Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Tourism Imelda Munster TD has welcomed the passing of Sinn Féin’s Protection of Employee Tips bill which successfully passed report and final stages in the Seanad today, and is now due to go before the Dáil.
Deputy Munster also expressed disappointment that the government voted against the bill.
The Bill will make it illegal for an employer to withhold, deduct, or demand the return of a tip from an employee without a lawful excuse. The bill will also require that employers display their tipping policy on menus or in another suitable manner to ensure that customers have transparency with regard to whom and how their tip is distributed.
Deputy Munster said:
“I am delighted that the bill has passed in the Seanad, and I would like to commend my colleague, Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan, for sponsoring the bill. This is a good day for workers in the hospitality sector.
“I am disappointed that Minister for Tourism Shane Ross and his Junior Minister Brendan Griffin are opposing the bill. They should recognise that they have a responsibility towards those who work in the hospitality industry.
“These workers already have to contend with low pay, uncertainty around working hours and seasonal work. Many of these workers rely on their tips as part of their weekly wage. The Ministers should protect them.
“It comes as a surprise to most people that employees do not have a legal right to their tips. I think that most people would be surprised to hear that one third of all tips are taken from workers by their employers on a regular basis.
“Employers have nothing to fear from this bill. There is no downside to this bill for anyone, other than employers who wish to steal tips from their workers.
“This bill is about fairness and basic decency. I hope that the parties who have supported the bill to date will continue to do so as it progresses through the next stages, and I look forward to having the opportunity to speak to it in the Dáil in the coming weeks. I hope that the government will have a change of heart and do the right thing.”