Legal protections for staff tips to be revived under proposed law

Conservative MP Dean Russell said he will make a fresh attempt to introduce his Tips Bill.

Richard Wheeler
Thursday 19 May 2022 14:34
A member of staff carries a tray of food at Allerton Manor golf course in Liverpool (Peter Byrne/PA)
A member of staff carries a tray of food at Allerton Manor golf course in Liverpool (Peter Byrne/PA)

Proposals to force restaurants and other businesses to hand over all tips to their staff will be revived by new legislation to be tabled in Parliament.

Conservative MP Dean Russell said he will make a fresh attempt to introduce his Tips Bill after he secured eighth spot in the ballot for backbenchers to propose their own laws.

It means Mr Russell is expected to secure time on one of the 13 Friday sittings in the Commons to move his private member’s bill, which will increase his chances of successfully steering it through Parliament.

After years of delays the Government confirmed last September that it was planning to outlaw businesses from withholding tips from staff.

But legislation did not emerge and the Queen’s Speech for the current parliamentary session contained no employment Bill, something Conservative former prime minister Theresa May said could have been used to protect tips for staff.

Knives and forks (Tim Goode/PA)

Mr Russell said he has received “positive feedback” from business minister Paul Scully since he floated his Tips Bill last July.

He told the PA news agency: “I’m going to be using the private members’ bill ballot to keep pushing a Tips Bill to make sure hospitality workers get the right to keep tips and gratuities given to them by customers.”

The MP for Watford added: “With challenges around cost of living, tips are going to have an even greater impact for hospitality workers.

“Tips should never replace a good salary, people should be paid well, but tips are an important part of hospitality workers’ income over and above salaries.

“It’s about making sure they can keep that, especially in the current climate.”

His Bill would prohibit employers from retaining tips intended for staff and also enable arrangements to be made about how tips are divided between staff.

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