Hospitality staff will be able to keep their well-deserved tips from grateful customers under new legislation that has been backed by Government.
Although customers may leave cash to say thank you to their waiter staff, many employers still keep the money for themselves. For card payments, it is even harder to keep track of where the money has gone. Staff, many earning National Minimum Wage, may see a small percentage, but in too many cases are likely to be left empty-handed.
The Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill, introduced by Dean Russell MP and backed by the Government, will ensure that all tips go to staff by making it unlawful for businesses to hold back well-earned service charges from their employees.
This overhaul of tipping practices is set to benefit more than 2 million UK workers across the hospitality, leisure and services sectors – who tend to rely on tips the most – and will help to ease pressures caused by global inflation and an increase to the cost of living.
Fair deal for millions
Dean Russell, Conservative MP for Watford, said: “I am delighted that my Tips Bill has passed second reading in Parliament. It is fantastic that we are on track to securing a fair deal for millions of people working in hospitality across the country.
“It has always felt wrong that some employers have retained tips intended for their staff. This new legislation will halt this practice, particularly given the current challenges around the cost of living. I would like to thank all of the businesses and stakeholders that have got in touch to voice their support.
“The move towards a cashless society has exacerbated the problem of companies keeping card tip payments for themselves, and these measures, once in law, will ban that practice.
Business Minister Jane Hunt said: “At a time when people are feeling the squeeze with rising costs, it is simply not right that employers are withholding tips from their hard-working employees.
“Whether you are pulling pints or greeting guests, these reforms will ensure that staff receive a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work – and it means customers can be confident their money is going to those who deserve it.”
Request for information
Through the Bill, a new statutory Code of Practice will be developed to provide businesses and staff with advice on how tips should be distributed. On top of this, workers will receive a new right to request more information relating to an employer’s tipping record, enabling them to bring forward a credible claim to an employment tribunal.
UK Hospitality Chief Executive, Kate Nicholls, said: “Tips and service charges provide a significant and welcome boost to hospitality employees’ take-home cash. So we’re delighted to see this proposed legislation recommend that employers can set a fair distribution policy for staff, meaning they all benefit. This should also reassure prospective hospitality sector workers at a time when the industry is seeking to fill vacancies.”