Pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels must pay agency workers their fair share of tips from customers, following the introduction of new legislation.
The warning comes from Jim Lister, head of employment at Manchester law firm Pannone, after the Agency Worker Regulations came into force earlier this month.
Until now, agency workers have not been entitled to tips as part of their pay packet and many larger hospitality chains have not shared tips with these temporary staff.
The regulations require establishments that take tips from customers either through credit cards or cash, and share the tips among staff, to distribute them fairly with agency workers - providing they have 12 weeks' service at the company.
Under the regulations, the definition of "pay" for agency workers includes provisions for these temporary employees to receive payment or reward for work which is directly attributable to the quality or quantity of their work.
For those companies that have compulsory service charges, if they divide these charges between staff then the same rules for agency workers apply.
Lister said: "We have received enquiries from leisure companies who are unclear about the new regulations. I would urge those that operate a shared tip system to review their policies to include agency workers with more than 12 weeks' service - or they could find themselves falling foul of the new regulations."
By Neil Gerrard
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