Employers in the hospitality industry have faced calls to pay at least minimum wage and stop holding back tips left for their staff in order to profit themselves.
As the government begins its consultation on tipping in the hospitality industry, worker’s union Unite is calling for action to ensure employees in bars, hotels and restaurants get 100% of tips, service charges and gratuities.
Tips are often used in the hospitality trade to make up for low salary, sometimes below minimum wage, and Derek Simpson, joint general secretary at Unite, believes the government must act to prevent further inequality:
It has drawn up a ‘Fair Tips Charter’ setting out its expectations.
Simpson said: “The government must take urgent action to close the minimum wage loophole. This will ensure rogue employers can no longer use money left by their customers, to thank those who served them, to boost their profits. The union will not accept a situation whereby the industry which has so publicly denied the concerns of their staff and customers around tipping, to merely go on regulating themselves.”
The Unite Fair Tips Charter states that companies must:
1. Pay all employees at least the minimum wage with 100% of tips added on top as a bonus with no hidden charges
2. Reach agreement on how tips are shared with those staff directly affected.
3. Make no deductions from tips or salaries to cover breakages, till shortages or customer walk-outs.
4. Make all rules for the distribution of tips and service charges available in writing for staff and customers on request.