Once the voice of the more civilised wing of the party, the think-tank is now firmly in the Let’s Get Nasty Again tendency

New law separates tips from pay

New laws come into force today making it illegal for bars, restaurants and hotels to use tips to make up minimum pay.

Leading article: Tipping point

As this newspaper has long pointed out in its "fair tips, fair pay" campaign, restaurants in this country have a special genius for abusing the system of customer gratuities intended for serving staff. Some managements use them to top up waiters' wages to the minimum wage. Others cream off a percentage for themselves. Only a minority have a policy, clear to diners when they pay their bill, on where the tips end up.

Restaurant chain in service charge U-turn

One of the country's leading restaurant chains has abandoned its 12.5 per cent service charge in a move that hands back control of tipping to diners.

Simon Carr: Labour's campaign may end in their coming third

He's always having to make "the speech of his life". He never does but he's always back for another go. Then he's given "until Christmas" by his enemies but he reappears in the New Year being indomitable. Face like dog food but dressed and ready to "meet and master" the challenges of staying in office. Before he stood up today his Government was polling below the Liberals. Maybe I will be rewarded for having dared to dream the impossible dream.

Five year pledge on minimum wage

The Prime Minister today pledged to increase the national minimum wage every year for the next five years.

Cruddas breaks ranks to demand tax rises

Influential backbencher says taxing the wealthy would regain momentum for Labour

CBI to unveil plans to rein in jobless total

Industry chiefs to demand that ministers implement alternative to redundancy

Lone parent policy reform 'successful'

Government policies to help lone parents and reduce the levels of poverty their children live under have been successful, according to a report by academics at the universities of Bath and Bristol.

Victory for <i>Independent</i> in fair tips campaign

Proposals to stop restaurants creaming off tips to pay basic wages are being announced today.

Victory in fight to allow staff to keep diners' tips

Restaurants will soon be required to tell diners whether their tips go straight to staff, in a victory for The Independent's "fair tips, fair pay" campaign.

Senior MPs urge change of direction

Two senior Labour MPs have issued stark warnings that their party will be defeated at the next general election unless it radically changes direction.

Restaurant customers should be told where tips go, minister says

The Business Secretary, John Hutton, will announce today that restaurants will no longer be allowed to pay below the minimum wage of £5.52 per hour and make up the difference using tips and service charges.

Leading article: An important victory. But there are more battles ahead

For a decade, ever since the Government introduced the minimum wage, the restaurant business in this country has made a mockery of its provisions through the shameless abuse of the tipping system. What restaurants up and down the country have been doing is using the cash that customers leave behind as extras for deserving staff in order make up those same workers' minimum wages. Tips, in other words, have become an excuse not to pay staff a decent wage – a means of a subsiding the £5.52-per-hour (up from £3.60) required under the 1998 Act.

Victory for fair tips campaign as ministers act

The Government is to outlaw the practice under which restaurants pay staff less than the national minimum wage and make up the rest in tips, following The Independent's "fair tips, fair pay" campaign.

Ethical seafood restaurant uses tips to pay the minimum wage

A group of fish and seafood restaurants usually renowned for its ethically and environmentally aware practices was condemned by unions yesterday, after it emerged that it pays its staff at rates below the minimum wage.

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