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Cash boost for millions of workers as Government backs new law to ensure all staff keep their tips

MILLIONS of UK workers will be able take home more of their hard earned cash under new legislation, backed by the Government, banning employers from withholding tips from their staff. Despite most Hospitality workers; many of whom are earning the National Minimum Wage; relying on tips to top up their pay, there are still sadly too many businesses who shamefully fail to pass on service charges from customers to their staff. The Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill, introduced by Dean Russell MP and backed by the Government, will ensure that all tips go to staff by making it unlawful for businesses to hold back well earned service charges from their employees. This overhaul of tipping practices is set to benefit more than 2 million UK workers across the Hospitality, leisure and services sectors, who tend to reply on tips the most; and will help to ease pressures caused by global inflation and an increase to the cost of living.  Business Minister Jane Hunt said:- "At a time when people are feeling the squeeze with rising costs, it is simply not right that employers are withholding tips from their hardworking employees. Whether you are pulling pints or greeting guests, today's reforms will ensure that staff receive a fair day's pay for a fair day's work; and it means customers can be confident their money is going to those who deserve it. I particularly want to tip my hat to the work of Dean Russell MP and all the campaigners who have helped make the Tipping Bill a reality."

Through the Bill, a new statutory Code of Practice will be developed to provide businesses and staff with advice on how tips should be distributed. On top of this, workers will receive a new right to request more information relating to an employer's tipping record, enabling them to bring forward a credible claim to an employment tribunal. Dean Russell, Conservative MP for Watford, said:- "I am delighted that my Tips Bill has passed 2nd reading in Parliament. It is fantastic that we are on track to securing a fair deal for millions of people working in Hospitality across the country. It has always felt wrong that some employers have retained tips intended for their staff. This new legislation will halt this practice, particularly given the current challenges around the cost of living. I would like to thank all of the businesses and stakeholders that have got in touch to voice their support."

The move towards a cashless society has exacerbated the problem of companies keeping card tip payments for themselves, and today's measures, once in law, will ban that practice. UK Hospitality Chief Executive, Kate Nicholls, said:- "Tips and service charges provide a significant and welcome boost to Hospitality employees' take home cash. So we're delighted to see this proposed legislation recommend that employers can set a fair distribution policy for staff, meaning they all benefit. This should also reassure prospective Hospitality sector workers at a time when the industry is seeking to fill vacancies. Today's reforms follow a range of Government action to support people with the cost of living and help those on lower incomes keep more of what they earn. Most notably, earlier this year the Government increased the National Living Wage to £9.50 per hour; equivalent to an extra £1,000 a year for a full time worker; with a full campaign which encouraged workers to check their pay. In addition, the Government recently announced a widening of the ban on exclusivity clauses, giving the lowest paid workers flexibility to top up their pay and work multiple jobs if they wish. The reforms come at a time when there are more employees on payrolls than ever before, and unemployment has reached an all time low."

Parents whose babies require neonatal care to receive paid leave under new law backed by Government

THOUSANDS of parents whose babies require specialist care after birth will be able to take additional paid time off work, under new legislation backed by the Government. A baby who is born prematurely or sick will receive neonatal care in Hospital or another agreed care setting; often for a prolonged period of time. This can put parents in a difficult position of having to use their existing leave entitlements to be by their baby's side, or worse, having to return to work while their baby is still receiving Hospital care.

The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill, introduced by Stuart C McDonald MP and backed by Government, will allow parents to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave, in addition to other leave entitlements such as maternity and paternity leave, so that they can spend more time with their baby at what is a hugely stressful time.

Once in law, neonatal care leave will be available to employees from their 1st day in a new job and will apply to parents of babies who are admitted into Hospital up to the age of 28 days, and who have a continuous stay in Hospital of 7 full days or more.

As many parents across the UK are facing rising cost of living, today's reforms will help ease future pressures on families whose children require neonatal care by ensuring they aren't forced with the choice of taking unpaid leave or continue working. As well as supporting families, it will also help employers who want to better support their staff.

Business Minister Jane Hunt said:- "Having a new born in neonatal care is an incredibly worrying time for parents. No family should also have to agonise about their return to work, or whether they have enough leave in place. By putting our full weight behind this Bill, I hope we can take 1 concern off the minds of new parents and give them the additional paid time off they need to care for their poorly baby."

The reforms will be a huge boost for parents across the UK, with up to 12 weeks of paid leave for each parent. Mothers of children who have an extended stay in Hospital at the start of their lives often find that 39 weeks of paid maternity leave does not give them enough time with their loved 1 before they need to go back to work. Similarly, the change in law will ensure fathers and partners have the flexibility to share caring responsibilities by increasing the amount of paid leave they can access beyond the usual two weeks of paternity leave. It will also fit alongside Shared Parental Leave, and the flexibility that this provides, which will mean both parents feel able to prioritise their child, and family, in that precious time after birth.

Stuart C McDonald, MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East said:- "No parent should have to choose between being with their premature or sick baby in neonatal care and having to return to work to earn a living; or enjoying the full benefits of parental leave and going back to work. With the cost of living soaring, it is more important than ever that we secure an urgent change in the law so that parents of babies in neonatal care get the paid leave and support they need at an incredibly challenging time. I'm delighted to bring forward this Bill with the backing of Bliss and families across Scotland and the UK."

Bliss Chief Executive, Caroline Lee-Davey, said:- "We are thrilled that the Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill has passed Second Reading in Parliament and has support from the Government. This is a huge milestone after years of campaigning and is a significant step towards tens of thousands of parents having paid leave while their baby is critically ill in Hospital every year. We know how much this entitlement will mean to families, and the difference it will make to babies. Currently, thousands of parents every year have no choice but to return to work while their baby is in Hospital or spend months of their maternity leave next to an incubator. After the progress made today, we are 1 step closer to giving many parents the much-needed time to be where they need to be - by their baby's side in Hospital. We know there is now more to do to continue the Bill's passage through Parliament, and we look forward to continuing to work with Stuart McDonald MP and the Government, and MPs across all parties to ensure that this Bill becomes law as quickly as possible."

The Government already has package of measures in place to support the most vulnerable families and those on lower incomes. Earlier this year earlier the Government increased the National Living Wage to £9.50 per hour; equivalent to an extra £1,000 a year for a full time worker; with a full campaign underway encouraging workers to check their pay.


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