Q- My client has a policy which lets them deduct money from waiters’ salaries if customers they are serving run out on the bill, however they have heard suggestions that this may be unlawful – is it?
A- Your client’s concerns likely stem from the fact that popular restaurant chain Wahaca recently found themselves in the public eye over suggestions they would deduct money from a waiter’s salary following a ‘dine and dash’ situation. Whilst Wahaca ultimately declared they would only exercise this contractual right in extreme circumstances, your client should note that doing so would not necessarily be unlawful.
Your client would be free to deduct money from a waiter’s salary in this situation, providing they have the individual’s prior written consent. For this reason, most employers include mention of this within their contracts of employment or employee handbooks. This practice is especially common in the service industry and as long as employees have agreed to this then your client may go ahead and deduct the cost of an unpaid meal from the responsible waiter’s salary. Read More