Government delays changes to restaurant tipping laws

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Government delays changes to restaurant tipping laws

Related tags: tipping, Restaurant

A government plan to ban restaurants from deducting a percentage from staff tips will not be enforced until at least later this year.

Speaking in parliament yesterday, business minister Kelly Tolhurst said the law would not be changed until the next parliamentary ‘session’, starting in September. 

It follows growing public scrutiny over a perceived lack of transparency in restaurants’ tipping policies.

In 2015 chains including Pizza Express and Azurri Group faced backlash for leveraging an administration charge on card tips​ to cover the costs of running a tronc system. Both companies later scrapped the charges.

A government consultation recommended banning restaurants from taking a cut of tips in 2016, and the issue was resurrected at the Conservative Party Conference last autumn​, when Theresa May promised the law would be changed “as soon as Parliamentary time allows”.

But the announcement received backlash from the industry, with Casual Dining Group criticising the government’s comments as “inaccurate and ill-informed”.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls told BigHospitality​: "Hospitality businesses have addressed issues with tipping practices, and UKHospitality has worked with its members and Unite, jointly producing guidance to provide fairness and transparency for all parties.  

"We are not aware of any widespread evidence of bad practice, but we will continue to work with the Government and other stakeholders to ensure that team members are treated fairly. In the current climate of Brexit uncertainty, however, businesses do need to focus on safeguarding jobs and businesses, so this legislative delay is a sensible step."

Related topics: Legislation

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