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Restaurants and bars that don't display their tips policy will face fines of up to €2,500

An amendment to the law is to be introduced to ensure tips go to the employee.

Image: Shutterstock/mastermilmar

PREMISES THAT DON’T prominently display their tips policy will face fines of up to €2,500. 

Under proposed new government rules, there will be a requirement on employers to clearly display their policy on tips, gratuities and service charges, including how they are distributed to employees. 

Those that fail to clearly display their policy on their premises will be subject to a fine. 

Writing in TheJournal.ie today, Minister for Employment Affairs Regina Doherty announced that “when you walk into a restaurant or hotel in future, you will know where your tips are going”.

She said she is ”not happy” with some practices that exist where some restaurants have been using tips and gratuities to make up a portion of the wages staff have been contracted to be paid. 

Soon, the minister will propose an amendment to the Payment of Wages Act so that tips cannot be used to make-up or satisfy payment of contractual rates of pay.

“This will close off once and for all a behaviour that, while not widespread, does exist and which I believe unfairly gives the whole hospitality industry a bad name,” she said, adding that the legislation will be published in the coming weeks.

She urged all parties to support it.

The move comes after a Bill from the opposition to prevent employers deducting or withholding tips from employees was passed by the Seanad, despite government opposition.

The government has said it would not support the Sinn Féin Bill as it would have unintended consequences, and could result in workers receiving even lower take home pay. 

Last week, senators voted by 25 to 14 on an amendment to the Sinn Féin National Minimum Wage (Protection of Employee Tips) Bill, passing the Bill without a vote.

However, the government said it would place a ‘money message’ on the piece of legislation to ensure it gets stalled. 

Earlier this week, former Attorney General Michael McDowell said placing a ‘money message’ on the Sinn Féin Bill is “unlawful and must be resisted”.

TDs such as People Before Profit’s Joan Collins have called on the minister to support the opposition Bill. 

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