Business, Innovation and Skills Questions: 3rd May 2016

Sir Simon Burns (Chelmsford) (Con)
T6. Does the Secretary of State accept that the proposals to allow waiters and waitresses, rather than restaurant owners, to actually receive tips given to them will be warmly welcomed? Does he not think that the House of Commons should show a lead, because in our own restaurants the agency workers and part-time workers who serve Members and their guests do not receive tips? [904792]

The Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise (Anna Soubry)
I thank my right hon. Friend for that question. May I begin by thanking and paying a huge tribute to everybody who works in this place, especially those in our catering services? They often have to work ​the most unsocial hours and often do so in the most difficult of conditions, as they suddenly have a huge influx of us going into the Tea Room or wherever it might be. We perhaps underestimate the work they do. My right hon. Friend makes a very good point and I would be more than happy to take this up with the House authorities. In the meantime, I congratulate my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on rightly launching this consultation, as when someone, in any facility, pays a tip, they expect the person to whom they want that tip to go to receive it—all of it. I think this will allow us to begin to see real progress, so that we do the right thing on this.