Government shelves plan to let restaurant workers keep their tips

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Boris Johnson’s government has shelved plans to let hotel workers keep their tips, despite having made the promise several times over the past six years. It is according to FinancialTimeswhich indicates that the plans were scrapped at the last minute from the government’s legislative program for the coming year.

The proposals would have prevented restaurants from keeping a share of tips left for workers, a practice that has become increasingly common. They were first proposed in 2016, when Sajid Javid, the current health secretary, was business secretary.

And Paul Scully, the current business minister, announced in September that the government would finally follow through on plans to force restaurants to hand over all tips to staff. He said at the time: ‘Unfortunately some businesses choose to withhold money from hard-working staff who have received tips from customers as a reward for good service.

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“Our plans will make this illegal and ensure that tips go to those who worked for it. This will give workers in pubs, cafes and restaurants across the country a boost, while reassuring customers that their money is going to those who deserve it.”

The proposals were to be included in a jobs bill that has been repeatedly delayed and now appears to have slipped further. It will now not be included in the upcoming Queen’s Speech – in which the government sets out its legislative program for next year – on May 10.

Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, said ministers had no excuse for breaking their promise to strengthen workers’ rights. ‘If the Government fails to introduce a Jobs Bill at the Queen’s Speech next week it will be betraying some of Britain’s lowest paid and most vulnerable workers,’ she said . “They will have cheated the workers.”

Sharon Graham, general secretary of the Unite union, which represents restaurant workers, said the situation for staff would be made thousands of pounds worse if the bill was scrapped. “Every year this government promises to take action to ensure a fair tip, and then does precisely nothing to deliver on that promise,” she said. Some two million hospitality workers in the UK will now be short of it.

A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said Bristol Live“Workers should definitely get the tips they deserve, and customers should feel confident that their money is rewarding staff for their hard work and good service.”

The ministry said it could not anticipate what would be in the Queen’s Speech, but did not deny plans had been scrapped.

The temperature also reported this week that the jobs bill had been dropped, but made no mention of the tipping proposals. He said, however, the move would mean the Tory manifesto promises – giving unpaid carers the right to leave work and encouraging employers to allow staff to work flexibly – would no longer be fulfilled this year.

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