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Club Law & Managment

Sports or BT Sports installed within the Club and for many this is an entirely justified cost based decision. For those Clubs which have either or both then we hope the preliminary schedule list for the start of the Premier League will prove useful and will allow the Club to promote in advance the games which will be of interest to the Club’s Members.

This may also be good time to consider if having either Sky Sports or BT Sports Television packages may be suitable for the Club. Sky Sports have the bulk of the matches although BT have all of the 12.45pm games on Saturdays which could help drive Club attendances during Saturday day times. Due to the difference in number of games, BT Sport packages for the Club are considerably cheaper than Sky Sports packages although for ACC Clubs the Sky CORCA price agreement is still in effect. Please mention to SKY that you are part of the CORCA Sky deal to ensure the Club is receiving the best possible price.

  

  

  

CCTV use in Clubs

CCTV systems in Clubs are increasing. This can be due to a combination of factors but typically CCTV is brought into a Club for three main reasons. The first is to be able to allow the Committee to easily investigate an incident which takes place in the Club and take the appropriate action. The second is to deter theft, by either customers in the Club or employees of the Club. The third is at the request of the local Licensing Officer although, apart from some special cases, usually a Licensing Officer will not insist on CCTV being installed in a Club. On the third point, if a Licensing Officer requests that CCTV is used inside the Club against the wishes of the Committee then please contact the ACC so we can provide assistance to the Club. It is not a condition of the Licensing Act 2003 that CCTV is used in licensed premises although occasionally this is not the impression given by Licensing Officers.

The use of CCTV systems for the first two points is becoming more common. It is obviously easier to investigate an incident or deter theft if the bar area has a CCTV system in place. The use of CCTV systems should be weighed against the wishes of the Clubs Members. It goes without saying that not everyone wishes to have CCTV systems inside their local Clubs although as CCTV becomes increasingly widespread in all other parts of public life gradually such objections become fewer in number.

If the Club is to install a CCTV system, either inside or outside of the premises, then I would advise that notices are put up to make Members and visitors aware that their movements are being recorded. 

It is also possible that the Club will need to register its CCTV cameras with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) and you may wish to contact the ICO to confirm if the Club’s system will require registration. Indeed, for the fee of £35 a year the Club may wish to register regardless. Technically, registration is only required if you are to use the CCTV system to record the movements of a specific person, such as an employee or Member who you consider may be acting inappropriately. If you are not recording the movements of a specific person then registration is not strictly necessary although I am sure you can appreciate that there may well be a time when you will wish to use the CCTV system to record the movements of a specific person and therefore registration would be then be required.

We do not have a recommended CCTV supplier although we would strongly recommend that Clubs avoid equipment hire or lease arrangements and instead purchase a CCTV system out right. Equipment hire arrangements will typically work out to be far more expensive than simply purchasing a system. Hire equipment may also carry an additional maintenance fee as part of the cost of the hire arrangement and the system, at the end of the hire term, would need to be returned to the leasing Company. It will not become property of the Club.

The Club has discretion regarding how long recorded footage is retained. Premises which are required to have CCTV systems are asked to keep the footage for 31 days and this is therefore a good rule of thumb.

Most Club CCTV systems will not have a real time display of the feeds and the footage recorded will only be viewed after an incident has taken place or if a theft is thought to have occurred. If there are monitors with the CCTV feed on then this should not cause difficulties as they will likely be showing only what can be seen by a person standing inside the Club. If the feed of the CCTV cameras shows imagery which would not be able to be seen by the person who is viewing the feed then you may need to adjust the positioning of the display monitor so it is not visible. This is the ICO’s advice on this matter: Viewing of live images on monitors should usually be restricted to the operator unless the monitor displays a scene which is also in plain sight from the monitor location.

ExampleCustomers in a bank can see themselves on a monitor screen. This is acceptable as they cannot see anything on the screen which they could not see by looking around them. The only customers who can see the monitor are those who are also shown on it.

Example: Monitors in a hotel reception area show guests in the corridors and lifts, i.e. out of sight of the reception area. They should be turned so that they are only visible to staff, and members of the public should not be allowed access to the area where staff can view them.

Tips to avoid underage alcohol sales

Whilst the typical age group of Club Members and guests means that underage sales is not as common an issue for ACC Clubs as it might be for Pubs and Commercial Clubs; it is still important, however, for
Club employees to be trained in proper procedures to enable them to avoid underage sales. This is particularly important for Clubs which frequently hold private events which may attract a lower age group of persons attending as guests. Club employees must therefore be vigilant against underage sales during private events in particular.

