The government has recently announced plans to change the law so that tips, gratuities and service charges can no longer be taken into account when deciding whether a worker has received the NMW. Currently, when tips and gratuities are given directly to workers by customers and are retained by workers without any other party being involved, they cannot count towards NMW payment. Where there is evidence that cover charges, service charges, tips and gratuities are paid by the employer to the worker via the payroll, the tip can count towards the NMW pay. If implemented, the proposals would end the practice of employers using tips to “top up” staff wages to meet the NMW. The changes are expected to be introduced in October 2009 following consultation on the proposed changes this autumn.