The Independent is running a campaign against restaurants who do not pass on tips and service charges to their staff in full, or use them to top up basic wages which are below the minimum wage. It seems obvious to me that the latter practice is indefensible and it was craven of the government to allow this loophole when they brought in the minimum wage legislation. The LibDems have tabled an amendment to the Employment Bill currently going through parliament which will close this loophole and I hope it is carried.
There is a spat going on here about the case of Lillian Ladele, the registrar who won a discrimination case after she objected to performing civil partnership ceremonies for homosexuals.
Now I have certainly had little sympathy for Ms Ladele up to now; I don’t agree with the tribuneral’s decision (on the discrimination issue anyway, it does seem that her employers treated her pretty badly in other respects) and I don’t think that public employees should be able to pick and choose which duties to perform according to their religious views, or other prejudices. It is also absurd for this case to be portrayed as a victory for Britain’s quiet majority as some on the right have done – there may well be a “quiet majority” who object to those with strong religious views getting special treatment.
However, neither do I think it is fair to portray Ladele as a nasty bigot. Continue reading