A DORSET law firm has warned Bournemouth hospitality is at a 'tipping point' ahead of new a legislation. 

Ellis Jones Solicitors has urged businesses in the service and hospitality sectors in Bournemouth to prepare for the long-awaited legislation on tipping. 

It has advised businesses to make sure it is compliant with the new policies and procedures in the Employment Act 2023 code of practice which will come into effect on October 1. 

Kate Brooks, partner and head of employment/HR services at Ellis Jones, said: “There is currently no legal obligation for employers to pass on tips and service charges to employees.

“This long-awaited legislation will be welcomed in many quarters for the clarity and structure it brings to a grey area for employers, employees and consumers.

“Although the majority of businesses are responsible employers, those which fail to comply run the risk of credible employment tribunal claims.

“It is important that employers in leisure, hospitality and the service industry understand the new criteria and are ready to meet its requirements.”

The changes will mean business owners and employers will be required to manage staff tips in a fair and transparent way with the full amount given to employees. 

Tips will be distributed fairly among workers including those on zero-hour contracts with employers needing a written policy on about allocation tips. 

Employees will have the right to request information about tipping records with the statutory code of practice having legal force. 

A spokesperson for Ellis Jones said: "The Government published its draft code of practice in late April with the intention for it take effect on October 1. 

"The government says the new rules will protect the tips of two million workers in England, Wales and Scotland in the hospitality, leisure and services sectors, resulting in an estimated extra £200m going into their pockets."

Ellis Jones has six offices across the region where it supports businesses, employers and private clients with employment and HR services.

It is sponsoring the Bournemouth Area Hospitality Association (BAHA’s) 2024 recognition awards this year in the HR/Admin/Accounts Award category.