Here's a TIP - Look after your staff! - Give workers a legal entitlement to their tips.

Here's a TIP - Look after your staff! - Give workers a legal entitlement to their tips.

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John-Paul Romano started this petition to Scott Morrison (Prime Minister of Australia) and

Prime Minister, Minister, Opposition Members,
 
Amend the Fairwork Act to force employers to share hard-earned tips with their staff.

As a hospitality worker who’s worked as an apprentice, waiter, bartender and chef, I understand the 12 hour plus days and long shifts worked by frontline and background staff.

Affording workers the right to their tips allows an unwritten law to be set in stone; stopping greedy business owners from stealing a gift that helps predominantly students and those on minimum wage make ends meet.

No one gives tips with the expectation that the owner takes it all for themselves. Currently, because the Fairwork Act doesn’t discuss the allocation of tips, common law principals allow greedy owners to take from their hardworking staff.

Why should we allow this to happen?

So, elected representatives; I’m calling on you to stand with the hard workers of Australia and amend the Fairwork Act to make our business industry more equitable and allow, predominantly students working in hospitality, to access more money that they are entitled to.

Amend the Act to say;

The Distribution of Tips or Monetary Gifts to Staff

  • All tips, except those personally given to staff, must be split by the hour and divided by all staff who work on that day. 
  • If unspecified, a tip is classified as a common tip and should be treated as such.
  • Tips must be paid weekly or fortnightly and must be calculated daily.
  • The employer may only take an even share of the tips as equivalent to one employee for all of the hours the store is open (this is because the work the owner puts into maintaining, designing and updating the establishment may contribute to the decision to leave a tip).
  • If the owner is also a worker, they may also receive a second share for the hours they worked. 
  • The employer may reserve up to 50% of tips to subsidise a dinner or celebratory function, but that sum must be used within the same quarter, and remaining funds must be evenly distributed to all staff. The owner must also inform the staff if they choose to do so and tell them the percentage they elect to reserve. 

For example; a cafe is open from 6 am to 3 pm.
Jess, the chef, works 6 am to 3 pm (9hrs)
James, the owner, works 7 am to 3 pm (8hrs + 9hrs)
Sally, the manager/barista, works 6 am to 2 pm (8hrs)
Bob, a waiter, works 10 am to 2 pm (4hrs)

At the end of the day it’s calculated that the Café made $57 in tips; thus, the total number of tippable hours is 38.

This means that each employee, plus the owner receives $1.50 per hour in tips;
Jess - $13.50
James - $12.00 + $13.50
Sally - $12.00
Bob - $6.00

If the owner decides to use 50% of the tips for the quarterly staff party, then the amounts would decrease by 50%.

  • The employer cannot use tips to pay for breakages or misorders by customers. Breakages are a business expense. 
  • The employer may keep a tab of; customer walkouts, misorders, instances of poor service or mistakes which had to be discounted or refunded because of poor service or quality caused by staff. This may be deducted from the weekly split of tips. 
  • Tips are a gift and as such should be tax-free. However, all tips should still be declared to the tax office.
  • Having a tip jar is not mandatory, and businesses might prefer to have a charity bucket. All proceeds from charity buckets must be given to the listed charity. 
  • Employers found to be in breach of this section should be fined.
0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!