Las Iguanas restaurant bosses hit back over ‘pay to work’ claim

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  • Latin American chain has eaterie at Gunwharf Quays
  • 40,000 sign petition against firm’s policy
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A LATIN American restaurant has defended its pay policy amid claims staff are being treated unfairly.

Restaurant chain Las Iguanas, which has an eatery at Gunwharf Quays, has hit back at claims its staff are being left out-of-pocket.

It comes as a petition launched on 38 Degrees, a public campaign platform, has been signed by more than 40,000 people in the UK.

It criticises the firm’s policy whereby table staff are required to pay their employers three per cent of table sales they generate on each shift. Therefore, if they sold £100 worth of food, they would have to pay £3.

This is meant to come from tips given to waiting staff. But the company has stressed that if a waiter gets no tips during a shift, they do not have to pay any money back.

And the share given back is given out to non-waiting staff and is invested in training and incentives, said Las Iguanas.

A spokesman said the tipping policy was ‘well-established for around 20 years’.

Their statement added: ‘Claims we make staff pay to work are ridiculous as it is illegal and bears no resemblance to our actual policy.’

It added: ‘All of our employees are paid in line with or above national minimum wage.’

The row has come as the government is been accused of “window dressing” after announcing a crackdown against firms that fail to pay staff the new national living wage.