Training is the key component to avoiding underage sales. Employees must be trained of their responsibilities regarding the sale of alcohol. They should be able to recognise the accepted form of identification which the Club accepts, commonly a passport, driving licence or PASS approved identification. By holding and documenting refresher courses, the Club ensures that employees
are frequently reminded of their responsibilities. It also demonstrates that the Club takes the issue of age verification seriously which is helpful if an underage sale mistakenly took place.

It is also advisable to include signage behind the bar stating that the Club operates a proof of age procedure, usually known as the ‘Challenge 21’ method, as this is likely to be a highly effective deterrent in its own right. Employees should be encouraged to take the time to inspect ID properly and having ‘Reminder’
notifications on the EPOS system or by the till will be of assistance to the Club’s employees.

Finally, it is important to record refusals as this shows good due diligence procedures are in place
and is a constant reminder to employees to check ID. You may also want to occasionally test the system by arranging for a person aged over 18 but who looks under 21 to purchase an alcoholic drink and provide feedback regarding if they were questioned for ID by the Club’s employees.

Preventing noise complaints

All Clubs operating under the Licensing Act 2003 have a statutory duty not to cause a noise nuisance. One of the four main objectives of the Licensing Act 2003 is ‘The prevention of public nuisance’. nce a complaint is made against a Club it can become difficult to resolve the issue as the local Licensing Officers will become involved. It is therefore wise to be proactive on the issue of noise to prevent a complaint
being made in the first place. It is also wise to be aware of any new neighbours. Just because a Club has been in existence for many years and previous neighbours did not complain about any noise which might occasionally have occurred, does not mean that new neighbours will be happy with the status quo.

In order to help reduce the chances of a complaint being made it is advisable to do everything within your power to reasonably eliminate noise breakout and plug any gaps where noise leaks from. When the Club has a function taking place, take a moment to stand outside and assess the level of the noise. If significant noise is audible try to assess where the sound is coming from and what can be done to resolve the noise. The most frequent number of complaints involving noise pollution are as a direct result of music being played too loudly and in particular the bass sound being too heavy. Live music is frequently named as being a problem in this area. Speaking with the Club’s neighbours will also help assess if noise coming
from the Club is affecting their enjoyment of their homes.

By having a good relationship with the Club’s neighbours,taking all practical steps to eliminate noise, agreeing to times when events will cease and when the Club’s outside areas will not
be used, will hopefully build goodwill towards the Club which is useful on occasions when noise incidents may inadvertently occur.

The key point is that it is likely to be significantly less expensive to take preventive action to avoid a noise complaint than to take prescribed action after a complaint has been made. Clubs can be ordered to make sizeable structural changes if a noise complaint is proven to be valid and such alterations are seldom cheap or easy to achieve. Therefore, prevention rather than cure is the best advice for noise complaints.

General Employment Rates Information and updates for 2014/2015

National Minimum Wage On the 1st October 2014, the National Minimum Wage increases for all workers aged 21 and over from the current level of £6.31 to the new level of £6.50. The National Minimum Wage for workers aged 18- 20 also increases to £5.13 and for workers aged 16 and 17 it increases to £3.79. We advise all Clubs to make sure that contracts are up to date and reflect the new rate where appropriate.

Statutory Sick Pay is payable up to £87.55 per week and is valid for 28 weeks. It is advisable in the case of sickness absence to review the employment contract in question to ascertain if the Club has committed to pay a limited amount of sickness time off at full pay.

Maternity, Adoption and PaternityPay is paid at the lower figure of either £138.18 or 90% of the employee’s average weekly pay apart from for the first six weeks of maternity or adoption leave which is paid at 90% of the employee’s average weekly pay regardless. Maternity Pay and Adoption Pay are paid for up to 39 weeks whilst Paternity Pay is payable for up to 2 weeks.

Employer’s National Insurance Contributions Clubs are required to pay 13.8% contributions for employees who earn above £153 per week. Nothing is due for employees who earn below this threshold. Currently Clubs are automatically eligible for a £2,000 National Insurance allowance and this should be utilised automatically through the Club’s pay roll system.

Pursuit Properties Unsolicited Mail

We are aware that Pursuit Properties have been contacting Conservative Clubs. Pictured is an redacted example of a letter Clubs may have already received or may receive in the future. Pursuit Properties describe themselves as an ‘acquisitions company’. For the avoidance of doubt, Pursuit Properties are not recommended by the ACC and we have no knowledge of their past history or activities. We have not given them permission to contact our Member Clubs. Any Club who wishes to discuss this correspondence, or similar unsolicited correspondence which they may have received, is welcome to contact the ACC for advice and assistance.