RESTAURANT bosses will be forced to hand over every penny in customer tips to their staff, under new government plans, The Sun reports.
New laws could also compel managers to spell out that tipping is always voluntary and even slash automatic charges of up to 15% from bills, The Sun has also learned.
Business Secretary Sajid Javid will publish a nationwide consultation on Monday to crack down on the widespread abuse of service charges.
It follows a seven month investigation by Department for Business investigators. A senior Whitehall source said: “Big chains have been ripping off their own workers by taking their tips for years.
“It’s an unacceptable face of capitalism and we are going to stop it.” At the moment, there is only a voluntary code of practice over who tips should go to which restaurants are free to ignore.
Mr Javid’s plans include making the code mandatory. The scandal first broke in August last year when it emerged that bistro chain Cote Brasserie were not giving back any customer tips to staff in their 72 restaurants across the UK.
Instead, the company insisted it used the extra money to pay staff a higher hourly wage.
Amid the furore, Pizza Express also admitted to deducting an eight per cent ‘administration fee’ from staff tips given on credit cards.
The popular high street name was shamed into scrapping the fee after a customer backlash, along with the chains Giraffe, Zizzi, Ask and Las Iguanas.
Even some table waiting staff who serve MPs in Parliament’s four restaurants were being denied tips left for them.
Trade union Unite has called for restaurants’ sneaky admin fees to be banned altogether rather than just capped.