Restaurants Face Ban on Top Slicing Staff Tips

By Gary Cutlack on at

The prime minister has said something that isn't incomprehensible legal negotiation politics for once, stepping into the row about the common practice of restaurant chains keeping a proportion of staff tip money for themselves. A forthcoming law change will put an end to it, making it a crime to touch the few quid diners leave on the table for their service.

Recently, many of the high street restaurant chains have come under fire for the way they take varying proportions of tip money for themselves, inflating their bottom lines by claiming some of the money as necessary deductions before handing over the bonus cash to staff. The government sees clamping down on this as an easy, populist win, so "tough new legislation" is coming to shut it down.

A member of the Unite trade union was therefore put in the unfortunate position of having to be nice and grateful about something a Conservative politician announced, with the union's Dave Turnbull saying: "This step in tackling tipping abuses has been a long time coming and is in no small part down to the determined campaigning of Unite and its members. As ever the devil will be in the detail of the legislation the Government brings forward."

Turnbull described some tip-keeping operations as "scams" used to inflate staff wages and let businesses pay lower salaries, particularly singling out TGI Fridays for using tips to subsidise low pay. [Metro]