15 September 2009

The tips policies of restaurant operators, normally only a discussion point for disgruntled waiting staff and tax experts, was thrust into the public consciousness in 2008 when two national newspapers piggybacked a union campaign calling on the Government to outlaw the practice of using tips to make up staff pay to minimum wage.

The Independent and Daily Mirror coverage, based on a Unite campaign, saw a number major restaurant groups in the firing line for paying waiting staff as little as £2 an hour basic salary, with non-cash tips making up the shortfall.

And despite industry pleas, firstly to keep the loophole in the law open and then, when that failed, to delay implementation of new legislation because of the recession, the Government announced the practice was to be outlawed in May 2009.

The announcement meant that, from October 2009, all staff must be paid a salary of at least the national minimum wage - £5.80 per hour for adults aged 22 and over - with tips on top.

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) estimated this would cost the industry £450m, threatening 45,000 jobs. Italian restaurant chain Carluccio's, for example, was thought to be facing a bill of about £1m to make up the shortfall

The Department for Business rejected the BHA's claims that the changes will cost the hospitality industry £450m, instead estimating the cost would be around £92m.

On this page, we round up all the news, analysis and comment on one of the most controversial issues to affect the hospitality industry in recent years.

News on

Using tips to make up minimum wage to be outlawed in October Unions and consumer groups welcome Government decision on tips

Unions and consumer groups welcome Government decision on tips

BHA unveils its first code of practice on tipping

Government rejects job loss argument against tipping reform

Annabel's owners lose staff tips case appeal against tax man

Waiters demonstrate outside Commons over tips

Government legislation on tips is misguided, say operators

Loch Fyne dragged into tips row

Wagamama gives customers tipping information on menus

Fair tip campaign launches in Manchester

Michelin chefs back calls for government to close tips loophole

Newspaper launches fair pay campaign

Annabels appeals against tronc ruling

HMRC appeal over NMW tronc payments will affect few businesses

Trade union Unite joins forces with newspaper over tips

Unite continues campaign for fair tips with protest outside Pizza Express

Government looking at taking direct action on restaurant tips

Union leaders launch campaign for fair tips

Tips can count towards minimum wage, finds tribunalCarluccio's slammed for paying less than minimum wage

Tronc climbdown hailed as a victory

News analysis on

Rulings on tips draws mixed feelings from the industry

Can we justify using tips to top up staff wages?

Time for the industry to come clean over tipping

How will the tronc ruling affect me?

Opinion on

Tip-off - how to keep cash tips within the law

New tronc guidance shows that industry was right all along…well, almost

See Also…

Government response to consultation on tips legislation

National minimum wage

Let diners decide whether to tip

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking