Almost 400 employers have been found to be in contravention of new tipping laws since they were introduced last year.
The Payment of Waged (Tips and Gratuities) Act 2022 came into force on December 1st last year, introducing new rules on how employers have to share tips, gratuities and service charges among employees.
The new regulations included a legal entitlement for workers to receive electronic tips and gratuities, prohibited employers from using tips to make up contractual rates of pay and introduced a range of other measures to increase transparency around distribution of tips.
Between January 1st and November 30th this year, the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) conducted 4,270 inspections of different premises and found that a total of 393 employers were in contravention of the new tipping laws.
The vast majority (369) of contraventions related to the requirement for businesses to publicly display a notice about how tips, gratuities and service charges are distributed.
The remaining 24 contraventions related to a failure by employers to give employees a written statement outlining how tips and gratuities were distributed.
Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) chief executive Adrian Cummins said that many contraventions regarding public notices were likely to do with the wording of a notice, rather than an employer not displaying one at all.
“If you put up a notice that says all tips, gratuities and service charges go 100 per cent to staff, the WRC inspectors are not happy with that wording, they want a more elaborate wording,” he said.
“When the WRC go in and explain to the business owner what they are actually looking for, they’re very happy then [once it is amended],” he said, adding that employers should take care to ensure the wording of a notice is appropriate.
“What I was thankful for was that they [WRC inspectors] didn’t find that there were businesses withholding any tips, gratuities or service charges from staff, and I haven’t heard of it at all across the industry over the last 12 months or more since the legislation came in; that’s very positive” he added.
In terms of complaints made by employees to the WRC, there is no specific data available for complaints made under the new tipping legislation.
A total of 393 complaints have been made to the WRC under the general pay heading regarding unlawful deductions from wages and/or tips and gratuities between December 1st last year and November 30th this year.