Parliament under siege as waiters serve notice on tips loophole

Waiting staff have held a demonstration outside the House of Commons calling on the government to ensure they get 100% of customer tips.

The demonstration, organised by the Unite union, comes a week before the end of a consultation on proposals to close the loophole that allows hospitality operators to include tips as part of the national minimum wage.

A YouGov survey of nearly 2,200 consumers, commissioned by campaign group Consumer Focus, revealed that 94% believe all tips “should always go to the staff with no deductions by restaurant owners”.

Len McCluskey, Unite assistant general secretary, said: “The message from workers and consumers to the government on tips is undeniably strong. It must ensure employers in the hospitality industry give a decent living wage with 100% of tips added on top.”

Business secretary Peter Mandelson indicated at the launch of the consultation that the government was in favour of closing the loophole. However, the hospitality industry has opposed the changes, warning they will cost the restaurant sector as much as £73m.

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