Wales politics

'Toilet tax' hits call centre staff, says MP

toilets direction sign
Image caption Trade unions have called for a change in the law to stop pay deductions for comfort breaks

Call centre staff are being hit with a "toilet tax" for leaving their desks, an MP has claimed.

Bridgend MP Madeleine Moon said a constituent found he had lost £50 from his month's pay for "toilet visits".

She said it seemed staff were "fined" for comfort breaks despite being given "copious amounts of water" to help them keep speaking to customers.

Trade unions have called for workers to be given specific legal rights to use toilets without pay deductions.

During business questions at Westminster, Ms Moon told House of Commons leader William Hague: "A constituent found his payslip contained a deduction of £50.

"When he asked why he was told it was for toilet visits.

"It appears that call centre staff, while provided with copious amounts of water to keep their voices lubricated, are also then fined for going to the toilet.

"Can we have a debate on the toilet tax?"

'Harassment'

Mr Hague replied: "Well, that is a new proposition for the House to have a debate on.

"I'm sure you will wish to pursue this directly - I'm sure you are doing, you're nodding to that - with the company concerned.

"If it was a widespread issue or problem there might well be demand for this in the House but I hope you're able to resolve this for your constituents without us having to debate it on the floor of the House."

The TUC recently noted that workers do not have a legal right to go to the toilet during working hours without losing pay, and called for the law to be changed.

It said: "There is also a need for a specific legal right to use toilets in the employer's time [as opposed to the employee's time] without a deduction in pay, and without any harassment."

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