On 3 March 2023, the second reading of the Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill is scheduled to take place in the House of Lords. It is a private member’s bill sponsored by Lord Robathan (Conservative). The purpose of the bill is to mandate that employers must distribute the total amount of tips and service charges to workers without deductions. The bill has government support and it received cross-party support during its House of Commons stages. It completed its House of Commons stages without amendment.
Since 2015, there have been media reports of employers in UK restaurant chains and the wider hospitality industry taking a proportion of employees’ tips, a practice many viewed as unfair. Trade unions and other campaigners have called for legislation to ban “unfair” tipping practices. Since that date, various Conservative governments have committed to introducing legislation to prevent employers making deductions from tips, but no government legislation has been brought forward. However, the government has supported the current private member’s bill.
The bill would amend the Employment Rights Act 1996 to mandate that employers pass on all tips, gratuities and service charges to workers without deductions, and to distribute tips among workers fairly.
The bill would also allow the secretary of state to introduce a new code of practice on the fair distribution of tips and gratuities. The bill allows for the enforcement of the new rights through the employment tribunal system.