Trade unions and other campaigners have called for legislation to ban unfair tipping practices following media reports in 2015 of employers in UK restaurant chains and the wider hospitality industry taking a proportion of employees’ tips.
The Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill is a private member’s bill sponsored by Lord Robathan to introduce a legal obligation on employers to ensure all tips, gratuities and service charges are paid to workers in full, without deductions. The bill makes similar provision for troncs, which are special payment arrangements recognised by the HMRC, to help organisations fairly distribute tips, gratuities and service charges.
The bill will also allow the introduction of a new code of practice on the fair distribution of tips and gratuities to ensure fairness and transparency in how they are allocated, as well as the introduction of an enforcement procedure for staff to make complaints if they feel their employers are failing to distribute tips fairly.
The Conservatives pledged to prevent restaurants and bars deducting money from tips in their 2019 manifesto, and although the government has committed to introducing such legislation, nothing has been brought forward.
Conservative MP Virginia Crosbie has since sponsored the bill which has now progressed to the House of Lords for further analysis where concerns have been raised regarding its prolonged delay, given the simplicity of the bill and cross-party support.
It is estimated that hospitality staff lose out on £200m a year, and with the current cost-of-living crisis on the forefront of many workers’ minds, the passing of this bill will provide welcome financial reassurance for those who are not receiving the money that they are due from the tips that they have earned.
If you’re an employer in the hospitality or leisure industry and require any further advice regarding this matter, give the team a call on 01942 727200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further advice.