Spirit races clock to get licences for 560 staff

Related tags Personal licences License Spirit group

by The PMA Team Managed operator Spirit Group is battling against time to get personal licences for 560 staff, the Morning Advertiser has learnt....

by The PMA Team

Managed operator Spirit Group is battling against time to get personal licences for 560 staff, the Morning Advertiser has learnt.

Some Spirit managers did not obtain grandfather rights by the 6 August deadline because they were operating under protection orders. The company is also rushing to get personal licences for deputy and relief managers.

A very small number of managers appear to be the victims of paperwork bureaucracy.

The company admits it has a 'huge job ensuring that licensees attend courses and obtain qualifications prior to the 24 November deadline.

Its problems are not being helped by managers not turning up for courses. In an e-mail to staff, Andrew George, of Spirit's pubs and bars division, said: 'We have a huge job in getting those who require personal licences through the appropriate course within the timescale allotted.

'We have found the number of managers requiring the licensing programme has risen to 560, well in excess of earlier estimations.

'Over the past few weeks we have noticed that attendance has slipped to well under 50% on some courses, causing additional backlog. I feel the risk to business is high if we don't get full attendance.

One Spirit area manager, Mike Maddock, has told his licensees: 'I know it's a huge issue that our paperwork was not processed. However, we need to get over it and get the course completed.

'The timescales are incredibly tight by the time we have the forms processed by the council and police checks we are right to the wire.

He added: 'Do not miss the course as you may end up with no licence on 24 November.

A Spirit manager, who has been a licensee for four years, said: 'It appears that my application was not processed. I am having to attend a course this week.

Spirit's planning director Nigel Turpin said problems had primarily occurred because many managers had been more recently running pubs under protection orders so as to avoid jeopardising premises licence applications.

'Managers had to have a full transfer to get grandfather rights. But if we went for a full transfer on interim authorities or protection orders, it would have invalidated the premises licence application, he said.

Related topics Licensing law Legislation

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