Tips report delay prompts Unite union protest

12 April 2016 by
Tips report delay prompts Unite union protest

Union Unite has urged waiting staff to turn out in force in London this week in protest at practices that it claims see tips being "pocketed" by restaurants and hoteliers.

The union said delays to a report over tipping malpractice promised last year by business secretary Sajid Javid was unacceptable. The union wants the Government to introduce mandatory rules on tipping so that wait staff are given 100%.

The investigation launched last August after a flurry of negative press coverage of the way in which casual dining restaurant groups handled tips and service charge after it was found that a proportion of service charge at some restaurants was being spent on administrative costs. The restaurant groups that have come under fire for their tipping policies include Côte; Las Iguanas and Turtle Bay; PizzaExpress; and Bill's.

The investigation was set to look into whether there should be a cap on the proportion of tips businesses can withhold.

Submissions for that investigation closed in November, but nothing has yet been published. Javid had made "all the right noises", but failed to take action, suggested union regional boss Dave Turnbull. He questioned whether Javid had been "leaned on" by "flush" hospitality sector bosses.

Turnbull also urged a crackdown on similar practices in the capital's hotels, which in "many ways is far worse than the practices we uncovered in restaurants and involves much larger sums of money".

"This is Javid's chance to bring justice to restaurant workers and customers alike. He needs to stop dithering and stamp out these rip-off practices once and for all," said Turnbull.

"Until the Government introduces mandatory rules on tipping, unscrupulous bosses will continue to dip into tips and skim off the service charge to cover everything from breakages, till shortages and customers who walk out without paying, as well as so-called administration costs."

The protest will take place outside the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills at 4pm on Thursday.

No-one from BIS was immediately available for comment.

Unite calls for tipping transparency ahead of government review >>

BHA calls for new laws on tipping transparency >>

Business secretary Sajid Javid orders investigation into tipping ‘abuse' >>

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