The heat is being turned up on business secretary Sajid Javid over the long delay in publishing his report into ‘tipping’ abuses that have seen waiters being short-changed by their bosses.
Unite, the country’s largest union, was instrumental in exposing ‘tipping’ abuses by Pizza Express and other popular restaurant chains which were pocketing a portion of tips instead of passing them on to staff.
This prompted Sajid Javid to launch the investigation into tipping practices last August. Unite submitted evidence to the inquiry calling for staff to be given 100 per cent of tips with complete control over how they are shared out.
Submissions closed on 10 November – and now five months later, hospitality staff are asking: ‘Why are we waiting?’
The publicity about the tips’ scandal sparked similar concerns about how service charges are shared out in 4 and 5-star hotels, with allegations of sharp practice, lack of transparency, unjustifiable admin fees and large sums of money diverted to salaried managers.
Unite activists in the hospitality industry will stage a protest on Thursday (14 April) urging the business secretary to stop procrastinating and deliver his overdue report.
WHEN: 16.00 on Thursday 14 April
WHERE: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, 1 Victoria Street, London SW1H OET
Last summer Sajid Javid said: “When a diner leaves a tip, they rightly expect it to go to staff. I’m concerned about recent reports, suggesting some restaurants pocket tips for themselves. That’s just not right.”
Unite regional officer Dave Turnbull said: “Sajid Javid, made all the right noises in the heat of last summer’s tipping abuse scandal when he launched the investigation into the murky world of tips and service charges.
“Tips provide a large proportion of the income that waiting staff receive when working in London, one of the world’s most expensive cities.
“However, in many ways, what is going on in the capital’s top hotels is far worse than the practices we uncovered in restaurants and involves much larger sums of money.
“Yet five months after it closed in early November we are still no closer to the much needed crack-down on dubious tipping practices.
“Have the flush bosses of the hospitality sector been leaning on the business secretary?
“This is Javid’s chance to bring justice to restaurant workers and customers alike. He needs to stop dithering and stamp out these rip-off practices once and for all.
“Because, until the government introduces mandatory rules on tipping, unscrupulous bosses will continue to dip into tips and skim off the service charge to cover everything from breakages, till shortages and customers who walk out without paying, as well as so-called administration costs.
“You name it - bad bosses know every trick in the book to diddle our members out of the tips that were left for them in good faith by customers.”
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org