Clampdown on unfair tipping practices

The government has revealed new plans to help foodservice and hospitality workers keep their tips.

The proposals, within a consultation launched this week, include a possible ban on adding a discretionary service charge to bills.

The government also wants to tighten up the current voluntary code of practice in a bid to increase employer compliance. Employers should also be prevented, or at least limited, from deducting charges from discretionary payments for service, except for those required under tax law.

“We want workers who earn a tip to be able to keep it,” said business secretary Sajid Javid. “That’s why I, like many others, was disappointed by the tipping practices of some of our well-known chains.”

The British Hospitality Association said restaurants should have to provide a written notice explaining exactly what happens to service charges and tips.

The majority of customers would prefer to see all tips either going to the employee (61%) or shared in a tronc without any employer control (23%).

A recent survey by OpenTable found that 87% of UK customers always leave a tip and that the average percentage of the bill left is 9%.

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