Thursday, May 07, 2009

Service non compris

Even as the Labour government seems willing to raise the bar to deliver a rolling sequence of 'worst weeks,' there is still some reassuring news that all is not lost and the government can still do the right thing by ordinary working men and women.

From the 1st October, employers will no longer be allowed to use tips to offset the costs of paying their staff the minimum wage. Previously, some establishments paid staff as little as £3 an hour, using the tips to bring the wages up to the £5.73 legal minimum. Despite complaints from the usual suspects that this would cost jobs - the same whinges were heard prior to the introduction of the minimum wage (the Tories don't like to talk about that) and proved wrong. Research by DBERR showed that only 4% of venues actually followed this practice and the likely impact was not the £450 million forecast, but rather closer to £93 million and just half of one per cent of the wages bill of those companies affected.

It has taken too long to get this far, but an omission from the original legislation has been corrected and it will help people who typically work long hours for low pay.

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