2024 brings a raft of new legislations, as well as trends and challenges the pub and bar sector should prepare for.
In this article, legal experts from law firm TLT highlight some of the main dates and changes premises need to be aware of for 2024:
- The Data Protection and Digital Information Bill is likely to receive Royal Assent in 2024, which could lead to a loosening of rules around data protection in low-risk situations - likely to be many of the uses pubs and bars have for personal data.
- The conclusion of the EU’s AI Act, and the publication of a UK AI Regulation Bill, mean that the use of AI by pubs and bars is likely to see increased regulation. While most regulatory obligations will fall on developers and sellers of AI systems, users such as pubs and bars will need to be confident any deployment of AI is compliant with the new laws.
- The implementation of the Planning and Regeneration Act 2023 is likely to coincide with the sunset of current pavement licence regime in September 2024 and is likely remove previous tables and chairs application regime at the same time.
- The Home Office recently published a consultation on extending licensing hours for the Euro 2024 championships for specified games. The consultation will close on 19 February 2024, with further details available here: Extending licensing hours for UEFA Euro 2024 matches - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Changes to Temporary Event Notice (TENs). The number of TENs permitted will return to pre-covid levels on 1 January 2024.
Employment – Tipping and National Minimum Wage
- Under a new law due to come into force in May 2024, employers will be required to share all tips, gratuities and service charges fairly with staff without deductions. Further guidance is expected to be published in January 2024. See more here.
- From 1 April 2024, the national minimum wage for adults will increase from £10.42 to £11.44. We advise employers to adjust budgeted costs for the wage increase as soon as possible.
Changes in regulations
- Martyn’s Law – a set of new laws being introduced to ensure stronger protection against terrorism in public places – is likely to be moved forward but unlikely it will come into force in 2024. Estimates for full implementation are expected in 2026/2027.
- Carbon reduction transition planning: The Transition Plan Taskforce (TPT) has published sector guidance which is currently voluntary but is expected to become a legal requirement for listed companies in 2024.
- Due to the recent changes to the MEES regulations requiring improvements in the energy efficiency of buildings, sustainability has become a critical consideration for large operators. In 2024, we expect to see growth in this area with the use of green drafting in leases. With environmental issues in mind, landlords are seeking more control over how alterations are undertaken, and the choice of materials used. In addition to landlord requirements, these changes are also, in part, being driven by customer demands which have seen operators place higher value on sourcing local ingredients, reducing and recycling waste, and installing energy efficient plant and equipment.
- Tech-driven concepts have emerged throughout 2023 and are expected to continue to grow in 2024. In everyday food and beverage concepts, tech is being increasingly used, such as for example the use of chatbots on online booking systems, which have been reported to bring benefits to premises including savings in staff costs.
Q. Could I lose my licence if a dog bites someone in my pub?
The owner of the dog could be prosecuted of their dog bites someone in your pub. You could also potentially be subject to a review of your premises licence subject to the circumstances of the incident. You should also report (to the police and the local authority) a dog that is out of control on your premises
Q. When do pranks at work become bullying?
The line between a prank and bullying is extremely thin and can be crossed really easily. When an intended prank becomes harmful and causes mental or physical harm to the person who is being pranked, then the prankster becomes a bully. Constantly criticising someone’s work, spreading malicious rumours, or putting them down in meeting are all examples of bullying. Employers have a legal duty to take reasonable steps to provide employees with a safe working environment, and this includes psychological safety – so employers must do what they can to prevent bullying in the first place and take complaints of bullying seriously as soon as they occur.
This article was first published in Pub & Bar.
This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at January 2024. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions.