Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill - Second Reading

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:16 am on 3 March 2023.

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Photo of Lord Shipley Lord Shipley Liberal Democrat 11:16, 3 March 2023

My Lords, it is a pleasure to follow the noble Lord, Lord Mitchell. He raised a number of interesting points, particularly around agency workers, credit card fees and new premises. I hope the Minister will be a in position to respond to some of those, because I hope that the Bill will get a speedy passage through the House. I am particularly grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Mitchell, for explaining the concept of dynamic tipping to us, which he clearly made great use of if, all those years ago, he was securing $60 per evening—which was then a very significant sum of money—to assist him in his studies.

As the noble Lord, Lord Robathan, said, what is there not to like? I subscribe to that view. This is about fairness for the 2 million people who receive tips as part of their employment. As the noble Baroness, Lady Berridge, said, this will help to increase low incomes, and that aspect of the Bill should not be understated.

Like others, I share the concern, as a customer, around what happens when I pay a tip or a service charge, and what the meanings of the terms that are used on the bill actually are. We should say that many businesses operate good systems for ensuring that tips and gratuities reach the staff customers intend them for. However, when I pay a service charge, I expect it to go to the staff providing the service, through a system that is transparent and which they understand. I have not seen a case for any part of the service charge being deducted for the employer’s benefit, although I think there is an issue around the credit card charge, which the Minister might like to clarify when he replies.

The new code of practice is going to be extremely important. It will need extensive publicity to ensure that the new requirements are being met, particularly those in Clauses 2 and 3. That will require substantial publicity through unions and social media. I hope the Government will support that process and that the Minister might be able to advise the House of the Government’s intentions to make sure the publicity reaches those who will benefit from it.

Like other speakers, I am absolutely delighted to give our support to the Bill. I wish it full speed through all its stages in this House.