One of the many detrimental consequences of the closure of the hospitality sector is the continual re-furloughing of employees, presenting the risk that some could be a little rusty when it comes to their responsibilities under both the Licensing Act and the specific conditions on your individual Premises Licence.
Government guidance says that ‘furloughed employees can engage in training during hours which you record your employee as being on furlough, as long as in undertaking the training the employee does not provide services to, or generate revenue for, or on behalf of their organisation or a linked or associated organisation.
Furloughed employees should be encouraged to undertake training.
Firstly, familiarise yourself and your staff with your conditions on your premises. It may sound obvious, but make sure you have all the pages, as well as a copy of your licensed layout plans.
Refresher training could include:
- Age verification
- Drinks measures
- Promotion of responsible drinking and preventing sales of alcohol to persons who are drunk
- Dealing with difficult or problematic customers.
- Policies – for example your noise management, dispersal, vulnerable persons or search policies, if applicable.
- The operation of any CCTV systems in force at the premises, and data protection obligations.
- Outside areas – these are often sensitive, and residents may have grown used to a certain tranquillity that they may not wish to lose. Make sure your staff understand their obligations and don’t give any serial complainants an excuse to do so.
- Covid-19 – it cannot be said what requirements the Government will put in place for reopening, but it is vital to ensure you keep an eye on the news and all safeguarding measures are put into place and efficiently policed.
Consider how busy the premises will be on reopening and whether further staff or other measures will be required.
Breach of licence conditions can result in prosecution, a fine or a licence review, and can be avoided with some basic advance planning (not always so easy at the moment, to be fair).
As a realistic re-opening date draws closer we hope to be issuing The Morning Advertiser’s readers with a full licensing re-opening checklist, so watch this space.