New law on tipping hospitality staff to be brought into effect this December

Louise Hickey

The Payment of Wages (Amendment) (Tips and Gratuities) Act 2022 was signed on the 20th of July this year and it has now been confirmed that it will come into effect on the 1st of December.

This means any ‘service charge’ or any charge to a bill that may lead customers to believe it is a service charge should be fairly distributed among staff members.

Employers will be bound by law to show ways in which tips are shared in a manner that is fair. Failure to comply with the new law will result in fines for employers.

The distribution can take into account how long somebody is employed in the company, the value of sales generated by them, or the hours worked. These rules are up to the employer.

This law does not include tips given in cash, only electronically, as the Workers Rights Commission (WRC) said this would be too difficult to monitor.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar welcomed the new law on Twitter, saying, “tips can form a significant percentage of a worker’s take-home pay and these changes go a long way to ensuring those tips are distributed to the people who have earned them”.

ONE Galway, a group of trade unions and student unions working together, welcomes the announcement ahead of the busy Christmas season for hospitality workers.

Clement Shevlin, a spokesperson for ONE Galway, which has campaigned on the issue of tips since 2018, said “this legislation is a good start on improving conditions and the lives of workers in the hospitality sector. But we mustn’t stop there”.

The group is concerned about other issues in the hospitality sector.

Shevlin added that “we’d urge the government to give hospitality workers a real meaningful gift this Christmas by tackling the inequities and bad practices in the industry, thus improving the opportunities and conditions in which they work, changes that are not just for Christmas”.

A survey by Fáitle Ireland, in February of this year, outlines the views of 3,500 employees working in hospitality. It found issues surrounding long and unplanned hours, condescending treatment by customers, and unprofessional treatment by managers.

The new law creates transparency in the workplace and gives reassurance to customers that the tips they distribute will be of benefit to the employee.

Louise Hickey

Image credit: Getty Images