Waiters to keep all their customers' tips under new laws

·2-min read

Waiters are set to keep 100 per cent of their customers' tips under new laws to stop restaurant owners cheating staff out of any service charges paid by card.

Kwasi Kwarteng, the Business Secretary, is expected to announce details of the new legislation this week, nearly three years after the former prime minister Theresa May pledged to stamp out the practice of high-street chains deducting up to 10 per cent from employees’ tips.

Under current rules, restaurants are banned from keeping cash tips, but can retain any that are paid on cards. As the use of cash becomes increasingly rare, waiters have been missing out on their share.

Restaurant chains Pizza Express, Prezzo and Zizzi have previously come under heavy criticism for deducting a percentage of their employees' tips. All three firms have since dropped this policy.

In June, Unite called on the Government to honour its pledge to stamp out the practice of restaurants keeping a cut of staff tips.

A Unite spokesman said at the time: “In an ideal world, waiting staff would be paid enough not to rely on tips. The unlikelihood of that happening, however, means Unite is calling on the Government to deliver on its 2019 Queen’s Speech commitment and bring in its promised Fair Tips legislation.

“This must include a statutory code which provides access to remedy for workers who believe Tronc decisions [a means of collecting the tips from the customers] are being unfairly manipulated to the benefit of their employer.”

The change in law is not expected before next year, however. Ministers are considering including it in the Employment Bill, which is not expected to be introduced in this session of Parliament.

A Whitehall source told the Mail on Sunday: "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."

A government consultation back in 2018 showed that restaurant customers were overwhelmingly in favour of waiting staff keeping 100 per cent of their tips.

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