A Scottish hotel group has declared its plans to tackle the ongoing hospitality industry recruitment crisis by offering a range of "lifestyle benefits" including pet bereavement leave.

Crerar Hotels, which is looking to recruit 35 people across its portfolio of seven luxury properties, said it is committing more than £1 million towards attracting, retaining and developing the best talent.

The group's revamped employee benefits package is designed to be more attuned to how employees live and work. New perks include contributions towards driving lessons, paid time off the day children start primary school, a compulsory day off on employees’ birthdays and pet bereavement leave - the first hospitality company to do so in the country.

The group has also invested in it its own Crerar Academy as a way of helping employees develop their skills and gain qualifications through working in the hospitality industry.

HeraldScotland: The Isle of Mull Hotel and SpaThe Isle of Mull Hotel and Spa

“We’re coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic in a relatively fortunate position regarding our ability to invest in attracting and retaining talent," chief executive Chris Wayne-Wills said. "We planned meticulously for the impact Brexit was set to have on the industry’s workforce, so we are ahead of the game.

“There’s no doubt that the hospitality industry is in crisis when it comes to availability of skills – a crisis we have all met far sooner than expected due to the double impact of the pandemic and the fall-out of Brexit.

“In response we’ve accelerated our plans that are focused on not only becoming an employer of choice within the Scottish hospitality industry, but to become a first-choice employer regardless of sector.”

HeraldScotland: Chris Wayne-WillsChris Wayne-Wills

The group's portfolio includes the Loch Fyne Hotel & Spa; Thainstone House; Oban Bay Hotel; Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa; Golf View; The Glencoe Inn; and Deeside Inn. All employees will have access to the newaly-created Crerar Academy.

“Not only are we offering the opportunity to constantly learn and upskill, we’re offering a range of benefits that really stand out – and fit in with the realities of life outside of work," Mr Wayne-Wills added.

"Our paid time off for the first day of primary school ensures parents don’t miss out on one of their children’s most important milestones, and as a proudly dog-friendly hotel group, our pet bereavement days recognise the importance people place on pets as a part of the family."