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MP’s discuss how new Tipping Code of Practice might fit into the taxi industry

In a detailed parliamentary session, significant discussion unfolded around the new statutory code of practice for tipping, highlighting the need for clear guidance on its application across different industries. The debate aimed to clarify which sectors would be affected by the new rules and which would remain exempt, particularly where tipping is deemed to be less common.

James Gray, Chair of the Environmental Audit Sub-Committee on Polar Research, admitted to not being fully familiar with the original Act and sought clarification from the Minister. Gray's inquiries centered on understanding which industries the code does not cover, using examples such as tipping a taxi driver versus a waiter in a restaurant. He questioned why tips given directly to a waiter should be shared with other restaurant staff, seeking a deeper understanding of the code’s practical implications.

Kevin Hollinrake, Minister of State for the Department for Business and Trade, responded by emphasising that the new provisions target industries where tipping is a regular occurrence rather than those where it happens on an occasional or exceptional basis. He used the example of Christmas gifts to illustrate occasional tipping, which would be outside the code’s scope. In contrast, industries like taxi services, where tipping is frequent, may fall under the new guidelines.

Hollinrake elaborated that when a customer directly tips an employee, that tip remains with the individual, provided it is not controlled by the employer. This direct tipping, common in restaurants and similar settings, is meant to ensure that workers benefit fully from their service excellence. The Minister clarified that this approach would be documented in employer policies, making the process transparent and fair.

By endorsing this code of practice, the Government aims to rectify previous inconsistencies in how tips are distributed, thereby creating a more level playing field for businesses and safeguarding workers' rights. Scheduled to come into effect on Tuesday 1 October, the code is part of the Government’s broader effort to enhance employment conditions and ensure fair treatment for all workers.

It is hoped that the legislative change will bring transparency to the tipping process, helping employees understand exactly how their tips are handled and ensuring they receive what they earn. It's a move that will likely impact a wide range of sectors, from hospitality to personal services.


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