?

- What sort of skills would you like to gain? How would you like to do this?

Have you ever received any training at work? [specify that this includes on-the-job training, as well as training outside work]

Have you ever been offered any other training at work? Why did you complete this training or why did you not?

- Were you offered pay for this training?

Are there opportunities to progress up/move up in your job?

- Are you interested in these?

- Do you think you have the same opportunities as your colleagues or others in the sector?

Do you want to stay in this job? Why/why not? What sort of work would you like to do in the future?

- Do you think you would find it easy to find this work? Why/why not?

- How confident do you feel in applying for this work?

- Do you think your experience in this job will help you achieve these future plans?

Relationships at work (5 mins)

How do you find your customers at work?

How do you find your relationships with your colleagues at work?

How regularly do people leave? How regularly do new people join?

- What are the advantages/disadvantages of this?

Has this changed in recent years?

Do you feel that people listen to each other opinions at work?

Do you feel comfortable sharing your views and opinions at work?

Do you feel you can be yourself at work?

- Do you feel comfortable with talking about your personal life at work?

Would you ask your colleagues for help you if you were feeling worried or upset about something at work? Or in your personal life?

Have you ever felt uncomfortable or distressed by the behaviour or comments of someone at work? [probe for customer, colleague, manager]

- Did you seek any help?

- Did you receive any support?

Have you ever witnessed other people feeling uncomfortable or distressed by the comments or someone at work?

- Did anyone seek any help?

- Did anyone receive any support?

Have you ever felt unsafe at work?

- Did you seek any help?

- Did you receive any support?

- Have you found any patterns to these experiences [probe for: time of day, gender, sale of alcohol, working alone, enforcing COVID-19 rules]

Have you ever experienced harassment or bullying at work? [probe for customer, colleague, manager]

- Did you seek any help?

- Did you receive any support?

- Have you found any patterns to these experiences [probe for: time of day, gender, sale of alcohol, working alone, enforcing COVID-19 rules]

Have you ever experienced discrimination at work? [probe for customer, colleague, manager]

- Did you seek any help?

- Did you receive any support?

Effective voice at work (5 mins)

Who do you report to at work?

How regularly do you meet with this person? [probe for any formal or semi-formal processes, like appraisals, regular 1:1 catch-ups]

How is your relationship with this person?

- If you had a concern or issue that you were worried about, would you talk to them about it?

Do you think it would be acted on?

Is there anyone else you would go to?

Are you ever involved in decisions about how things are run or done at work?

Do you feel your opinions about how things are run matter at work?

Do you feel that the opinions of your colleagues matter more, less or about the same as you?

Are you a member of a trade union?

[if yes] What have your experiences with a union been?

[if no]

- Have you ever considered becoming a member?

- What do you think it would involve to join?

- What do you think the advantages or disadvantages would be?

- How do you think your employer would react?

- Have you ever approached any other organisation for support at work eg. Citizen's advice bureau or Better Than Zero?

Home life (5 mins)

Where do you live? Who do you live with?

Are you happy with your living arrangements? Do you wish to change these in the future?

- Would you like to stay in the area or move?

How easy will it be to stay in the area? How easy will it be to move?

How do you get to and from work?

- How do you find this? [probe for cost, time, ease, safety concerns]

- Is your cost of travel reimbursed/paid?

How do you spend your time when you are not working?

Finally, is there anything that you would really like to change or improve at work?