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BIS says tipping report published ‘shortly' ahead of Unite protest

14 April 2016 by
BIS says tipping report published ‘shortly' ahead of Unite protest

The department for Business Innovation and Skills has told The Caterer its report on tipping malpractice will arrive "shortly", as Unite prepares to protest outside its offices.

The union has organised the demonstration after slamming what it believes are unacceptable delays to the report into alleged tip skimming by restaurants.

The investigation was launched by BIS secretary Sajid Javid in August after national media coverage of the way in which casual dining restaurant groups handled tips and service charge. Some were found to be spending a proportion of it on administration costs, with restaurant groups Côte; Las Iguanas and Turtle Bay; PizzaExpress; and Bill's among those groups coming under fire.

The investigation was set to look into whether there should be a cap on the proportion of tips businesses can withhold. Unite wants government to go further and mandate that 100% of tips should go to wait staff. It has also now turned its focus to the hotel sector, where it says some operators are engaging in equally bad practice. The union will protest outside the department this afternoon at 4pm having this week urged waiting staff to join the demonstration.

In response to Unite's criticism, a BIS spokesperson said: "The Government is committed to making sure working people receive a fair deal on pay. Precisely because of this the Business Secretary ran the call for evidence on tipping practices. We will announce our next steps shortly."

Unite called on the Government to determine exactly when the report would be published.

"The department says it will release the report ‘shortly'," a spokesperson said. "How long is a ball of string? What we need is a publication date for this report so that justice for waiting staff can be done. Submissions for this report closed more than five months ago. The time for equivocation by ministers is over."

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