Seanad passes bill to ensure bar and restaurant workers in Ireland get to keep their tips
The bill received cross-party support.
A bill that will seek to ensure that hospitality workers in Ireland keep their tips passed the Committee stage on Wednesday evening.
The bill will make it illegal for employers to take their workers' tips and will also ensure that employees are protected by the law.
The bill, which was proposed by Sinn Féin, will also mean that restaurants and bars will have to display their tipping policy to ensure customers have full transparency as to how the tip that they give will be shared.
It will be reviewed one more time before being passed by the House, and then ultimately signed into law by the President.
Senator Paul Gavan took to Twitter to celebrate the bill passing the committee stage in the Seanad on Wednesday evening.
I was delighted to see my Protection of Employee Tips Bill pass Committee Stage in the Seanad this evening. Huge support for Sinn Fein taking this initiative - and vital campaign work from OneGalway and OneCork in particular. Thanks to all! https://t.co/3ixttNqExw
— Senator Paul Gavan (@paul_gavan) February 20, 2019
A statement was also released by Sinn Féin Senator for Mayo Rose Conway-Walsh, who said that the bill "will enshrine in law a worker’s right to access their tips earned while working for an employer".
“The Protection of Employee Tips Bill would make it illegal for an employer to withhold, deduct, or demand the return of a tip from an employee without a lawful excuse.
"This Sinn Féin Bill would also require employers to display their tipping policy either on their menu or in another suitable manner so that customers have transparency with regard to whom and how their tip is distributed.
"All this is aimed at helping those workers on a low wage or who have precarious or irregular employment to keep all of what they are entitled to. Customers do not hand over tips lightly and those same tips should not be deducted or withheld for no reason.
"The Bill has received cross-party support and Sinn Féin are pushing for the Bill to be completed through both Houses of the Oireachtas before the busy summer season. To do this we need the support of all parties.
"There has been a great consensus already from trades unions and from many responsible employers themselves.
“Many people are actually surprised to hear that workers do not, in fact, have a legal right to their tips. The public would also be shocked to hear that research produced in 2017 highlights that one-third of all tips are stolen by employers on a regular basis.
"I know many good employers in the hospitality industry and they have nothing to fear from this Bill. There’s no downside to this for anyone, unless you happen to be a bad employer who dips their hand in the tip jar."