Restaurant owners will no longer be allowed to take a cut of staff tips under provincial legislation that passed Monday. Liberal MPP Arthur Potts said his private member’s bill, which must still be proclaimed into law, was designed to prevent employers from dipping into the restaurant staff tip pool. Some owners take an automatic 25-50% for themselves, he said.
“It’s not as widespread as I think people sometimes imagine, but it is happening and this levels the playing field for everyone,” Potts said.
The Beaches-East York MPP said he made a commitment during last year’s provincial election campaign to introduce the Protecting Employees’ Tips Act. The former NDP member for the riding, Michael Prue, had repeatedly attempted to get a legislative ban that prevents bosses from pocketing tips meant for wait and kitchen staff.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said she’s concerned the bill will still permit restaurant owners to withhold a portion of a tip paid by credit card. Tips are a wage earned by restaurant staff for delivering good service to customers, she said.
“The complete amount of that tip should remain with the server instead of being siphoned off by the owner of the business,” Horwath said. “We just think that it’s a fairness issue and it’s something that is long overdue, that servers are able to keep their tips. Period.”
Potts said owners will be able to keep 2.5% of tips to recover the fee charged by credit card companies.
“The restaurants were concerned that they would be subsidizing tips,” he said. “It’s an insignificant amount from an employee’s perspective but in a large establishment, it’s a significant amount.”
Source Aneonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief
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