Minimum wage change boosts restaurant staff earnings

Jun 25, 2009


New rules introduced alongside increases to the national minimum wage mean that waiting staff will earn extra cash, according to experts at Milton Keynes-based law firm Tollers.

The minimum wage is rising to £5.80 for adults from October 1. Current legislation allows restaurant owners to use tips taken by staff in order to make up their wages to the national minimum but this practice will be outlawed under the new legislation.

Solicitor Marie Cox, who works at Tollers, said: “It is great news for waiting staff and will encourage better service in restaurants as they will reap the financial benefits of hard work.”

“While we do not know how widespread a practice this is in Milton Keynes, it is right that it is being stamped out. It is not fair for a waiter or waitress to work a shift and earn good tips, then see those tips effectively disappear into the restaurant’s profits.

Most businesses that responded to a national consultation said the move was a positive one, she added.

The main hourly rate for the national minimum wage will rise by 7p from October from £5.73 to £5.80. The rate for 18 to 21-year-olds will rise from £4.77 to £4.83; and for 16- and 17-year-olds from £3.53 to £3.57.
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