Statutory code for pubcos will be announced in Queen's Speech

By Rob Willock

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pubs independent conciliation, Dispute resolution

Vince Cable is believed to have personally approved pubco reform plans, to feature in Wednesday's Queen's Speech
Vince Cable is believed to have personally approved pubco reform plans, to feature in Wednesday's Queen's Speech
The Government will announce the introduction of a statutory code of conduct for tenanted pub companies in the Queen's Speech on Wednesday with the dismantling of the current self-regulatory system.

The Publican’s Morning Advertiser​ understands the plans - drafted by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills following last year's consultation, and personally approved by business secretary Vince Cable - will include the formation of brand new bodies to replace the Pubs Independent Rent Review Service (PIRRS) and the Pubs Independent Conciliation and Arbitration Service (PICAS).

Sources suggest that an official 'Ofpub'-style ombudsman, along the lines of Ofgem (energy), Ofwat (water) and Ofcom (communications), will adjudicate on intractable disputes between pub companies and their tenants.

The code of conduct will strengthen and formalise the behavioural commitments made by pubcos in recent iterations of the Industry Framework Code.

However, it is believed legislation will stop short of providing the mandatory free-of-tie or 'market-rent-only' options demanded by pubco reform campaigners, including Lib Dem MP Greg Mulholland - who will face the tough choice of whether to support the coalition's bill in what will be a whipped vote.

It is not yet known whether the regulations will apply only to pubcos with more than 500 pubs, as originally mooted in earlier government proposals, or to any company with at least one tenanted pub.

Related topics: Legislation

Related news

Show more