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Let’s protect hospitality workers’ tips this Summer – Gavan

18 February, 2019 - by Paul Gavan

This Wednesday, Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan’s Bill to give hospitality workers a legal right to their tips will be debated at Committee Stage.

The Protection of Employee Tips Bill would make it illegal for an employer to withhold, deduct, or demand the return of a tip from an employee without a lawful excuse.

The Sinn Féin Senator’s Bill would also require employers to display their tipping policy either on their menu or in another suitable manner so that customers have transparency with regard to whom and how their tip is distributed.

The Bill has received cross-party support to date and Sinn Féin are pushing for the Bill to be enacted in both Houses of the Oireachtas before the busy summer season.

Speaking ahead of the Bill being debated, Senator Gavan said:

“This is a simple Bill which would give protection to employees who work in a hospitality sector dominated by low pay and precarious work.

“Most people are actually surprised to hear that workers do not, in fact, have a legal right to their tips. The public would also be shocked to hear that research produced in 2017 highlights that one-third of all tips are stolen by employers on a regular basis.

“Our Bill was originally debated in January 2018, and passed with all party support. We’re looking for that same level of support next Wednesday as the Bill progresses through its final steps.

“We already have full support from Labour, Civic Engagement and many Independents. If this cross party support extends to Fianna Fáil & Fine Gael we can pass this short and simple Bill through both Houses of the Oireachtas before the summer recess which would ensure that workers are protected during that busy season.

“There’s a broad consensus within the Seanad that we all agree that workers should have a legal right to keep the tips which they earn. This is all about fairness and decency.

“Good employers have nothing to fear from this Bill. There’s no downside to this for anyone, unless you happen to be a bad employer who dips their hand in the tip jar!” 

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