Government updates JRS guidance to confirm the exclusion of tronc

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Government updates Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance to confirm the exclusion of tronc

Related tags: Coronavirus, Job Retention Scheme, Government, Jonathan Downey, tronc

Updated Government guidance has stipulated that tronc payments cannot be claimed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS), a move that’s been described as “disastrous” for furloughed hospitality employees.

The subject of whether or not employers should include tronc when calculating employee’s wages for the JRS has caused a great deal of debate within the industry in recent weeks. 

When it was first announced last month, Government guidance stated that employers could claim a grant through HMRC to cover 80% of an employee’s regular wage up to £2,500 per month, but that “fees, commission and bonuses should not be included”.

This was updated in early April to say that “discretionary bonus (including tips) and commission payments and non-cash payments” should be excluded.

In both instances tronc was not referenced directly, however, HMRC had said that as a method of paying tips, it wasn’t eligible under the scheme.

The latest update​ now reads that you cannot include “payments made at the discretion of the employer or a client - where the employer or client was under no contractual obligation to pay, including: any tips, including those distributed through troncs”.

In a Tweet​, London Union’s Jonathan Downey, who is currently leading a #NationalTimeOut campaign calling for a nine-month rent-free period to help the sector survive, said: “This is disastrous for people working in hospitality, many of whom earn half of their pay through tronc.

“This CANNOT be what the JRS intended to exclude and Government has made a mistake here.”

The online portal for making claims under the JRS went live on Monday, with more than 140,000 UK businesses applying to the scheme on the first day.

Related topics: Business

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