Following a call for evidence last autumn on the operation of tips, gratuities, cover and service charges, the Government has published a consultation paper reflecting the evidence it received from consumer, worker and employer groups, and setting out its proposals for achieving its aims with regard to the future handling of tips and service charges. These include:
- updating the current voluntary code of practice and putting it on a statutory footing to increase employer compliance;
- increasing transparency for consumers to make it clearer that suggested discretionary payments for service are discretionary and that consumers are free to choose; and
- preventing or limiting any employer deduction from discretionary payments for service, except for those required under tax law.
In addition, the Government is considering:
- whether to ban or restrict the levying of table sales charges on staff – a fee paid by waiting staff based on their sales during a shift; and
- how to incentivise and increase the prevalence of well managed tronc systems.
The closing date for responses is 27 June 2016.