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Withholding tips from staff now unlawful

A new law that stops employers from withholding tips from people working in the hospitality, leisure and services sectors has come into force. The Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023 received Royal Assent on 2 May 2023. 

The Bill makes it unlawful for businesses to hold back service charges from their employees, ensuring staff receive the tips they have earned. The measures are expected to come into force in about a year, following a consultation and secondary legislation.

This means that more than 2 million workers will have their tips protected. HMRC has estimated that this new law will mean an estimated £200 million a year will go back into the pockets of hard-working staff by retaining tips that would otherwise have been deducted.

A new statutory Code of Practice will also be developed in order to provide businesses with advice on how tips should be distributed among staff. This Code is being developed and will be subject to formal consultation later this year.

Workers will also be given a new right to request more information relating to their employer’s tipping record, which will help them to bring forward a credible claim to an employment tribunal.

The Business and Trade Minister said:

'As people face rising living costs, it is not right for employers to withhold tips from their hard-working employees. Whether you are pulling pints or delivering a pizza, this new law will ensure that staff receive a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work – and it means customers can be confident their money is going to those who deserve it.'