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Q We applied for a Temporary
Event Notice giving the
requisite ten days notice but
have just had our application
turned down. The Licensing
Authority have informed us
that it is not ten days, but ten
working days. Is this correct?

A. The legislation clearly states
that it is ten working days;
therefore Local Authorities are
entitled to disregard weekends and bank holidays as part of the ten days notice needed to be given. To be on the safe side Clubs should give at least two weeks’ notice prior to the event being held in order to apply for a TEN. You
should also allow time for any
delays in the postal service, unless
you are hand delivering the notice
to the Local Authority’s offices.
More and more Authorities are also accepting these notices delivered to them in an electronic format, so we advise contacting your local Licensing Authority to see if this is acceptable.

 
Q We were reading with
interest about the Ireland
case where a barman was
put on trial for manslaughter
after a customer died of
alcohol poisoning. Would our
employees be liable if they
served someone who later died
of alcohol poisoning?

A. It is important to note that
in this case the barman was
found not guilty as it was held
that the customer’s decision to
drink the alcohol supplied was
an intervening act that broke the
chain of causation. However, it
is important to remember that
the Club does have a duty of care
under the Licensing Act 2003 to all Members & guests and this duty extends to not serving Members or guests who are intoxicated. We suggest that all employees are reminded not to serve Members or guests who are already intoxicated and that they should seek medical assistance for any customer who appears in need of it.

 
Q Is it a legal requirement
for guests under 16 years
of age to be permanently
accompanied by an adult even
if they are playing in our Clubs
children’s play area?

A. Persons aged under 16
years of age must always
be accompanied by an adult in
areas which are primarily used
for the supply of alcohol such
as the bar area. However, for
areas such as play areas and beer
gardens it will not normally be
expected that persons under 16
years of age must be permanently
accompanied/supervised in these
areas. However, in our opinion it
is important that persons under
this age that are admitted to the
Club are not permitted to run
around causing difficulties and
inconvenience for other Members.
If Members wish to bring persons
within this age category into the
Club then they must be responsible
for their behaviour. Clubs often
successfully provide a welcome
environment for young guests but
should never become a crèche.

Q Could you please give us
an update of the Murphy
case against the Premier
League regarding the right of
Pubs to use foreign satellite
providers to show sport?

A. There has been no update
to this case yet. We are still
awaiting the European Courts
verdict. However, there has
been a successful prosecution
against a Lancashire Pub showing
sports coverage using the foreign
broadcaster TRING. The Pub was
fined £4,320 and the owner also
had to pay costs of £1,280. This
is due to the fact that TRING is
broadcast from Albania which
is outside the EU. As such it
is not affected by the Murphy
case. Should any Club be using a
TRING system we would strongly
advise it to cease use of this system
immediately. We advise all Clubs
to avoid using foreign broadcasters
until the situation has been clarified
by the European Court.

 
Q We have an employee
who was injured at work
and has now been off work for
five weeks. There has been no
mention of liability but we are
concerned regarding a possible
claim.

A. It is important whenever an
employee has an injury that
results in their being incapacitated
that this is notified immediately
under the Health and Safety
at Work Act. This involves
informing your local health and
safety department and is a legal
requirement. We would also
suggest that the Club insurers are
notified as soon as possible and
that a risk assessment is undertaken to establish the cause of the injury and prevent it from happening again. As with all injuries it should have been recorded in the accident
book. I would suggest that good
communication should be kept
with the employee involved to facilitate their safe return to work
as soon as possible.

 
Q As a Private Members’
Club do we have legal
obligation to display a drinks
price list?

A. The Price Marking (Food &
Drink Services) Order 2003 is
specifically disapplied for Clubs.
This means that there is no legal
obligation to display a drinks price
list although most Clubs tend to do
so in any event. However, there is
no doubt that a price list can help
both Club employees and Club
members to avoid arguments over
prices being charged.

 
Q During a recent inspection,
the Licensing Officer said
that we were in violation of
our Club Premises Certificate
because our Steward was
responsible for ordering stock.
The Licensing Officer said that
only the elected Committee
of a Club can order stock and
that a Steward is unable to do
so on the Club’s behalf. Is this
correct?

