A handy checklist of relevant licensing and employment law issues you need to be on top of. With laws in these areas constantly changing e.g. new shared parental leave, holiday pay claims and allergy regulations, this article succinctly covers what you need to know and think about.

Do you have the licensed hours and regulated entertainment you need?

  • Check your premises licence, you are required to have this easily accessible, with a copy on display. Does it cover what you need?
  • If you have an occupancy figure in your licence check you are complying with it.
  • The Live Music Act 2012 exempts live amplified music until 23:00 for 200 or less people, or unamplified without restriction between the same hours. The Live Music Act regulates live performances, not recorded music. Noise regulations still apply to live music so even if exempt you will need to think about managing noise pollution to avoid a visit from environmental health.

Plan ahead if you intend to use Temporary Event Notices (TENs) to fill the gaps

A TEN is a useful way to fill the gaps in what you need from a licensing perspective. TENs do have limits though:

  • the application usually needs to be with the Council and served on the Police and Environmental Health no later than 10 working days before the day on which the event is to start
  • there is a maximum number of 12 TENs a year per premises
  • they cannot cover a period of more than 21 days per annum

Don’t forget the allergy regulations

Since 13 December 2014 the new EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation requires all food distributors to provide allergen labelling and information to customers. By now you should have:

  • risk assessed the dishes you offer
  • have clear written documentation to identify the allergen ingredients in a particular dish
  • undertaken staff training and kept a record of it
  • be using clear menus
  • be minimising cross-contamination
  • have a clear policy on what to do if something goes wrong

Don’t forget the Small Measures mandatory conditions which have been in place since 1 October 2014

A responsible person such as the Designated Premises Supervisor is required to ensure three things happen:

  • smaller measures are made available e.g. beer and cider in half pints;
  • that details of smaller measures are on menus, price lists or other printed material e.g. a black board;
  • that if a customer doesn’t state how much alcohol they want make them aware that the smaller measures are available.

Holiday Pay – are you up to date with the current law?

Workers have a right to a minimum of 5.6 working weeks paid holiday per year. The employer picks the holiday dates, not the worker. Do you include:

  • allowances – linked to the performance of tasks (not subsistence)
  • commission
  • overtime

with the holiday pay? If not you need to give careful consideration as to what you do going forward. Recent case law supports that workers could seek to reclaim unpaid elements on holiday pay paid to them within the last three months and potentially for longer.

Flexible working:

  • Since 30 June 2014 there have been new rules on flexible working
  • Statutory requests for flexible working can only be made by an employee
  • The employee must have 26 weeks' continuous employment at the date the request is made
  • Only one request can be made in any 12-month period
  • Must be in writing
  • Can request a change in hours or place of work
  • Employer usually has a three month decision period

Time off to accompany partner to antenatal:

  • Since 1 October 2014 employees and agency workers have the right to take unpaid time off to accompany a pregnant woman with whom they have a "qualifying relationship"
  • Up to two antenatal appointments
  • Up to a maximum of 6.5 hours for each appointment
  • Sometimes a pregnant woman's husband or partner is not the father of her child
  • Sometimes a father is simultaneously expecting children with more than one woman

Shared Parental Leave (SPL):

Since 1 December 2014 - SPL applies in relation to children:

  • whose expected week of childbirth (EWC) begins on or after 5 April 2015
  • who are placed for adoption on or after 5 April 2015

50 weeks of SPL and 37 weeks of statutory shared parental pay available for eligible parents to take or share (everything other than the 2 week compulsory). How will the right to take SPL work?

  • Mother or primary adopter ends their maternity or adoption leave and shares the untaken leave with the other parent as SPL (involves various formal notices to employer)
  • Mothers and primary adopters can return to work before the end of their leave without losing it
  • SPL can either be taken consecutively or concurrently, as long as the total time does not exceed what is jointly available

Don’t forget the national minimum wage rates (as from 1 October 2014)

  • Standard adult rate (aged 21 and over) £6.50 an hour
  • Youth development rate (aged between 18 and 20) £5.13 an hour
  • Young workers rate (aged under 18 but above the compulsory school age who are not apprentices) £3.79 an hour
  • Apprentices £2.73 an hour
  • Accommodation offset is £5.08 a day

Are you employment contracts and policies up to date?

Make sure you have disciplinary, grievance and equal treatment policies in place to comply with the Equality Act 2010.