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Canadians rather than companies must determine future trends in tipping.

Canadians rather than companies must determine future trends in tipping.

Tipping has been a subject of intense controversy, and it has spilled over at times in the world of Canadian media. Canadians have a variety of opinions on tipping. According to a recent study by researchers at Dalhousie University, they are divided.

One reason that tipping attracts such a lot of attention is that it alters the relationships between managers and workers and between consumers and their employers. It also can have a wide-ranging impact on employees.

On the one hand, tipping could boost workers’ income and provide workers confidence in certain aspects of their job. However, on the other hand continue reading this, it can be more challenging. It typically has various adverse effects that are not always visible to the public.

This includes sexual harassment and pressure to engage in harmful and humiliating behaviors and inequality among various classes of workers, discrimination based on race, and unpredictable earnings.

Tipping can be a source of social impacts, such as exacerbating the distinction between classes and allowing for other work practices, such as defining workers as independent contractors, which could harm employees. Tipping is not an unimportant practice.

A changing landscape

Tipping is a significant component of the fast-growing current gig economy, in which 13 percent of Canadians are believed to have been employed in 2021.

The tipping trend is now spreading into more areas of the hospitality industry, including restaurants, cafes, and other limited-service establishments. Soon, it may be extended to liquor stores, airlines, and pet grooming companies.

The changes happen before our eyes without significant policy debate or directive. If the policymakers give tipping attention, it is usually only a matter of tweaking or removing the different minimum wage for tipped workers or modifying rules regarding tip pooling.

While these are crucial topics, they fail to address the complicated issues and trade-offs that come with tipping in a thorough approach. These are missed opportunities to begin a discussion that we must engage in as a nation. Instead, it’s businesses that are usually in the driving seat.

Some businesses, such as Larry’s at Montreal and Smoke ‘N’Water situated in Parksville, B.C., have tried to get rid of tipping; they’ve increased the practice by requiring customers to give tips via payment apps or portals. Businesses have a variety of reasons to make this change, most notably the possibility of reducing costs by shifting the burden of workers’ compensation to consumers.

When tipping becomes more prevalent in a specific sector, strong norms begin to be created, which are difficult to break. If this trend continues in the industries which are seeing a tipping increase across Canada and the United States, millions of Canadian employees could have their lives drastically changed.

It’s time to have an honest discussion.

In light of these changes and the current understanding of the effects of tipping, we must consider whether this is really what we would like our future work environment to appear like in Canada?

As a sustainability and business professor, I think it’s the right time for Canadians, as well as their representatives and the policymakers, to have a thorough discussion about what the future holds for compensation for Canada and the role should be tipping, if any, have to have in it.

The discussion should involve the complete consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of tipping and alternative options, such as fees for service and pricing inclusive of service, as well as the procedures needed to change from one method to the next effectively.

It should also allow the chance that helps Canadian workers to study and discuss their ideas with each other by accessing the latest research, expert insight, and stakeholder viewpoints, such as those offered by Not 9 To 5 and the Worker Solidarity Network.

We can draw inspiration from the activities of the Ontario Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee, which benefited from extensive stakeholder consultations and research to write their report about the outlook for work in Ontario. We can also draw upon the increasing number of citizen gatherings working on problems like auto insurance or democratic expression.

Tipping’s future

Canadians might eventually express they would like to see the end of tipping in specific sectors, which was the case in a few U.S. states in the past. It could also be paired with policies to provide employees some of the benefits that tipping could bring, such as increased wages and a higher feeling of control, by giving employees more control over how they work.

Or, Canadians may want to maintain the tradition of tipping but establish specific rules regarding the methods used to solicit tips via platforms and apps, increased wages for workers, and transparency on the distribution of dividends. If any, the minimum wage applies to workers.

Instead of tipping being defined by businesses when they play around with payment gateways, the concept of tipping should be defined in the eyes of Canadians who, even though they might experience tips regularly but haven’t had an opportunity to think about it.

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