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Government pushes tip regulation back after pledging reform three years ago

13 February 2019 by
Government pushes tip regulation back after pledging reform three years ago

The government has again delayed regulating the way tips are paid out to hospitality employees after pledging to legislate on the matter three years ago.

Regulations which would ensure staff keep their tips without deductions were planned in 2016 following a review into the practice. And at the 2018 Conservative party conference, Theresa May said the change would be introduced "as soon as parliamentary time allows".

However an exchange in the House of Commons yesterday revealed the policy will be put back until the next session of parliament - which begins after the summer recess.

Speaking to The Mirror, Unite regional officer, Dave Turnbull said: "The government needs to stop stringing restaurant workers along and deliver on its promise to crack down on tipping abuses.

"Restaurant and bar workers have waited long enough, as each day passes they're losing out thanks to greedy bosses pocketing their tips.

"Theresa May needs to stop dithering and deliver on her fair tips promises now."

However Kate Nicholls of trade body UKHospitality responded positively to the news, stating the legislation had been pushed back "because the industry has worked to address concerns in this area and promote good practice on distribution of all tips to staff".

In October she said: "The hospitality sector took immediate voluntary action to improve transparency and address concerns around the treatment of tips when the issue was first raised. UKHospitality and Unite have developed an industry Code of Practice which deals with the fair distribution of tips among all staff, not just waiters. As a result, best practice has been widely promoted across the sector.

"Some smaller businesses may retain a small proportion of tips to cover the costs of credit card charges and processing payments - but this is a small amount and the practice has been approved by Unite. At a time when costs are mounting for operators in the sector, the government must be careful about introducing additional legislation. There is no evidence that further legislation, which may have unforeseen consequences for staff, is necessary at this time."

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