Waiters To Be Paid All Tips Under New Law
Anyone who's ever worked in a bar or restaurant will understand the importance of tipping - and if you haven't had the pleasure of long shifts and aggy customers, let me tell you now: the tips are crucial.
So what, then, if your employer decides that the hard-earned cash you've schmoozed your way into shouldn't be yours after all... but theirs?
That's sadly the reality for all too many people working in the industry, but new legislation will see an end to all that as Theresa May plans to impose a ban on restaurants keeping tips from staff.
May has said this means that high street chains including Prezzo, Strada and Zizzi will have to pass all of the service charges on to their workers, and that the rule would apply in England, Scotland and Wales.
It is a policy that Labour had also announced in June.
Over on Instagram, we asked LADbible readers what they thought about the problem - with 85 percent of you (37,262 people) believing that restaurants shouldn't be allowed to keep staff tips, while 8,490 of you are comfortable with your generous offerings being poured back into the business' coffers.
A whopping 82 percent of voters - that's 31,353 people (vs 5,464 voting the opposite way) - also said they wouldn't tip if they knew a share was going to the restaurant, not the staff.
The 'tough' new law is part of the government's push to put an end to exploitative working conditions and practices, and follows criticism towards chains like Bella Italia, Café Rouge, Giraffe and Strada for taking 10 percent from service charges, as well as Zizzi and Ask taking eight percent.
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Recently, 27-year-old Emma Smith also took to Facebook with a selection of payslips to apparently prove that hundreds of pounds had been deduced from her tips by her employer, Albert's restaurant in Greater Manchester.
She wrote: "Albert's unfairly take tips off their staff to line the owners' pockets.
"If you're happy that the majority of your card tips go direct to the company then continue to do so, I just thought everyone should be aware of this. The only tips we actually get are cash."
The customer service manager also claimed that the restaurant did not give staff tips paid by credit card - but it did charge staff for making mistakes, and fine them if they were late clearing tables.
Dave Turnbull, regional officer of Britain's largest union, Unite, said that the crackdown on such tipping problems has been long overdue.
He also said that the union would be looking into ensuring that the legislation does, indeed, lead to fair tips delivery.
He said: "There will be question marks as to whether it will deal with the myriad of scams some restaurants use to pilfer staff tips to boost their profits, in addition to dealing with unjust situation at TGI Fridays, who use tips left for waiting staff to subsidise the low wages of skilled kitchen staff."
However, chief executive of trade association Hospitality UK, Kate Nicholls told the BBC earlier this year that the industry is 'self-regulating'.
"We don't need legislation," she added.
Power to the people! *Clenches fist and pumps it into the air*
Featured Image Credit: PA