While it has welcomed the announcement from business minister Paul Scully that the law will change so staff now get 100% of their service charge, Unite lambasted the Government for only implementing the measure now.
General secretary Sharon Graham said: “It's shocking that this group of mainly young workers has had to wait five years for government action to tackle the tips scandal. We will continue to challenge abuses in the workplace and Unite will keep fighting to improve the jobs, pay and conditions of the hospitality workforce."
The plans from the Government mean it will be illegal for employers to withhold tips from workers, which it estimated will help about 2m hospitality, leisure and service industry employees.
The legislation will also include a statutory code of practice, setting out how tips should be distributed to ensure fairness and transparency as well as new rights for workers to make a request for information relating to an employer’s tipping record.
Under the changes, if an employer breaks the rules, they can be taken to an employment tribunal.
On the introduction of the legislation, UKHospitality (UKH) chief executive Kate Nicholls welcomed the announcement.
She said: “UKH supports the right of employees to receive the deserved tips that they work incredibly hard for.
“The hospitality sector as it begins to rebuild after 18 months of restrictions and enforced enclosure is already creating new jobs and driving the jobs recovery."
Wider economic recovery
Nicholls added: “Ensuring employees receive the tips they earn will further strengthen the sector’s ability to create jobs and support the wider economic recovery.
“For hospitality businesses, though, customers tipping with a card incurs bank charges for the business, and many also employ external partners to ensure tips are fairly distributed among staff.
“With restaurants, pubs and other venues struggling to get back on their feet, facing mounting costs and accrued debts, we urge the Government to continue to work closely with the sector as it introduces this legislation to ensure this works for businesses and employees.”