Home Knowledge New Measures to be Introduced in Relation to Tips and Gratuities

New Measures to be Introduced in Relation to Tips and Gratuities


Employer practices in respect of tips and gratuities have been the subject of considerable media attention recently, particularly with regards to how they are distributed to employees. 

To address these issues, the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (the “Minister”) announced on 11 June 2019 that she intends to bring new measures before Government in the near future in relation to tips and gratuities to provide increased transparency to customers and greater protection to employees. 

The Minister plans to:

  1. amend the Payment of Wages Act 1991 so that tips cannot be used by employers to satisfy contractual rates of pay; and
  2. require employers to clearly display their tips and gratuities policy as well as outline how service charges are distributed. 

Heads of Bill are currently being drafted by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection while legal advice on the draft Heads is pending. It is expected that a memo will be brought to Government in the coming weeks seeking approval to draft a standalone Bill.

This announcement comes in the wake of the release of the Low Pay Commission’s (the “LPC”) Report on tips and gratuities in recent months. The report was commissioned after the National Minimum Wage (Protection of Employee Tips) Bill was initiated in the Seanad in 2017 (the “2017 Bill”). 

The Government will oppose the 2017 Bill on the basis of the LPC’s recommendation against introducing substantial regulation or primary legislation in respect of tips and gratuities.

The LPC considered that the 2017 Bill was unworkable and that it could have negative consequences for low paid workers which could lead to a reduction in take-home pay. 

Contributed by: Richard Smith




Follow us on Twitter @WFEmploymentLaw and @WilliamFryLaw