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MPs asked to close minimum wage legal loophole

7 July 2008

The Unite union is to ask MPs to close legal loopholes that allow restaurant owners to pocket tips given to UK waiters and waitresses.

Len McCluskey, Unit's assistant general secretary, said employers were being allowed to rip off poorly-paid staff and that tips are often used to top up below minimum wages instead of being distributed to employees.

Since the introduction of chip and pin technology in 2004, the problem of restaurant owners keeping some or all of the tips has increased because customers often pay this on their cards.

Unite wants to persuade MPs to sing an early day motion which would stop employers paying less than the minimum wage (£5.52 an hour) and making up the difference from staff tips.

The motion has been tabled by East Lothian MP Ann Moffat and has been signed by 15 Scottish MPs so far.