Petition for Tronc payments to be included in furlough wages hits 6,000 signatures

A petition launched on calling for the government furlough scheme to include tronc payments for hospitality staff has hit over 6,000 signatures.

Currently, under the Job Retention Scheme, tronc payments such as tips and gratuities are not not included in the amount paid to furloughed workers.

The petition, created last week and addressed to the chancellor Rishi Sunak, reads: “A lot of us are breathing a sigh of relief thanks to the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme but 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.”

The news comes just days after the hospitality trade body UKHospitality urged the Government to reconsider its decision to exclude tronc payments from the scheme.

At the time UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said the decision by the government was “incredibly disappointing” and she sees tronc payments as money furloughed hospitality workers “should be entitled to”.

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.”

She added: “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.”

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