Hospitality industry urged to be 'decent' over tipping report

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Hospitality industry urged to be 'decent' over tipping report

Related tags: Secretary sajid javid, Want, Hotel

Trade Union Unite has urged the hospitality industry to ‘do the decent thing’ and accept that staff should take home 100 per cent of their tips.

It comes after Business Secretary Sajid Javid launched a consultation​ in to banning mandatory service charges following an eight month review.

Unite hailed the news as a`rightful victory’ for working people and is calling on the Government to make it illegal for restaurants to take a cut of staff tips.

But there are concerns that businesses will resist the change.

Dave Turnbull, Unite’s officer for the hospitality sector, said: “All [staff] want is what any worker wants – to take home what they have earned, no corners cut.

“But it will need the support of law to make this happen – it is patently obvious that too many employers do not respect the spirit or word of the voluntary code.

“We say to the industry, do not use this consultation period to tread water on this or throw rocks in the road. Just get on and do the decent thing – be completely transparent about the allocation of tips to different grades of staff and accept that workers should keep their tips.”

Ongoing campaign

Last year Unite’s campaign led to high street chains including Pizza Express, Bella Italia, Café Rouge and La Tasca scrapping an administration charge​ levied on staff tips.

In February the union staged a protest at the upmarket STK London steakhouse​ at the ME Hotel amid claims the restaurant was using its 15 per cent service charge to top up the salaries of four senior managers by as much as £50k a year.

A number of businesses including Bjorn van der Hort's Kojawan, The Gallivant in Camber​ and the upcoming Barbary restaurant in London​ have outlawed service charges altogether.

Businesses have until 27 June to take part in the Government consultation, which can be viewed here.

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