A. Reports such as this concern
us as they demonstrate a
clear lack of understanding of
the Licensing Act 2003 by the
Council’s Licensing Officer. In
order to answer this question it
is worth looking at the specific
provisions of the Licensing Act
2003:
Managing the Supply and
Purchasing of Alcohol:
64 (1)The additional conditions
which a club must satisfy if it is to
be a qualifying club in relation to
the supply of alcohol to members
or guests are the following.
(2)Additional condition 1 is that
(so far as not managed by the club
in general meeting or otherwise by
the general body of members) the
purchase of alcohol for the club,
and the supply of alcohol by the
club, are managed by a committee
whose members—
(a) are members of the club;
(b) have attained the age of 18
years; and
(c) are elected by the members of
the club.
Clearly the Licensing Officer’s
interpretation of this section of
the Act is incorrect. A Club’s
Committee does not have to
personally purchase the alcohol on
behalf of the Club any more than
they must personally serve (supply) the alcohol themselves. The Club’s Committee is empowered to instruct the Steward, or any other
employee, to purchase alcohol on
behalf of the Club in accordance
with their instructions. Whilst we are aware that there are some Clubs where Stewards do have too much autonomy over the purchasing of bar products and
may receive associated benefits, in
this particular case the Licensing
Officer has taken an entirely
unreasonable position. If there are
Clubs which are not abiding by
their Rules then Licensing Officers
should take the issue up with the
offending Clubs and not seek to
impose impossible conditions,
based on inaccurate interpretations, on bona fide Clubs.

Q Please can you clarity
a point regarding membership. Once someone applies to be a member and their name is displayed within the Club, is it correct that if just one member objects they cannot become a member?
 A. It is not correct. Whilst
Members may object to a
Membership candidate, it is the
Committee who makes the final
decision. The Committee may wish to consider the views of Members when making their decision but ultimately the authority to elect or reject a candidate’s application for
Membership is vested solely in the
Committee under the terms of your Clubs Rules. Therefore, a Club could have a situation where no Members object to the nomination but it is rejected by the Committee or where 100 Members object but the Committee accept the nomination. Ultimately, however, whilst the Committee has the final say they will usually be guided by any objections which may be expressed by Members. That is the purpose of displaying a candidate’s name on a Notice Board.
 
Q Could one of our bar staff
be criminally liable if a
Member purchased two drinks
and passed one of these drinks
on to a person who it turns out is intoxicated and had previously being refused a drink?
 A. Under the Licensing Act
2003 there is a requirement
that bar staff have adequate
supervision of the bar area. The
specific offences under the 2003
Act are permitting disorderly
conduct and selling alcohol
to a person who is drunk. The
situation that you describe would
constitute an offence in that the
employee did not have sufficient
supervision of the bar area to
prevent an intoxicated customer
obtaining a further drink. It has
also been previously established
that a sober customer ordering a
drink for someone who is already
intoxicated would not be a valid
defence against a charge being
made of making a supply to an
intoxicated person. We suggest
that bar staff are vigilant about
making sure that persons who are
intoxicated are not able to obtain
further drinks and all at all times
all reasonable steps are taken to
prevent drunkenness in the Club’s
premises. This is one of any Club’s key licensing responsibilities.
 
Q We wish to expel a Member
who is part of a Joint
Membership. What are the
rights of their partner if they are expelled?
 A. It is important to note that
there is a distinction between
joint membership and joint
subscription. A joint membership
implies that should one of the
joint members leave that they
will both cease to be members.
This is not applicable under the
Club’s Rules as all Members must
be individually elected by the
Committee. A joint subscription
is just a subscription rate which
gives individual membership rights
in exchange for a joint rate of
subscription. I am sure this is what
the Club currently operates and that it is just commonly referred to as ‘joint membership’. If this is the
case then if the Member in question is expelled then his partner will continue to be a Member of the Club although at the standard individual membership rate. Please note, an expelled member may not be introduced as a guest.
 
Q We wish to change some
minor terms and conditions
of employment for our bar
staff. I understand that with 28
days notice we can impose any
changes that we wish, is this
correct?
 A. Any notice to change the terms
and conditions of employment
must be agreed by the employee.
If unilateral changes to a contract
of employment are made without
an employee’s consent then an
employee would be capable of
claiming that he or she had been
unfairly dismissed. Alternatively,
an employee could argue that
such changes created a situation of
constructive dismissal.
I suggest that any change of
contract is discussed in the first
instance with the employee and
that in event of the proposed
change being agreed that a signed
acknowledgement of the change
of their terms and conditions of
employment is added to contract
of employment. If an employee
refuses to give consent for
their contract to be altered then
whilst a Club’s Committee could
unilaterally impose the change,
such a change may be treated as a
breach of contract. The employee
will then have to decide whether to
accept the change of contract or file for unfair/constructive dismissal. In almost all cases such a situation should be avoided.