The Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015, which comes under the remit of the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, provides the legal basis for Sectoral Employment Orders (SEOs). SEOs can cover a broad range of issues such as pay, pensions or sick pay schemes for workers in an economic sector.
Separately, I have met with relevant stakeholders and industry bodies (including the Restaurants Association of Ireland, Irish Hotels Federation and the Vintners Federation) who have expressed their support for an agreement or code of practice in this area. I appreciate the support of these bodies, and it may form a basis for progress in relation to addressing the issue of tips and gratuities more broadly.
In the short term, however, I would like to bring greater clarity and transparency around this complex issue. I intend to progress an amendment to the Payment of Wages Act 1991 in order to distinguish between tips, gratuities and service charges and to place tips outside the scope of a person’s contractual wages. I am currently awaiting legal advice on the proposed amendment.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.