Thank you. The issues with tis and tronc systems is a notoriously grey area because no specific laws or legislation deals with it. There are some rules on the tax treatment of such payments but this is not the issue here.
As far as tips are concerned, there are usually two ways for customers to pay tips to staff – either by giving them cash or by adding them to a credit card payment. Each is treated in a different way.
Tips which are voluntarily paid by customers by adding an extra amount to a credit card payment become the property of the employer. As such, the employer is allowed to keep this money but may choose to share it out amongst staff. If it is shared out amongst staff, it should be paid on top of their wages and can’t count towards ensuring the staff get paid at least the National Minimum Wage.
If a service charge is compulsory, i.e. it is added automatically to the customer's bill, it also belongs to the employer who can distribute it as they wish. However, sometimes a contract of employment says that staff are entitled to a share of the service charge. If there is a contract of employment and it says they are entitled to a share of the service charge, they must be paid their share of the charge and the employer cannot change the way it is shared out unless the affected employee agrees.
So the issue is that if you do not have a formal agreement which you can rely on to guarantee you a share of the service charge, how these payments are divvied up will be down to the employer. As mentioned the money belongs to the employer so they can decide who deals with it or how it is distributed.
A consultation was recently launched by the Government to look into the practice of tips and service charges and eventually it may lead into tightening up of the laws but as it currently stands it is very much down to the employer as to how this is dealt with.
There is still nothing stopping you from getting together and making this into a group complaint, use the grievance procedure if needed. Coming together may be better than just individuals trying to challenge this.
I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you