Petition calls on business secretary to ‘hurry up’ and...

Petition calls on business secretary to ‘hurry up’ and ban rip off restaurant tip scams

22 June 2017

The government has been accused of dragging its feet over its failure to release its report into tips for restaurant staff, as the consultation closed for submissions a year ago next Tuesday.

To mark the first year anniversary a 6,500 strong petition, calling on the business secretary, Greg Clark to hurry up and release the report, will be handed into the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy by campaigners on Monday (26 June).

WHEN: Monday 26 June 2017 at 13:00
WHERE: 1 Victoria Street London SW1H 0ET

Unite, the country’s largest union, said that tens of thousands of staff in the hospitality industry were legitimately asking: “Why are we waiting?”

Unite has been forefront in exposing the rip-off culture that has seen restaurant bosses creaming off money left for tips that customers thought were going to cash-strapped staff.

The two-month long government consultation was launched on 2 May 2016, after an eight month review into the dubious tipping practices of some of the UK’s most popular restaurant chains, first exposed by Unite at Pizza Express in the summer of 2015.

Dave Turnbull, Unite regional officer, said: “It is now over a year since the then business secretary, Sajid Javid, launched the government’s consultation with the words: ‘Tips are for staff, not employers.’

“Unite hailed it as a massive and rightful victory for working people at the time, yet 12 months after it closed, workers and diners are no closer to getting the clarity they deserve, and unscrupulous bosses continue to cream off staff tips.

“In recent months, a slew of upmarket restaurants, including Le Garvroche, The Ivy Collection brasseries, bars and grills and Fortnum & Mason, have been exposed for pocketing some or all of the service charge automatically added to diners’ bills for themselves, instead of giving it to staff.

“Greg Clark needs to hurry up; this consultation is the government’s chance to prove that it is on the side of low paid workers and not in the pocket of unscrupulous bosses. It is a chance to eliminate the confusion around tips for staff and customers alike, once and for all.” 

The petition calls on the business secretary to give staff 100 per cent of their tips with complete control over how they are shared out, ban bogus tronc schemes and make the code of best practice mandatory.

The 2015 tipping abuse scandal sparked outrage, leading to a huge public backlash, after it emerged that restaurants, including Pizza Express, Bill’s and Strada were pocketing tips and service charge payments intended for staff.


For more information please contact, Unite campaigns officer Chantal Chegrinec on 07774146777

Twitter: @unitetheunion
Facebook: unitetheunion1

Note to editors:

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey