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Pub and hospitality trade bodies publish track and trace guidance for businesses 

Leading trade associations representing the UK’s pub and hospitality sectors have today issued joint guidance to businesses on supporting the Government’s track and trace customer registration scheme.

The guidance has been jointly produced by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) and UKHospitality. It aims to provide clarity to enable businesses to take positive steps towards achieving the scheme’s public health objectives, as well as businesses’ obligations and practical tips to implement a successful scheme.

The core principles of the scheme, its objectives and practical solutions are explained, including:

·     What information should be recorded

·     How the information should be recorded

·     Relevant issues regarding GDPR.

In a joint statement, the trade bodies said: “There has been a significant amount of interest from both businesses and customers about the track and trace scheme and some confusion also.

“It is a core component of the safe reopening of businesses and it is something that all venues are going to have to get to grips with. This can help us to avoid a second spike and the disastrous consequences that would entail, for society and business.

“This guidance provides clear instructions to businesses on their obligations and reminds them why it is important that they make a success of the scheme. It is in the interests of everyone in the country that we all understand our role in the scheme and its importance in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Businesses are urged to read the guidance thoroughly and ensure that they have the proper procedures in place before they reopen their doors to customers. If they are unsure abut any element, they should contact their trade association immediately.” 

The Tips Bill receives Royal Assent

The Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill 2023, otherwise known as ‘The Tips Bill’ was given Royal Assent at the beginning of this month, meaning that thousands of workers could be set to receive a higher take home wage, especially within the hospitality sector. 

What Does the Act Mean?
The act creates new legal obligations for employers who will be required to fairly allocate tips over which they exercise control or significant influence and pay them to workers in full, within a month of the payment being made by the customer. 

Where tips are paid on more than an occasional and exceptional basis, the employer will also be required to have a written policy, available to all workers, that sets out how qualifying tips are dealt with. This bill will therefore make it unlawful for service charges to be held back from staff, however it is paid by the customer, ensuring that staff receive the tips that they have earned.

Maintaining Tip Records
The act goes further than just the allocation of tips, and now means that employers must maintain a record of qualifying tips and their allocation, which must be kept for 3 years. As staff will have the right to request this information, it may result in challenges about their employers’ practices increasing, which could result in a higher uptake of employment tribunal claims.

Staff will be allowed to raise a complaint to the employment tribunal within 12 months of the failure to comply with the new obligations, once they officially come into force and these rights also extend to agency workers, which could widen the scope for tribunal claims considerably.  

Code of Practice
The government is also expected to produce a Code of Practice to provide businesses and staff with advice on best practises on how tips should be allocated. This will be subject to formal consultation later on this year.

Whilst the act is expected to come into force around May 2024, the government is yet to set an official date. However now it has passed the final stage of approval, it will most certainly be coming into force at some point within the next year. 

Need More Help?
Should you require assistance with understanding your new obligations or drafting a policy to ensure that you remain legally compliant, then please get in touch at 
[email protected] or if you're a BII Member log in to receive support here

Pubs and restaurants struggle to remain optimistic with average energy costs up 80% on last year

New industry-wide data shows just 29% of hospitality businesses feel optimistic about the next 12 months, with energy their biggest concern, prompting an alliance of trade bodies to once again make a plea for Government to direct energy suppliers to offer fair rates.

The survey asked people running pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality businesses about their operations and prospects and highlighted how critical the energy crisis has become for the industry over the past year; with 86% of respondents concerned or very concerned about energy costs and the average bill now up by 81% since last year and three times more than in 2021.

Data collected by CGA Insight on behalf of the British Institute of Innkeeping, UKHospitality, the British Beer and Pub Association and Hospitality Ulster showed businesses that were forced into long-term fixed rate contracts between July and September 2022, as energy prices continued to rise, felt the least optimistic about their prospects over the next 12 months.

Of those businesses that locked into a contract at the peak of the energy crisis between July and September almost half (46%) felt their business was at risk of failure in the next 12 months, with 92% citing energy prices as a significant contributor to that risk. These businesses were also less likely to have cash reserves and almost half (46%) of all respondents had less than three months’ worth.

Responding to the data, BII, BBPA, UKHospitality and Hospitality Ulster are once again calling on Government to insist energy suppliers offer renegotiations to businesses locked into sky high contracts, or at least offer financial support to those at acute risk.
In a joint statement the trade bodies said:

"The energy crisis has been pushing pubs, bars and restaurants to breaking point for a year now. The Energy Bill Relief Scheme provided a short respite but with that falling away last month businesses are back to paying high costs, with no end in sight for the thousands locked into contracts who will be obligated to pay extortionate rates well into next year. 

"Put simply, this data is extremely worrying for thousands of otherwise viable hospitality businesses. No profits means nothing to invest back into businesses, no cash reserves means nothing to fall back on, and businesses being forced to close means important, irreplaceable assets being lost from local communities and economies across the country forever. The Government must recognise this crisis isn't just crippling businesses now. Left unresolved it will have a lasting wider impact long into the future, impacting local employment, supply chains and removing essential community hubs from villages, towns and cities across the whole of the UK.

"Suppliers must be instructed to offer renegotiation to businesses locked into long-term, high-cost contracts, whilst businesses on the brink should be offered direct, targeted support. The people running pubs, bars and restaurants in neighbourhoods across the UK want to remain there and provide the absolute best for their communities but feel they are fighting a losing battle, they need support now."

In addition to call for immediate action on energy costs, respondents to the survey also cited relief to VAT and wholesale reform to business rates as longer-term measures to support the industry and enable businesses to invest and grow. 


Find the survey results from BII Member respondents here.

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