Legal Q&A on issues around a personal licence

By Poppleston Allen

- Last updated on GMT

Legal Q&A on issues around a personal licence

Related tags Personal licence 2015

This week's legal Q&A looks at the issues around producing personal licences to the authorities and expiry dates on current licences.

Possession of a personal licence

Q: Does my chef, who has a personal licence, need to have it in his possession when he is working at my gastropub? He does not work front of house at all, but I understand that all personal licence holders must be able to produce their personal licence upon request by the authorities?

A:​ You raise an interesting question. Section 135 of the Licensing Act requires that any personal licence holder who is on premises “to make or authorise” the supply of alcohol must produce their personal licence for examination upon request by the police or other authorised officer. Your chef is not on the premises “to make or authorise” the supply of alcohol, but to prepare and cook food.

This provision is primarily aimed at front-of-house staff who are directly involved in the sale of alcohol. While the issue has not, to my knowledge, been tested, I do not believe it is directed to back-of-house staff who happen to have a personal licence, but are in no way involved in the making or authorising of supply of alcohol. The position would, of course, be very different if your head chef happened to also be the designated premises supervisor.

Nevertheless, as a matter of good practice, it is best to advise all your staff who hold personal licences to keep them about their person — for example, if you had only one other personal licence holder as the DPS, and that DPS resigned at short notice, your chef would need to be made the DPS in order for you to continue to sell alcohol and, in that event, he or she would be involved in the making or authorising of alcohol sales.

Personal licence expiry date

Q: My DPS’s personal licence is due for renewal in July 2016. I understand that personal licences no longer need to be renewed so why does his personal licence still have an expiry date?

A:​ The need to renew personal licences was abolished in April 2015 (previously they would expire after 10 years).

Anybody applying for a new personal licence now will not have an expiry date printed on their personal licence, but your DPS is clearly one of the many personal licence holders whose licence still shows an expiry date.

His or her licence does not expire in July 2016 but will continue indefinitely, and there is nothing he or she needs to do.

Related topics Licensing law

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