Four waiters have lost their 13-year battle to claim damages from a London restaurant that used non-cash tips as part of their minimum wage.
The European Court of Human Rights yesterday ruled that the Paradiso e Inferno restaurant on London's Strand had not breached its staff rights.
The four waiters sued the restaurant for breach of contract after tips given to them in the form of cheque or credit card payment were included in their payslips as "additional pay" and had been counted as part of their minimum wage.
The waiters claimed that they had received less than the minimum wage and were therefore entitled to damages.
Human rights judges upheld a 1994 High Court decision that tips paid by cheque or credit card belonged to the employer and could be counted towards payment of the minimum wage.
The European court said the waiters had received the same amounts they would have been paid if the tips had been in cash, less National Insurance and tax.