Hospitality staff shortages over the Christmas holiday period could be filled by thousands of workers left stranded by the collapse of Deliveroo, according to industry bodies.

More than 15,000 delivery riders were left without a job when the UK-based company last week announced plans to leave Australia, placing local operations into administration.

Australian Hotels Association (AHA) National president, David Canny, said anyone who lost their job should consider working in hospitality because the sector is desperate for staff.

“More than 100,000 positions were vacant across the sector nationally, and hotels were being forced to close on certain days or reduce hours during their busiest period because they simply do not have the staff,” Canny said.

A recent study by Ernst and Young found the Australian hospitality industry was short around 23,000 baristas, 13,000 bartenders, 12,000 chefs, 7000 housekeepers and more than 11,000 kitchen hands.

“It’s a terrible time of year to be out of work,” Canny said.

“Hotels are a fun place to work, we offer good wages, job security and training.”

Tasmanian Hospitality Association CEO, Steve Old, said staff shortages in the hospitality industry remain the biggest hurdle across the Apple Isle.

“It is only going to be exacerbated in the coming weeks and months when the end-of-year work functions begin and tourists begin flocking south,” Old said.

“Anyone impacted by Deliveroo’s demise should strongly contemplate joining the hospitality family.”

There are also broader concerns for those left with outstanding wage payments by the company.

Dr Greig Taylor from the University of NSW’s Business School said Deliveroo workers are likely to be left stranded by the company’s sudden exit.

“They are not classed as employees and therefore have few employment protections, including entitlement to retrenchment compensation,” Dr Taylor said.

Those who are owed money in wages are being categorised as “unsecured creditors” by KordaMentha, the firm in charge of the voluntary liquidation, giving them little legal protection and making them a lower priority than other creditors when it comes to recouping funds.

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