Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hotel Bosses Stole Tips From Staff

Banqueting managers at The Dorchester, one of the country's most prestigious hotels, have been deducting money from their staff's service charges and adding it to their own, a BBC London investigation has discovered.

A former employee says the deductions were supposedly for "poor performance" and were made without the knowledge of the workers concerned.

But a spokesman from The Dorchester, based in Park Lane, central London, said "all employees are made fully aware" of the service charge scheme rules, which comply with employment laws.

According to documents, seen by BBC London, thousands of pounds were docked from staff service charges using a "penalty points scheme" over a five-month period.

In one instance, the lowest paid worker had his service charge payment almost halved without discussion.

One hotel employee told BBC London: "I might as well have handed those managers my cash-point card and said: 'Here help yourself - here's my pin number."

Union chiefs described the practice of deducting staff bonuses for the benefit of managers, without informing employees, as "potentially illegal" and "immoral."

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