Hospitality staff get tips protection after five-year wait

Former Business Secretary Sajid Javid initially promised the new law in 2016.

24 Sep 2021| News

Workers in the hospitality industry will finally be given a new right to keep their tips, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced five years after floating the policy.

Business Minister, Paul Scully, said workers in the sector will now be able to keep 100% of their tips, after workers and their unions spent years campaigning against the unfair practice of employers taking a cut of the money that customers thought they were giving to their servers.

But Unite the union, which represents many of those employed in the hospitality sector, said the new law has come far too late.

Former Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, vowed to end the tips scandal in May 2016 when he said he would “make tipping fairer” by “clamping down on unfair practices”.

In the five years between Javid’s promise and Scully’s announcement, the UK’s waiting staff have lost £10,000 in ‘lost’ tips, Unite estimated.

“It’s shocking that this group of mainly young workers has had to wait five years for government action to tackle the tips scandal,” Unite General Secretary, Sharon Graham, said.

Unite’s National Officer for Hospitality, Dave Turnbull, said: “We regard this as a first step to stamping out the long hours culture and exploitative working environment that bad employers have got away with for far too long in the UK hospitality sector.”

He warned that any new code of practice “must not leave workers open to abuse of unfair distribution systems such as at Pizza Express, where tips are being used to subsidise wages of workers in a disproportionate way”.