Restaurants will no longer be allowed to keep tips meant for staff under impending legislation.
While it’s frowned upon among hospitality workers and industry figures, some eateries withhold tips from staff, despite customers leaving them directly for the servers. This policy is rarely, if ever, disclosed to patrons, meaning they’re unwittingly lining the pockets of the wrong person in their acts of generosity.
The poor practice is facing a crackdown with new legislation, as Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is preparing to announce plans to prevent businesses from keeping tips when they’re paid using a bank card, increasingly common in a post-pandemic world of eating out.
Under existing legislation, restaurants aren’t allowed to keep cash tips, but tips that come in via card payment don’t have the same requirement. Under the new change, restaurant, bar and café staff will be entitled to every single penny of their tips. It also comes after complaints of low pay and morale causing major staff shortages in the hospitality industry.
A Whitehall source told the MailOnline, ‘Workers going above and beyond for their customers can now rest assured that their hard-earned tips will be going directly in their pockets and nobody else’s. We’re putting an end to dodgy tipping practices and making sure that hard work pays off.
‘We are also levelling the playing field for businesses, ensuring that good firms which give all the tips to workers are not undercut by the firms which keep the money.’
It comes after a private members’ bill brought forward by Conservative MP Dean Russell earlier this summer. ‘When we look at the role that many people have when working in bars or restaurants and so on, the tips are often seen as part of the salary in a way – rightly or wrongly,’ he previously said.
‘It’s always felt wrong to me that businesses can take the tips that have been given by the customer directly to that individual or to the staff for businesses to go… well, actually, that’s part of the payment for what they’re getting. I think for most people, when they do leave a tip for someone, they’ve left it for that person or for the staff, not for businesses to take an extra chunk of it.’
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