As at 1 February 2016, all licensees should review their procedures as a revised Late Night Trading Code of Practice (Code) came into operation.
Previously, the Code only applied to licensed premises which traded past 3.00am. The revised Code now imposes certain obligations and compliance where venues trade past midnight in some circumstances and past 2.00am in others. The outcome being that licensed venues which were not subject to the Code prior to 1 February 2016 may now be caught.
Another significant amendment to the Code is that licensees are prevented from selling or supplying shots, doubles (or similar) or any other drink containing more than 45ml of spirits after 2.00am. Again, this provision previously only applied in venues after 4.00am.
Smaller venues need to also review the Code to determine whether the revised Code requirements now impart obligations to use metal detectors and maintain CCTV systems. Previously the code only required compliance where premises which traded past a specific time and had a capacity of more than 200. However, the Code has removed the capacity requirement.
As most licensed venues are aware, over the past 12+ months there have been many reviews of the smoking areas. As a result, from 1 July 2016 smoking will be banned in any outdoor dining area at any time that food is being offered for sale or is provided and eaten in the area. This will be regardless of whether or not there is a person in fact dining in the area.
An outdoor dining area is defined as “an unenclosed public area in which tables, or tables and chairs, are permanently or temporarily provided for the purpose of public dining in the area”. Licensees should note, however, that an outdoor dining area does not include a part of the unenclosed public area that is separated from the part in which dining occurs by a wall or other solid barrier of not less than 2 metres in height.
Any licensee proposing to alter their premises to provide an additional area which is separated by a wall or other solid barrier should be aware that it is an offence to alter licensed premises without approval of the Licensing Authority and there may also be planning considerations which trigger the requirement to seek development approval with council where building works are to take place.
If you would like any information on how the revised Late Night Trading Code of Practice or the changes to smoking regulation might affect your business please feel free to contact Sandy Donaldson.
This communication provides general information which is current as at the time of production. The information contained in this communication does not constitute advice and should not be relied upon as such. Professional advice should be sought prior to any action being taken in reliance on any of the information. Should you wish to discuss any matter raised in this report, or what it means for you, your business or your clients' businesses, please feel free to contact us.