Allocation of Tips Bill 'welcome boost'

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Absolutely right: new legislation withholds employers from keeping staff tips (Credit: Getty/ Peter Muller)
Absolutely right: new legislation withholds employers from keeping staff tips (Credit: Getty/ Peter Muller)

Related tags ukhospitality Camra Legislation Finance

The terms outlined in the Allocation of Tips Bill were “absolutely right” and a “welcome boost” according to trade bodies and industry leaders across the sector.

Last week saw the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and MP Dean Russell introduce the new Government backed legislation, which made it unlawful for employers to withhold tips from staff from Friday 15 July.

Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA) chairman Nik Antona said: “Outstanding service from bar staff is one of the things that really makes a great pub or social club.

“Pub goers up and down the country rightly want to know if they leave a tip in recognition of great service, the money will be going to the staff who deserve it. 

“It is absolutely right the law should be changed to stop some businesses failing to pass on tips and service charges to staff, guaranteeing hard working bar tenders receive the entire amount left to them in tips.

“We hope this new bill will continue to receive support from all parties and from the Government so it can become law as quickly as possible and offer the amazing people who work in pubs, social clubs and taprooms up and down country a guarantee they won’t have tips withheld from them.” 

Welcome boost 

However, while the new bill was expected to reassure staff across the sector, it was also noted there were some issues to be addressed.

UKHospitality (UKH) chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Tips and service charges provide a significant and welcome boost to hospitality employees’ take-home cash.

“We’re delighted to see this proposed legislation recommend that employers can set a fair distribution policy for staff, meaning they all benefit. This should also reassure prospective hospitality sector workers at a time when the industry is seeking to fill vacancies.

“The Bill is certainly a good starting point, from which there are a few additional issues to address.

“These include the length of time necessary for businesses to adapt; the onerous levels of red tape required; the worrying need to disclose sensitive business information; and for tips to count towards earned income, thus helping those workers seeking mortgages.

“We look forward, therefore, to working on this legislation with Dean Russell MP and BEIS.”

The new legislation provides workers the right to see an employer’s tipping record for the first time and banned bosses from withholding staff tips.

Lifeline support 

Furthermore, the overhaul of tipping practices has been predicted to benefit more than two million workers across the hospitality, leisure, and services sectors, many of whom rely on tips the most, and ease pressures caused by inflation and the cost-of-living.

Night-Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord said: "I'm pleased this bill is being discussed today and would like to thank the Conservative MP for Watford, Dean Russell, in raising this issue once again.

"The unfair practice of withholding staff tips is something hospitality leaders across the UK have been campaigning on for many years.

“In a sector where the majority are paid minimum wage, employees rely on tips to top up incomes.

“They are often the difference between the employee walking home after their shift ends at midnight or affording a taxi, and in the current financial crisis, they are a lifeline to support fuel, gas, or food bills.

"It is an absolute right those who have earned their money, receive it."

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