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Unions and consumer groups welcome Government decision on tips

07 May 2009
Unions and consumer groups welcome Government decision on tips

The Government's decision to outlaw the practice of using tips to make up minimum wage from October has been welcomed by consumer groups and unions.

Elizabeth Carter, the editor of The Good Food Guide, part of consumer rights group Which?, said customers expect tips to be used to reward the staff that served them.

"Restaurants that use tips to replace wages are not only cheating their staff, but also misleading their customers, so it's high time this practice was outlawed," she added.

The Good Food Guide has advised all customers to tip in cash until October so that it is more likely that this money will go straight to the staff.

Derek Simpson, joint general secretary of the Unite union, which has been campaigning on the issue, said today's decision was a "triumph" for hospitality workers.

"Hard-working waiting staff will be delighted to learn that bad employers can no-longer line their pockets with the money that customers intended to go to workers," he said.

As part of today's announcement, the Government said there would be a voluntary code of practice to create transparency around tips, but Simpson warned that this may not work unless it is compulsory.

"There remains a need for a fully transparent tipping system where 100% of tips go to staff," he said.

"Unite is unconvinced that the voluntary code of practice will give consumers the clarity they need to be confident that any money they leave will go to the employees who deserve it."

Using tips to make up minimum wage to be outlawed in October >>

Government rejects job loss argument against tipping reform >>

45,000 jobs under threat if practice of making up wages with tips is banned >>

Hospitality operators plead with Government to delay tipping law >>

Can we justify using tips to top up staff wages? >>

For more, see our tips round-up >>

By Daniel Thomas

E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas here.

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