Hotels and special hours

Related tags New laws Occupational safety and health Food safety Christmas

QUnder current legislation, a bar in a hotel holding a full on-licence, but no special hours certificate, would have to stop selling intoxicating...

QUnder current legislation, a bar in a hotel holding a full on-licence, but no special hours certificate, would have to stop selling intoxicating liquor to non-residents at 11pm but could continue to sell to residents and their guests beyond 11pm. Will hotels be able to continue this practice under the new act without the need to apply for a variation to extend the hours that they can sell/supply?

AYes they will, because this is clearly a "grandfather right" which exists under the 1964 Act.

It will pay all licensees to take the time to go through the permissions that they already have under the existing law to make sure these continue after transition. This right, of course, does not have to be specifically written on to the new premises licence, but it may be prudent to include it in the box at the end of Part A3, which asks you to state any limitations on the hours during which you are permitted to conduct licenseable activities. A statement "Residents and their bona fide guests are permitted to purchase and consume alcohol at any time" might clarify the position for your local licensing authority.

Poison scare in social club

QA local social club is very unconcerned with reports of a recent food poisoning scare and a committee member told us that the club was exempt from most of these rules, because it did not technically sell food and drink and would not be inspected. Is this true? We have a number of customers who are members there. Do they have no protection?

AI think it is misguided of the committee member to assume that clubs are exempt from a number of laws that cover health and safety.

For example, in the situation you describe the Food Safety Act 1990, and the Regulations made under it, apply to the activities of a club, even though food may not be technically sold there. The definitions in the act make clear the intention to cover members' clubs and, in the case of a local problem, public health inspectors are fully empowered to inspect the club premises and take samples and even prosecute if they find unsanitary conditions.

This means that good hygiene practice should be followed with regard to using a clean receptacle and not exposing such receptacles to the risk of contamination. Members of clubs are not exempt, even by consent. After all, germs don't need to respect membership rules!

New laws on Xmas trading

Q If you are right and the Government brings in these new laws in November, what will happen about Christmas and New Year extensions, which we are meant to be applying for next week at the Brewster Sessions?

ABetter be safe than sorry. It will cost you £10, but it might be money well spent. If there is any delay in implementing the new act, you will be quids in!

If the new laws do start in November, then next Christmas will be under the new regime and you cannot apply for extensions as such. What you can do is to give a temporary event notice or two, because you will presumably have at least 12 available for your own premises up to 31 December.

However, if you are going to seek a variation in your hours of operation you can build in holiday extensions at the same time. You may not even need to, if you are successful in obtaining midnight or 1am closing as of right. In such circumstances there will be plenty of time for your customers to enjoy themselves even during holiday periods.

Related topics Legislation

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