Coronavirus: ‘tronc’ payments should be included

UK Hospitality is calling on the UK Government to include ‘tronc’ payments – money normally distributed to staff which is earned through tips, service charges and gratuities – in the amount paid to furloughed hospitality workers under the Job Retention Scheme.

The Job Retention Scheme will allow businesses to claim 80% of their employees’ monthly staff wages, up to £2500 per employee. The scheme is expected to go live by the end of this month, with pay backdated to March 1.

However, the government has said tronc payments will not be included.

UK Hospitality’s chief executive, Kate Nicholls, said the decision to exclude tronc payments from the scheme is “incredibly disappointing”.

“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,” said Nicholls.

“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.

“Hospitality employees put in a huge amount of hard work to earn their tips, often going above and beyond to give customers a fantastic experience. At such a difficult time for the country, people’s hard work should be acknowledged, and those people should be supported. Not doing so only risks putting additional, unnecessary pressure on the welfare system.

“Hospitality businesses are doing their best to support employees during extraordinarily difficult times. But with zero revenue and persistent demands on cash from landlords and others, there is only so much they can do. Including tronc payments in the Job Retention Scheme would give more people some much-needed support, and we hope the government reconsiders.”