Moves for greater transparency on tipping widely welcomed

Sajid Javid, the business secretary, has launched a consultation on tipping amid concerns that resta

Sajid Javid, the business secretary, has launched a consultation on tipping amid concerns that restaurants are confusing customers by not being transparent about the charges and who actually receives any tips. - Credit: PA

The government has launched a consulatation outlinging moves to make sure staff in service industries receive the tips left to them. And the move has been widely welcomed.

Whether the customer decides to tip 10pc of the final bill, or rounds the amount up to the nearest round number – on the receiving end of that generosity are the staff who delivered the service.

While many of us are happy to leave a tip, that final amount often depends on the type of restaurant, quality of the service and even how much change is left in our wallets.

But the government wants businesses to become more transparent on their tipping practices and ensure that customers decide, and have more control over, their extra contribution towards the service they received.

It also – and most importantly – means workers should receive their fair share with none held back by their employers.

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The announcement has been welcomed by all parties, including the union Unite, and has again sparked debate about tipping in the service industry. Michael Baldwin, who is the general manager of the Bank House Hotel in King's Lynn and sits on the West Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the proposals.

He said: 'I think it is a really good thing for everyone involved; the more transparency there is for people, the better.

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'The tips here at The Bank House are shared equally among all the staff. We feel that everyone contributes to the customer experience – whether they work in the kitchens, at front-of-house or in housekeeping – and it is very much a team effort here.'

While the media has mainly focused on the restaurant industry while reporting on the issue, there are also other consumer sectors where tipping is popular. Among them are hairdressing and beauty as well as taxi or delivery .

Chris Nadin-Hurley, at Nadin Hurley Hair Stylists, in Stoke Ferry near Downham Market, says it is particularly rewarding when customers also tip the apprentices helping behind the scenes.

He said: 'The government allocates apprentices a fixed wage, so any tips can really go a long way for a 16- or 17-year-old.

'It gives them a boost; makes them feel appreciated. After all, they've also contributed to the customer experience by shampooing hair and making sure the salon is looking neat and tidy – apprentices play a really important role.'

Commenting on the consultation earlier this week, business secretary Sajid Javid said: 'I'm setting out some of our proposals to make tipping fairer, clamping down on unfair practices and securing a better deal for the millions of workers in the service industry. We will look closely at all the options, including legislation if necessary.'

The public have until June 27 to comment on the government's consultation.

What are your views on tipping? Write (giving your full contact details) to: The Letters Editor, EDP, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email

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