All tips to go to staff under government plans to enhance rights of 2 million workers

by | Sep 27, 2021

The Government have unveiled plans to overhaul tipping practices, helping around 2 million people top up their income.


The government will make it illegal for employers to withhold tips from workers. The move is set to help around 2 million people working in one of the 190,000 businesses across the hospitality, leisure and services sectors, where tipping is common place and can make up a large part of their income.


This move will ensure customers know tips are going, in full, to workers and not businesses, ensuring workers receive a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.


“Unfortunately, some companies choose to withhold cash from hardworking staff who have been tipped by customers as a reward for good service.

Our plans will make this illegal and ensure tips will go to those who worked for it. This will provide a boost to workers in pubs, cafes and restaurants across the country, while reassuring customers their money is going to those who deserve it.”

– Labour Markets Minister Paul Scully


Moves towards a cashless society have accelerated dishonest tipping practices, as an increase in card payments has made it easier for businesses to keep the funds.


80% of all UK tipping now happens by card, rather than cash going straight into the pockets of staff. Businesses who receive tips by card currently have the choice of whether to keep it or pass it on to workers.


The plans unveiled by Government will create consistency for those being tipped by cash or card, while ensuring that businesses who already pass tips on fairly aren’t penalised.


The legislation will include:

  • a requirement for all employers to pass on tips to workers without any deductions;
  • a Statutory Code of Practice setting out how tips should be distributed to ensure fairness and transparency;
  • new rights for workers to make a request for information relating to an employer’s tipping record, enabling them to bring forward a credible claim to an employment tribunal.


Under the changes, if an employer breaks the rules they can be taken to an Employment Tribunal, where employers can be forced to compensate workers, often in addition to fines. Tipping legislation will form part of a package of measures which will provide further protections around workers’ rights.



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