Tipping In The UK Is About To Get A Lot Fairer

Who doesn't love dining out? As much as we enjoy cooking at home, there's just something about going to a restaurant and being pampered. At a good restaurant, your water glass is refilled before you even have to think about it, there's plenty of tasty beer, wine, and cocktails to indulge in, and, of course, the food is hot, scrumptious, and requires zero cleanup.

But for restaurant workers, your relaxing evening is just another day at work. Apart from being fast-paced and physically demanding, restaurant work can be a shady environment for servers, who face difficulties ranging from passive aggressive (or just aggressive) customers to low wages to sexual harassment and misconduct at the hands of bosses and other higher-ups (via Harvard Business Review).

And then there's whole question of tips. Aside from being chronically under-tipped by diners, workers might also be forced to contend with unfair tipping practices. In the past, employers have made workers perform un-tipped work while still getting paid the low hourly wage tipped workers get (via Class Actions Reporter). Restaurant owners have even pocketed some of the tips intended for servers (via Daily Mail). But now, in the UK at least, a new law targeting unfair tipping practices in the hospitality industry aims to ensure that restaurant servers receive their fair share of tips — no exceptions.

UK restaurant servers will keep all their tips under a new law

Working as a restaurant server can be harsh no matter where in the world you are. But in the UK, a particularly problematic tipping policy has affected waiters and waitresses. According to the Daily Mail, restaurant owners have been able to pocket the tips intended for servers. Although servers always get to keep cash tips, when customers pay (and tip) with a card, restaurant owners have been able to decide whether to pass it on to the server — or keep it for themselves. Understandably, this has led to quite a bit of grief for servers.

However, the Daily Mail reports that a new law aims to correct that unfair labor practice. Under the new law, proposed by business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, servers will be entitled to 100% of their tips — whether they be in cash or by card. The new rules will come to the aid of the UK's 1.7 million bar, restaurant, and café workers.

Tip-scooping has been a well-covered phenomenon in the UK. The Daily Mail notes that it happens at establishments ranging from the inexpensive chain Pizza Express to the celeb-haunted River Café in London. Wherever they work, UK restaurant workers must be breathing a sigh of relief.