Scarborough Tim Hortons workers banned from accepting tips.

A Scarborough-based Tim Hortons has banned employees from accepting tips and will strip them of paid breaks in response to a $2.40 wage hike.

Employees at the franchise located at Lawrence Ave. E. and Markham Rd. have been told that as of 2018, there would be “no more tips” and that any tips “must go in to the till.” The instructions posted on a bulletin board also say breaks will no longer be compensated “in light of the new minimum wage increase.”

According to the Ministry of Labour website- Employers can decide if tipping is allowed in their businesses.

If tipping is not accepted, the employer should make it clear to the customers that tips and other gratuities will not be accepted by employees or the employer, If gratuities are permitted, it is illegal to withhold tips from workers, following changes to the Employment Standards Act introduced by the Ontario government in 2015. Employers can only withhold tips if they are collected and re-distributed later in a tip pool.

Jennifer McCall, who is named on the franchise’s incorporation documents and is listed on employee schedules posted below the new instructions issued to workers, said she was unable to comment.

In statement, advocacy group for Tim Hortons franchises, the Great White North Franchisee Association, has said franchise owners are left with few options in the face of the minimum wage hike, and a parent company that refuses to increase prices.

Yesterday, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne accused the owners of two Tim Hortons franchises in Cobourg, Ont., who are also the children of the chain’s founders of bullying employees after they eliminated paid breaks and instituted requirements for employees to pay a portion of their dental and health benefits following the province-wide wage bump, which lifts the hourly minimum from $11.60 to $14.

None of the changes violated workplace laws, but Wynne said the measures were “not decent.”

She said, “It is the act of a bully.”