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Leave cash tips under the new pin only card payment regime

As Australians adjust to today’s switch to PIN-only credit card payments for purchases, United Voice, the hospitality union, has asked diners to consider leaving cash tips for restaurant staff when they want to reward excellent service to ensure the tips reach the staff for whom they are intended.

David O’Byrne, Acting National Secretary of United Voice, says “Tips from satisfied patrons are a welcome bonus for many restaurant workers, not least because the award rates for the industry are very low and surviving on them is a struggle.

“The change to PIN-only credit cards is an opportunity for diners to ensure their tips in appreciation of excellent dining experiences reach the staff who made it possible by leaving cash tips.

“Lack of transparency carries a risk of exploitation by unscrupulous individuals. So for tips, cash is probably best.

“Tips via credit cards are OK but cash does increase the likelihood of the tips reaching front of house and kitchen staff for whom they are intended.

“Hospitality workers appreciate tips but the most important protection for all workers is a strong industrial relations system, as well as awards and workplace agreements with fair pay and working conditions.

“It is important that this system not be weakened. Australians do not want to go down the slippery slope of an industrial relations free-for-all, where hard working staff are condemned to lives of abject poverty and even homelessness, as happens all too often in the United States, for example.

“In the United States restaurant staff are forced to beg patrons for tips to survive.

“That’s not what Australians want,” says David O’Byrne.