Summer is finally here. Tourists and visitors are arriving in force every sunny weekend.
By the beach, the bars and cafés are overflowing with people – everyone is looking to have fun with family and friends and make the most of their time off. It is a positive vibe.
Eating al fresco, especially by the sea, is one of the pleasures of the season but if you prefer a shady retreat, we have an abundance of independent, specialist and quirky eateries as well as all the usual chains.
And many of us like to leave a tip for the hard-working staff waiting tables in the hot weather.
After successful awareness-raising campaigns from organisations like Unite the Union, lots of people know to ask the staff whether it is better to leave the tip in cash to ensure all of it reaches their pockets.
This is because many high street chains take a cut from credit or debit card tips by adding administration fees before passing on the money to waiting staff.
Back in 2015, the lid was lifted on these sharp practices. The government set up an investigation and consulted with unions, employers and the public.
In October 2018, the government promised to introduce new legislation to ban employers taking tips from staff but we are still waiting.
What is even more worrying is that the last couple of times I have asked staff about the restaurant’s tips policy, they have knelt down beside me and whispered that they have been told not to answer or they will get into trouble.
It seems that now savvy customers have got the measure of unscrupulous restaurant owners, the staff are being gagged instead.
The scandal of management stealing tips from their staff continues.
The staff will often be on low wages and working long and unsociable hours. Companies that don’t give tips back to staff are penny-pinching in comparison to the huge profits they make selling food and drink.
Brighton and Hove attracts over 10 million visitors a year. Tourism supports one in five jobs in the city and brings over £800 million into our local economy.
That wealth needs to be shared. 100 per cent of tips should be going to workers.
Councillor Nancy Platts is the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.
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