Harden’s Insider: New tipping law delayed

New laws on tipping that will force restaurants to pass all service charges directly to staff will not come into operation until 1 October – three months later than previously announced.

The government blamed the delay on “extenuating circumstances” this week when it published the new Code of Practice relating to the Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act. The measures, which still need to be formally approved by Parliament, and are expected to benefit more than 2 million people working in the hospitality, leisure and services industries, putting an estimated £200 million in their pockets.

Staff will have the right to view an employer’s tipping policy and records, while the code ensures that agency staff enjoy equal treatment, with the agency that employs them legally obliged to pass on all tips and charges.

Business and trade minister Kevin Hollinrake said: “It is not right for employers to withhold tips from their hard-working employees.”

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the trade body UK Hospitality, welcomed the delay, saying it would allow businesses to implement the changes, but she urged the government to provide “greater clarity” on the issue of agency staff.

The government is encouraging all businesses to follow the new requirements immediately, before they come into legal effect. Staff who feel they are not receiving the full tip are encouraged to speak to their employer; failing that, they should contact Acas (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) on 0300 123 1122.

The government has also reaffirmed that tips cannot be used to count towards minimum wage pay – they are additional.

Share this article: