Commenting on the progress of the Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill which was today (Friday) debated in the House of Commons as private member’s legislation, Unite national officer for hospitality, Dave Turnbull said:

“In the six years since workers were promised action on tips an awful lot of money has been lost by low paid workers.

“This bill has been long in the making but it certainly cannot be the last word in tips protections. As the union fighting for reform for years, it has been the pressure of the workers that has brought even this first step towards change. It is vital that what is passed into law has the full confidence of the hospitality workforce. 

“Sadly, at this stage we are not confident that these measures will address the problems with tipping practices across the hospitality sector.”

Unite receives constant complaints from workers about the way employers manipulate their tips, for example higher paid salaried workers are often included in the share out.

In many instances increases in the minimum wage have been wiped out by an unfair reallocation of tips.

Unite says that many of these problems centre around the exploitation by employers of tronc systems for tips paid on card. Current legislation requires a tronc if electronic tips distributed through a company payroll are to be exempted from national insurance. According to Unite, for the bill to have a proper impact it needs to scrap troncs by exempting tips distributed through payroll from national insurance.


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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.