The hotel and accommodations sector is one of the hardest-hit industries by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hotels have continued to provide frontline, labour-intensive services to the public throughout the pandemic while also experiencing historically low occupancy levels resulting in mass layoffs. This raises occupational health and safety concerns for workers still on the job as well as job and income insecurity concerns for laid-off workers.
It’s also a highly segmented labour force with lower-paid cleaning staff, for example, who are predominately female, racialized, immigrant, or migrant workers. This raises health equity concerns that must be understood and addressed.
The purpose of this report is to:
1. Identify the emerging health and health equity impacts of COVID-19 on hotel workers in the Greater Toronto Area, particularly with regard to occupational health and safety and job and income security;
2. Understand the adequacy of existing policies and protections aimed at supporting the health and well-being of workers; and
3. Highlight opportunities for addressing emerging health and health equity impacts and any inadequacies that may exist with policies and protections.