Young hospitality workers in Perthshire will be paid up to 40% more to help them come out of a long lockdown on furlough.
Bosses at the Atholl Arms Hotel have pledged to support staff as they return to work by paying them a “real living wage” of £9.50 per hour.
For the youngest employees, this means a 40% pay rise.
Unite the Union has named the Dunkeld hotel as one of the first Fair Hospitality employers in the area.
This means, as well as the wage increase, the hotel owner will commit to paid trials and no zero-hour contracts.
Zsolt Balogh, the executive managing director of the Atholl Arms, said it is important to him to support his staff.
“I feel that the hospitality industry and its workers have been hit by Covid-19 the hardest and I truly believe that we have to work together to come out of it,” he said.
“As a business owner I’ve had to think outside the box in order to move out of this together.
“My employees were on furlough for a long time and I know that moving on to a real living wage is very much appreciated by the team, they all will have more financial security and can focus on the job.
“My primary aim is to make hospitality work as a career, and not only a job people have to do because there’s nothing else.”
The new employment contracts will include guaranteed hours and strictly no zero-hour contracts, as well as sufficient notice of rota changes. Unite encouraged this decision so employees on hourly wages can know their monthly pay.
Further commitments include paid breaks and paid transport home after midnight.
Customers can also rest assured that all of their tips go directly to employees.
Cameron Robinson, a 23-year-old bartender at the Atholl Arms, said the pay rise “means the world” to him.
“I have worked across hospitality on as little as £5 an hour,” he said.
“As a young worker, it means the world to know that I am being treated the same as my colleagues both in terms of wages and respect.
“Other hotels and hospitality venues should follow Zsolt’s lead in adopting the Fair Hospitality Charter.
“They may find that they start attracting the very best in the industry.”
Fair treatment for all employees
Bryan Simpson, an industrial organiser for Unite Hospitality, said the agreement sets “an important precedent” for the hospitality industry.
“Many employers struggle to attract the best staff after years of poor wages and precarious contracts,” he said.
“If small, independent hotels like the Atholl Arms can take this important step, then so can enormous chain hotels.”
The Atholl Arms Hotel has agreed to encourage trade union access to collectively represent the workers.