Almost 6,000 sign petition calling on government to include tronc in furlough wages
Almost 6,000 people have signed a petition calling for the government to include tronc, tips and service charge payments within the average wages of furloughed employees.
The petition, addressed to chancellor Rishi Sunak, has argued: "For many of us in the service industry, a large portion of our salary is made up of tronc/service charge. This petition is to ensure that the full salary of base rate and service charge combined is included in the calculations that decide how much 80% of our monthly earnings will be."
Earlier this week a spokesperson for HMRC said that currently, tronc is not eligible to be part of the scheme, as a form of paying tips. Further guidance has not yet been published.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said the decision was "disappointing" and urged the government to reconsider.
She said: "It is incredibly disappointing that the government has seen fit to exclude tronc payments from people's earnings. HMRC will have evidence that employees are paid tips through a tronc, so there seems no reason not to include it in the Job Retention Scheme.
"This is taxable income that team members have earned. Excluding it from the scheme means that furloughed employees will receive less money to see them through this crisis. Money they should be entitled to."
John Abbey, owner of the Abbots Elm in Cambridgeshire, told The Caterer the decision was a "huge hit" for employees who may have already lost 20% of their salaries in the furlough scheme, which covers 80% of incomes up to £2,500 a month.
On social media hospitality workers said the exclusion would see them lose a large chunk of their average monthly income and add their voices to the call on government to reconsider the terms of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
The scheme was introduced by chancellor Rishi Sunak to cover 80% of the wages of workers whose jobs have all but disappeared during the lockdown put in place following the coronavirus outbreak.
Grants to cover wages will be backdated until 1 March and will be available for at least three months from this date. Sunak said there would be no limit to the amount of funding that will be available via the scheme as he unveiled what he called "unprecedented measures for unprecedented times".
To add your name to the petition click here.
Rotaready and TipJar have produced a furlough calculator to help hospitality workers calculate their monthly take home under the CJRS. To find out more click here.