Legislation is on the way to oversee gratuities to wipe out the practice of pooling tips by employers.
Minister of Economy and Labour, Jason Hayward tabled the Employment (Protection of Employee Tips and Other Gratuities) Amendment Act 2023 in the House of Assembly on Friday.
The end goal of the new legislation he says, would help to ensure tips go towards the workers who earned them.
Outside of unionised workplaces, he said there was no legislation to oversee gratuities, leaving no recourse for employees who do not receive the full tips owed to them.
He also said there was no legislation to oversee gratuities.
”The Employment Act 2000 sets the minimum requirements for employment relationships within Bermuda,“ he said.
”However, despite the frequent amendments to this Act, there remain areas within the legislation that are out of step when compared to other jurisdictions and are not in keeping with the International Labour Organisation’s standard for best practice.
“Specifically, currently there is no provision under the Act for the protection of tips and other gratuities in the workplace.”
He also noted that the Ministry had received reports of employers who pool tips to employees not involved in the provision of services or put those funds into their businesses.
The Department of Labour had also received complaints about employees not being given the gratuities they had earned, but he said it was difficult to gauge exactly how widespread the issue is.
“As a result, worker’s tips and gratuities are being reduced when they are made to share with others who should not be a part of the distribution,” he said.
The new amendments would define gratuities, prevent the withholding of gratuities and establish safeguards to ensure the gratuities go to the workers.
The amendments also lay out civil penalties for employees who breach the rules.
“It is envisioned that this amendment will have a positive impact as it will ensure employees’ tips and other gratuities are managed appropriately and that employees have a clear understanding of how their tips and other gratuities are distributed,” he added.