In recent years, the issue of fair treatment and transparency regarding tips in the hospitality industry has gained significant attention. In light of this, I proposed my Tips Bill.
I have been campaigning for my Tips Bill for several years to ensure workers have legal protections to keep their tips and gratuities. I was pleased to work with my colleague Virginia Crosbie MP who took on my Private Members Bill when I became the Minister for the bill for a period during 2022.
The new legislation will ensure tips and gratuities given by customers can no longer be kept by businesses but will rightly be passed on directly or shared as part of the team. My Tips Bill will benefit the millions of people working in hospitality. I have always felt strongly that businesses should not retain the tips which were intended for the staff who delivered the service.
The Bill will formalise the arrangements for tips and gratuities and ensure staff have legal protections if businesses are acting unfairly. The law will outline the appropriate arrangements needed to be put in place to ensure that tips are divided between the whole staff team including people who don't work in the front facing roles such as kitchen staff and cleaners.
Along with proposing the Tips Bill legislation, I was also fortunate to be the Minister taking the bill through to the committee stage where my colleague Virginia Crosbie MP has kindly taken the bill forward to the final stage to make the bill law. The Tips Bill has now been through all the stages and has become law.
The move towards a more cashless society has exacerbated the problem of companies retaining card tip payments for themselves, and my Bill will rightly ban that practice. I am grateful to the government and colleagues from across the House for their support.
You can read more about the Tips Bill here - https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3197/publications.
Here are the stages which the Tips Bill passed through
Proposal and First Reading
I presented the Tips Bill to the House of Commons. The proposal sought to address the issue of employers withholding tips, ensuring that these funds go directly to the deserving employees. The bill was then scheduled for its first reading, during which its main objectives and key provisions were outlined.
Second Reading and Committee Stage
During the second reading, Members of Parliament debated the principles and merits of the Tips Bill. I, along with other supporters, emphasised the need for a fairer system that protects employees and promotes transparency in tip distribution. Following the second reading, the bill entered the committee stage, where detailed scrutiny and potential amendments were discussed.
Report Stage and Third Reading
The report stage allowed MPs to propose further changes and amendments to the Tips Bill based on the feedback received during the committee stage. This stage offered an opportunity to refine the legislation and ensure it aligned with the intended goals. The bill then proceeded to the third reading, during which the final version of the proposed legislation was debated and voted upon.
House of Lords
After successfully passing through the House of Commons, the Tips Bill proceeded to the House of Lords for further scrutiny and consideration. The Bill underwent similar stages of reading, debate, and amendment in the upper chamber, ensuring a thorough examination of its provisions by peers. The House of Lords provided a valuable opportunity to refine the bill further and incorporate additional perspectives.
Consideration of Amendments and Royal Assent
Following the completion of its journey through the House of Lords, the Tips Bill returned to the House of Commons for consideration of amendments made by the upper chamber. MPs carefully reviewed the changes proposed by the Lords and reached a consensus on the final version of the bill. Once both houses agreed on the bill's content, it was sent for Royal Assent.
Royal Assent and Becoming Law
Upon receiving Royal Assent, the Tips Bill officially became law, signifying its successful passage through both houses of Parliament. The legislation's provisions now had the force of law, setting new guidelines and regulations concerning tips in the hospitality industry. This achievement marked a significant step forward in protecting the rights of workers and ensuring fair treatment in the sector.