Hospitality re-opening


As the UK continues on the roadmap to easing lockdown, on the 17th May 2021 Hospitality businesses begin to reopen their doors.

From the 12th April 2021, Hospitality businesses were allowed to serve food and drinks outdoors but this did not relieve the stress of lockdown for many businesses that did not have any outdoor capacity, and for those that did open it was a battle against the notoriously unpredictable British weather.

However, it is hoped that with businesses now allowed to serve patrons indoors that the Hospitality industry may begin to make its recovery. We are certainly delighted that our hospitality clients, who we have been supporting with their furlough claims for the last 14 months, are finally being able to get back to business.

In light of this, our experts have pulled together the top payroll considerations for Hospitality businesses as they begin to re-open.

Bringing staff back from furlough

With hospitality venues forced to remain closed for lockdown, most businesses in the industry will have had staff on furlough. As they return to the workplace, it is important to follow the rules concerning bringing them back to work.

Unlike the early days of furlough the latest iteration, Flexible Furlough has no restrictions on how many (or how few) hours staff can work when they come back to work. If they are working less than their usual hours, the business can claim non-working hours against the Flexible Furlough scheme. It is also important to know that this doesn’t have to be a blanket decision across all staff. Some staff could be brought back full time and others on reduced hours, and those hours can be different for each employee.

Until 30th June 2021, Employers pay hours staff work in full and the wages can be topped up by furlough to 80% with a cap of £2,500 per month. National Insurance and Pension contributions must be paid by the employer.

From 1st July 2021, the claimable amount reduces to 70% with a cap of £2,187.50 per month. Then from the 1st of August 2021 until the end of the scheme on 30th September 2021, the claimable amount will drop to 60% with a £1,875 per month cap.

Employment Laws and Tax changes since lockdown started

There have been several updates that have occurred since the UK lockdowns. These include new National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates, changes to Personal Allowance which will result in more money in an employee’s pay packet and the increase to Apprenticeship Allowance (now £3,000 for new Apprentices regardless of their age.)

For full details of the updates, and the new rates, our Legislative Guide is available to download and view for free.

Managing tips and gratuities

Contactless card and card payments are being recommended, and therefore more tips are being paid on card payments. Businesses will need to have a plan to handle these tips now that they are no longer being paid in cash, and the most effective way to do this is through a Tronc scheme.

Additionally, as we mentioned in our recent blog post “No mention of the Employment Rights Bill in the Queen’s speech” it is expected that legislation to give staff 100% of tips is coming, although it is not yet in place.  With the added pressure of increased card payments, it is a good time to look at managing your tips with a Tronc scheme, which Dataplan can help you with.

Written by Rachel Cooke
Published on May 18, 2021

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