The Government has finally responded to the consultation on tipping, gratuities, cover and service charges, which closed in June 2016!  The response confirms what was initially proposed in 2018 - that legislation will prevent employers from deducting tips received by staff save where HMRC requires it.

The new rules will apply to all employers, not just restaurants, who be still able to distribute tips via a 'tronc' system.  A tip will have to be paid over no later than the end of the month following the month in which the customer left it.  Employers will have to have a written policy on tips and keep a record of how tips have been dealt with.

There will be a statutory code of practice introduced and breaches of the new law will be remedied via the Employment Tribunal - presumably in a similar manner to the current unlawful deduction from wages laws.

The sudden interest by the Government in resurrecting this proposal may stem from a desire to fix the massive labour shortage in the hospitality industry by making it a far more sector to work in.