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MP calls for restaurant tips law change

10 September 2014 by
MP calls for restaurant tips law change

An MP has called for a change in the law that would allow restaurant staff to determine how tips are shared out.

Andrew Percy, the Conservative MP for Brigg and Goole, accused some restaurant firms of ignoring a voluntary code encouraging them to make their tipping policies clear and warned that customers were confused about where their money went if they decided to leave a tip or pay an optional service charge.

He said that existing rules, which leave it up to restaurants to decide whether to add a service charge to a bill and what to do with the money were "neither clear nor transparent".

Cash tips are paid to individual employees, while credit card tips are paid to the restaurant, and customers are only obliged to pay a service charge if the trader makes it clear before the meal either on the menu or verbally.

Percy said many restaurants were "ignoring" or "abusing" a 2009 voluntary code of best practice on service charges and tips.

He called for the code to be made mandatory with waiters and kitchen staff able to decide how tips were shared in order to "protect the rights of employees". He also said there should be a cap on administration fees that restaurants charge on tips paid for by credit card, with some charging between 8% and 10%.

The 10-minute rule bill is due to be considered in the House of Commons in October but is unlikely to be made law, according to the BBC.

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