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Heron & Brearley defends new tip policy

Pub chain under fire following change in procedure

Island pub chain Heron and Brearley has come under fire from the public, and members of its own workforce, following changes to its tipping policy.

Emails sent out to staff members this week explained a new procedure in which all tips - cash or card - must go through the till before they're re-distributed to staff.

H&B says all tips will then be pooled together and paid out to staff members based on the number of hours they've worked that month.

One anonymous worker told Manx Radio the new policy takes away from those who're trying to provide a good service:

"The problem isn’t declaring the tips; tips are declared in accordance with income tax law, the problem lies with pooling tips and paying them to staff on a pro rata basis.

"When working for minimum wage on a zero hour contract, tips are what make the job worthwhile.

"Card tips have always been an option during the time I’ve worked at a H&B pub but not once has the money tipped on card made it to my payslip. When customers ask to tip on card, I thank them but advise them not to do so. 

"After everything that hospitality staff have endured during the pandemic, this feels like another low blow on the income of low paid staff, one that is making me personally consider looking for employment elsewhere."

Heron and Brearley Ltd sent the following response to Manx Radio;

"We have recently updated our policy on tips to ensure a fair and transparent approach in all of our pubs.

"All tips, whether paid by cash or card, are entered through our till system by each pub and pooled among the staff at that pub as normal. The main change is that, going forward, tips will now be distributed through our payroll system on a monthly basis to the staff who have worked at the pub during that month, based on the number of hours worked.

"The updated policy recognises that everyone working at our pubs contributes to the overall customer experience. It is a more inclusive and fairer approach that rewards all those working hard to provide a great customer experience and is modelled on best practice across the industry.

"In line with Isle of Man legislation tips are treated in the same manner as any other form of remuneration and are subject to appropriate statutory deductions. Apart from this no other deductions are made and staff receive 100 per cent of tips."

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