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Hospitality workers set to be given a legal right to their tips by Sinn Féin Bill – Gavan

7 June, 2019 - by Paul Gavan

Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan’s Bill to give hospitality workers a legal right to their tips will be debated at Report and Final Stage in the Seanad, next Wednesday 12th June 

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 by the Autumn of this year.

Speaking ahead of the debate, 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. Apparently, even the Tánaiste, speaking recently in the Dáil, did not know this. The public are also 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 has already been debated twice in the Seanad and passed each stage with all party support. We’re looking for that same level of support next Wednesday as we seek to complete the Bill’s progress through the Seanad.

“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 by the Autumn which would ensure that workers’ Tips are finally given legal protection.

“There’s a broad consensus in society that workers should have a legal right to keep the tips which they earn. We have also received tremendous support from the trade union movement, particularly from ICTU and the OneGalway and One Cork organisations. These groups understand that this Bill 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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