The government has reportedly shelved plans to make it illegal for restaurants and bars to keep staff tips, despite admitting the measure was needed to top up the incomes of workers on minimum wage.
When the move was announced in September, the government acknowledged “most hospitality workers – many of whom are earning the national minimum wage or national living wage – rely on tipping to top up their income.”
But the proposal has been dropped from the Queen’s Speech, the FT reports, meaning that it is not on the government’s agenda of policies to be pushed through parliament – despite the commitment having been first made six years ago.
Announced by business minister Paul Scully, the measures had promised to “tackle shameful tipping practices”, referencing research finding that “many businesses that add a discretionary service charge onto customer’s bills are keeping part or all of these service charges, instead of passing them onto staff.”
By saying it would make it illegal for businesses to withhold tips from staff, the government promised to give a “financial boost” to two million people.
“Every year this government promises action to ensure fair tipping – and then does precisely nothing to deliver on that promise,” said Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary responding to the news.