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Tipping Legislation

With everything we’ve ever done, we’ve always stayed close to the industry. And to the legislation, and to the expert advice coming from people working in this field, so that we can understand it, be fully compliant, and so that we can work with our clients to come to the best operational and commercial solution for everybody.

Even more important to do so now in these pressured times.

So, it has been prudent that we understand the implications of the latest tipping legislation, expected to come into force on 1 October – and there’s no getting away from the fact that logistically and administratively, it’s going to be complex for operators to implement and manage.

Of course, we are waiting for all the final details to be confirmed, but what we have learned is that the legislation is confined to the people that the operator directly employs, alongside agency top-up for those roles. And that if operators fully outsource a department, so in our case kitchen porters or night cleaning, then the business gets all the usual advantages and flexibility of outsourcing – without having to take this piece of legislation into consideration.

All the broader benefits of outsourcing still exist, such as around the management of people, recruitment and training, the ability to cover absence, and the opportunity to increase and decrease headcount depending on seasonality, or over periods of closure or renovation.

We will stay close to the legislation and code of practice as we approach October, and we will stay in conversation with our clients and the industry. And most importantly, we will stay focussed to deliver our services to a consistently high standard.

There’s no question that the industry is facing its toughest time in recent history. Cost of living and inflation has gone through the roof, which is something of a double whammy for a sector that shares so many similar costs with the average household, such as food and utilities, while also relying on the members of those households to dine or stay in their hotels or restaurants.

The tipping legislation will add another layer of complexity to already highly pressured hospitality businesses.

While there are still many unknowns ahead of us, particularly with a general election later this year, what we do currently know is that inflation is finally easing, and our sector is made up of individuals who are forever resilient, have an instinct for survival, are continually focused on the job at hand, and have a gift for always supporting one another.

Gillian Thomson was speaking with Amanda Afiya.