Legal advice: Beware of the clocks changing

By Poppleston Allen

- Last updated on GMT

On time? Make sure not to get caught out by British Summer Time
On time? Make sure not to get caught out by British Summer Time

Related tags Premises licence Daylight saving time

Twice a year the clocks change, and we are unfortunately coming to the change that requires us to get up an hour earlier.

The clock change means that on Sunday morning of 29 March at 1am, the time automatically becomes 2am at the commencement of British summer time.

Make sure that your premises is in a position to trade legally on the moving forward of the clock change. If you currently sell alcohol or provide licensable activities after 1am, ensure that:

  • Your premises licence allows for an extra hour at the commencement of British summer time. The permission will be identified on your premises licence if this is the case, and if there is no mention then there are no extra facilities relating to the commencement of British summer time.
  • If you do not have an extra hour included on your premises licence and you wish to trade the hours, a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) must be issued to cover that period if you plan to sell alcohol or have regulated entertainment. The last date for receipt of a standard TEN is 13 March 2015 and late TENs can be issued for receipt by the licensing authority until 20 March 2015.
  • Make sure your staff are aware of the time change, in particular if transport is booked at the end of the evening for them to go home.
  • A taxi booked for 1.30am, for example, will have to be booked for 2.30am in order to ensure that it arrives on time.
  • If door staff are employed, the premises must ensure that the company supplying them is aware of the potentially later finish of their personnel on 29 March 2015.
  • Make appropriate plans to change the clocks. It is surprising how many people forget to change their clocks, even though they are aware of the time change. Time lock systems and digital tills generally update themselves but a quick check in your operating folder should advise you (if there is one).
  • Customers should also be made aware of the changes. A birthday party, for example including regulated entertainment and the sale of alcohol, will lose an hour in the evening depending upon how long they book your premises for, and as a result they may wish to reschedule. The dates of the change of clocks this year is the week before Easter and may be a busy time for your premises as patrons begin to relax before the Easter break.
  • Ensure staff who start the day — chefs and waiting staff — are aware that their day on Sunday effectively starts an hour earlier.
  • Do not dismiss this time change as an inconvenience. Enforcement agencies such as the police and trading standards will be aware of the premises whose licences do not benefit from the extra hour.
  • Targeting of those premises is therefore likely.

Enjoy the lighter, warmer evenings, and hopefully the increase in trade as a result.

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