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Hospitality workers accuse bosses of keeping tips

Published:  18 October, 2021

More than half of hospitality workers in the UK claim their bosses lie about tips, according to new research by comparison site

The study of 1,000 UK hospitality workers revealed that one in five claimed their bosses kept all tips for themselves.

The news comes as it was revealed that new rules on tipping in the UK were set to come into force before 2022. This will make it illegal for companies not to pass on tips to their employees, while rule breakers could face an employment tribunal.

The analysis revealed that waiters and bar staff believe they lose as much as £140 a week as a result of unfair tip distribution by their bosses and managers, which could amount to £7,000 annually.

More than half of hospitality workers (55.3%) said they “don’t trust” that their boss or manager is honest about the tips they receive, while around one in five (18.6%) believes their boss takes every penny of the tips they earn.

The data found that the average hospitality workplace earns £1,311 a week in tips, with establishments in Scotland (£1,639) earning more than any other UK region, almost double those in the West Midlands (£888).

Scottish workers claim they were short changed more than those in any other region, losing out on £172 each week due to their employers.

Customers in Manchester are the worst tippers in the UK, according to the research. Hospitality workers in the city take home an additional average of £137 per week. Meanwhile, those in Brighton are the best tippers, with workers taking home a weekly average of £227 in tips.

There was also a big difference in tips when it comes to age, with hospitality workers in Gen Z earning the most a week (£211) in tips, which is almost double what baby boomers earn (£119).

James Andrews, senior personal finance expert at, said: “Within the next year, restaurant, cafe and pub bosses will be banned from keeping tips left for staff by customers in Britain.”

He added: “One thing to be aware of is that tips count as income for tax purposes. If your tips are added to your pay cheque, that’s all taken care of as they’re taxed in the same way as the rest of your salary.

“However, if your tips are in cash you might need to fill in a self-assessment tax return to make sure you don’t fall foul of the authorities. The good news is that this only kicks in if you’re making more than £2,500 a year in cash in hand payments.”