Fair Tipping Bill Shelved

Especially post-COVID, the majority of tipping within the hospitality industry is done through card transactions (GOV.UK, 2021), and naturally this has led to a rise in unfair tipping practices. Unions have said that an increasing number of businesses have been adding discretionary service charges onto customers’ bills and choosing not to pass these onto the staff, instead keeping all or part of the service charge (Pickard, 2022). Whilst most venues do adhere to ethical tipping standards, making it illegal to withhold tips from employees ensures that we as hospitality workers do not suffer from this change in tipping culture.

In September 2021, Minister for Small Business Paul Scully MP announced that the government would take action making it illegal for employers to withhold tips from their employees (Pickard, 2022). This would ensure that tips are going in full to workers and not businesses, ensuring that workers receive “a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work” (GOV.UK, 2021). This news was a massive relief for the nearly 3 million hospitality workers around the country (including us), and it was incredibly encouraging to finally have Government in our corner. 

Unfortunately this bill has recently been “dropped for the foreseeable future” according to an anonymous senior government figure (Pickard, 2022). Ministers had planned to squeeze the plan onto a proposed employment bill, but the bill has since been shelved. General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress Frances O’Grady stated that ministers have no excuse for breaking their pledge to support and enhance hospitality workers rights, and that the move would betray millions country wide.

Here at Barback, we are working on a couple ways address and help solve this issue, and we would love to hear from you (the hospitality industry!) on what changes you think should be implemented, or what you think should be done. Barback is for workers and always will be, and as a company that is looking to improve the industry (and not just exploit it for profit), we welcome any and all feedback, and promise to do our best to further worker’s interests in this country.