MP proposes bill to ban tip deductions

Under the bill, proposed by Conservative MP Dean Russell, workers would either take the money directly or agree on a pooling system with their colleagues

A Conservative MP has brought forward a Tips Bill to parliament in a bid to ban restaurants and other hospitality businesses from making deductions from workers’ tips.

Under the bill, proposed by Dean Russell, businesses would be unable to make deductions from staff tips, with workers either taking the money directly or agreeing on a pooling system with their colleagues.

The Watford MP told PA, via the Times, that he aims to ensure tips are “protected for the people they are given to”.

He said: “It’s always felt wrong to me that businesses can take the tips that have been given by the customer directly to that individual or to the staff for businesses to go, ‘Well, actually, that’s part of the payment for what they’re getting’.

“I think for most people, when they do leave a tip for someone, they’ve left it for that person or for the staff, not for businesses to take an extra chunk of it.”

Despite Russell’s intentions for the bill to be passed by parliament in September, this is not the first time a similar bill has been pushed for.

In 2015, a government consultation found restaurant customers to be in favour of tips going wholly to staff members.

Following this, proposals by Theresa May and Boris Johnson in 2018 and 2019 respectively failed to materialise into legislation.

Dave Turnbull, national officer for hospitality at Unite, told the Times: “This private member’s bill exposes the government’s failure to introduce the long-promised fair tips legislation.

“Waiting staff, the majority of whom are on the minimum wage, keep being promised jam tomorrow by the government but in the meantime they continue to be ripped off by unscrupulous employers.”

He added: “Not only must the government finally bring forward fair tips legislation, but it must ensure that it is sufficiently robust to prevent it being undermined through loopholes.”

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