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12 June 2019

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Sinn Féin Bill to protect workers tips passes Seanad

“Tip theft is widespread, and the public are behind this Bill. People across this island believe tips should go to workers, and workers alone.” - Senator Paul Gavan

Sinn Féin’s Protection of Employee Tips Bill has passed Report and Final stage in the Seanad, despite opposition from Fine Gael. 

The Bill, introduced by Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan, will now head to the Dáil with cross-party support. The Bill would make it illegal for an employer to withhold, deduct, or demand the return of a tip from an employee without a lawful excuse.

It would also require employers to display their tipping policy in a suitable manner so that customers and workers have transparency in the distribution of tips.

Sinn Féin are pushing for the Bill to be enacted into law by Autumn of this year.

Speaking after the passed through the Seanad today, Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan said:

“This is a significant victory for workers, there’s no doubt about it. Despite significant opposition and lobbying by the Irish Hotels Federation and the Restaurants Association of Ireland against it, the Protection of Employee Tips Bill has now passed all stages in the Seanad. 

"This Bill is a great example of the fruits of cooperation when the Left works together.

“The Bill will now move to the Dáil, and we are calling on the government to get this through as soon as possible.”

Fine Gael Minister Regina Doherty yesterday said that the Government “cannot in good conscience support the Bill”, and that they would be introducing their own legislation on the matter.

Senator Gavan spoke to An Phoblacht this afternoon and said that the sooner this legislation is enacted in law, the sooner workers will have a legal right to their tips and the sooner customers will have transparency in how their tips are distributed.

“This issue is real. Tip theft is widespread, and the public are behind this Bill. People across this island believe tips should go to workers, and workers alone.

"It is a disgrace that this is not already the case, and we must right this wrong. We call on the government to expedite this Bill through the Dáil so that customers are given the transparency they demand, and that workers in low-pay and precarious work are given the protections they deserve”, the Limerick based Senator concluded.

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