UKhospitality has urged the government to consult the hospitality industry before drawing up tipping legislation.

Five years after it was first proposed, new legislation is being drafted to stop bar and restaurant owners from taking customer tips and service charge payments from workers.

Last week Paul Scully, the labour markets minister, was reported as saying: “Unfortunately, some companies choose to withhold cash from hardworking staff who have been tipped by customers as a reward for good service.

“Our plans will make this illegal and ensure tips will go to those who worked for it. This will provide a boost to workers in pubs, cafes and restaurants across the country, while reassuring customers their money is going to those who deserve it.”

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The plans have drawn a response from Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, who said: “UKHospitality supports the right of employees to receive the deserved tips that they work incredibly hard for. Ensuring employees receive the tips they earn will further strengthen the sector’s ability to create jobs and support the wider economic recovery.

“For hospitality businesses, though, customers tipping with a card incurs bank charges for the business, and many also employ external partners to ensure tips are fairly distributed among staff. With restaurants, pubs and other venues struggling to get back on their feet, facing mounting costs and accrued debts, we urge the Government to continue to work closely with the sector as it introduces this legislation to ensure this works for businesses and employees.”