In response to the introduction of the national living wage (NLW) last month, Le Pain Quotidien (LPQ), the all-day bakery and café concept, is to end paid staff breaks.
The Belgian café and bakery has also been criticised for failing to pass on all staff tips.
The removal of paid breaks at LPQ effectively wipes out the pay increase promised by the NLW.
The eatery cut staff perks in the weeks leading up to and after the wage was imposed on 1 April. Employers cutting staff benefits across the country have prompted the Chancellor, George Osborne, to say that those cutting paid breaks, Sunday pay, free food and overtime are not acting “within the spirit of the law”.
It has also been revealed that LPQ takes at least half of the 12.5% service charge paid by customers.
Dave Turnbull, the Unite trade union regional officer, said: “It is outrageous that, despite all the negative publicity around popular high-street chains pocketing staff tips, restaurants like Le Pain Quotidien are still taking such a huge portion of the service charge.”
In January, LPQ made its UK regional debut at Bicester Village, Oxfordshire.