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Shop Assistants (Tipping)

Volume 389: debated on Thursday 27 May 1943

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to. the Ministry of Food whether he is aware of the widespread complaints about the tipping of shop assistants in some areas; and whether he intends to take any further steps to stop this practice?

I would refer by hon. Friend to the reference I made to this practice during the Debate on Thursday, 13th May, 1943.

I am aware of that reference, but as there are such widespread complaints about this and peculiar annoyance at the unfairness that arises or may arise from tipping, cannot the Minister take some definite and quantitative action to stop this abuse?

I indicated that it is an offence, particularly in connection with price-controlled goods, but I am sure my hon. Friend will appreciate the difficulty of getting complete evidence, because neither the tipper nor the tippee is likely to reveal the offence.

In view of the very serious position to shop assistants, has the Minister actually any evidence that there is any tipping of shop assistants in this country, and would he be good enough to take it from me that there is no tipping among Co-operative employees?

I do not know about that, but I am afraid that there is undoubted evidence which appears to have very substantial foundation in fact that the practice of tipping is employed by certain members of the public and in certain establishments.

Is it possible to have notices displayed in all the big stores that this practice is illegal and that penalties can be inflicted for indulging in it?

I would be glad to consider that, but there is the disadvantage of calling attention to an abuse though it exists.

Is not a great deal of this tipping in kind and not in cash?