Ferris Calls On Minister Griffin To Support Bill For Hospitality Workers’ Legal Right To Tips

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Martin Ferris.

KERRY Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris has hit out at local Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin who is set to vote against a bill today, which aims to give hospitality workers in Kerry a legal right to the tips they earn.

Deputy Ferris said: “This is a simple but important piece of legislation and an important step forward in strengthening workers’ rights.

“Fine Gael are the only party who have said that they will be voting against this bill, and they have even gone as far as to say they will request for a ‘Money Message’ to be applied to it.”

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Deputy Ferris says; “The only message this gives out is that Fine Gael do not have any respect for people in low paid work, and it is a typical Fine Gael delay tactic. Hospitality workers are often on low pay and suffer disproportionate levels of exploitation in the workplace.”

“Most people are surprised to learn that workers don’t have a legal right to the tips they earn. This is a huge problem that can be fixed easily and quickly. Sinn Féin’s Bill ensures that workers’ tips are given legal protection by making it illegal for an employer to withhold or deduct them.

“It also requires businesses to display their tipping policy so that customers know how tips are distributed. The many hospitality workers in Kerry deserve their dues, they deserve fair treatment, they deserve their wages and they deserve their tips. I am calling on Fine Gael’s TD Brendan Griffin to reconsider his position and support this Bill,” said Deputy Ferris.

The Government opposes the bill — which passed in the Seanad last week — on the basis that a report earlier this year by the Low Pay Commission advised against primary legislation in this area. The LPC said that such a change could have unintended consequences, and end up in workers receiving even lower take home pay.

Earlier this month, it was revealed the Government is preparing legislation that would ban employers in the service industry from using tips to help pay workers’ wages and require businesses to display their policies on tipping.

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