5,000 signatures reached
To: Greg Clark MP: Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
Tips are for staff not employers
Stop unethical hospitality bosses taking a cut of tips and service charges. Publish the recommendations of the government’s consultation on tipping now. Beef up the 2009 industry code of best practice and give it legal teeth.
Why is this important?
What do celebrity chef, Michel Roux Jr, Harrods and the Queen’s Grocer Fortnum and Mason have in common?
They have all (in the last few months) been caught with their hands in the tips’ jar, a full 18 months after the government vowed to stamp out similar rip off tip scams.
The three iconic establishments were revealed to be pocketing some or all of the service charge, rather than giving staff a fair share, often without customers’ knowledge. Now celebrity haunts the Ivy - where dinner for two costs at least £200 - has been exposed for giving staff just £1.30 per hour of the 12.5 per cent service charge it automatically adds to bills to its minimum waged staff.
Unite members working in the UK hospitality industry are fed up of waiting for their fair tips. Diners want to know that the service charge or non-cash tip they have just paid is going to the low paid staff that served them and is not being pocketed by the company to do what they like with.
After an eight-month review into tipping abuses, the government said: ‘Tips should go to workers, not employers’, so why are waiters and kitchen staff still waiting?
It’s time for the government to close the legal loophole which allows employers to treat non-cash tips and service charges as restaurant revenue without any legal obligation to pass it on to staff.
We are calling on the government to publish the recommendations of its consultation on tipping, gratuities, cover and service charges which closed on the 26 June 2016, and:
- Make the code mandatory – the 2009 voluntary code of best practice has utterly failed to bring greater transparency and fairness to tipping. Employers can no longer be trusted to police their tipping policies. Clear and mandatory rules around tipping and the distribution of tips are needed to stamp out rip off tip and service charge scams.
- Ban bogus tronc schemes –Too many employers are using tronc schemes to pool and distribute non-cash tips and service charges which are not genuinely independent from management interference. The government needs to get behind and support the jointly endorsed (Unite/AMLR Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers) guidelines to stamp out bogus troncs.
- Give staff 100% ownership rights over tips with a say in how they are shared out.
- Ban employers from using non-cash tips and service charges to cover breakages, till shortages, admin fees, and customers doing a runner.