Industry sector:

Public house: Wages


Money which you take from the business to cover your own personal living expenses is known as 'Drawings'. This should not be included here, but will be dealt with elsewhere in the cash flow.

Before you can make an estimate of the wages you will pay each month to your employees you will need to identify the work that must be done and how many people will be needed to do it.

Staff duties

You may need staff to:

  • manage and/or work behind the bar
  • act as a door supervisor when necessary (door supervisors must be registered with the Security Industry Authority (SIA))
  • receive deliveries and look after the cellar
  • cook and serve food
  • clear tables and clean up generally
  • clean letting bedrooms and deal with the bed and breakfast side of the business
  • do the paperwork

You and your partner or spouse will probably undertake many of the above tasks, but you may need additional staff as well.

The wages you pay your staff will depend to some extent on what is the going rate in your area. The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), which is carried out by the government, gives average weekly wages (national and regional) for a wide range of different types of job. The Survey is available online on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) website.

Don't forget:

  • bar staff must be properly trained - see the British Institute of Innkeeping website (BIIAB) for details of relevant bar person qualifications
  • you could use a combination of full and part-time staff
  • the National Minimum Wage Act sets a minimum amount that you must pay your staff. Workers aged 25 and over receive a Living Wage premium on top of the standard National Minimum Wage
  • there is employment legislation which you should be aware of
  • if you take over a pub, existing staff will have certain rights
  • you will have to pay employer's National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and you will have to operate PAYE in 'real time'. You may have to make employers' minimum contributions to an auto-enrolment pension scheme too
  • employers face substantial fines if they employ illegal workers

In the cash flow, just put the amounts you will actually pay to staff after you have deducted NICs and PAYE - you will show these separately. Include here the cost of staff pensions.