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Sunday, April 01, 2018

Are some restaurants still short-changing staff on tips?

I have posted a number of times since 2008 about the way that restaurant staff are treated and in particular that if we tip them after a meal, they may not always receive all or any of the money.

Just under two years ago, the government announced plans to end unfair tipping practices and ensure additional payments for service are voluntary to the consumer, and received by workers in full. However, as this Observer article says, some restaurants are still using a variety of methods to withhold tips from staff.

These include: requiring waiters to pay a percentage of the sales they have generated back to pay other staff; persuading all staff to cut their wage rate to the legal minimum and make up the difference using tips; and asking waiters to hand over some of their tips to kitchen staff in lieu of the latter receiving a wage rise.

These requirements appear to be still prevalent nearly two years after the completion of a government consultation on proposals to tackle such practices, partly prompted by revelations in the Observer and other media.

The article provides a number of talking points:
Of course these are difficult times, and a number of restaurants have recently gone to the wall, but that should not undermine the case for a fair deal for all restaurant staff. In the absence of government action it must fall to the customer to insist that any tip they give goes to the person(s) for whom it is intended.
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