The high profile closure of Fabric,
and recent resolution to enable it to re-open, may seem a far cry
from the average retail food offering.
Much of it was! However, there are
some important points to take on board, which are applicable more
First of all, know your permitted
hours and conditions. All those at management level should have a
good grasp of these. One of the biggest own goals we see is when
managers and key staff don't even realise they've breached
a condition, and are routinely doing so.
Do include an outline of regulatory
obligations in staff training. This we would say is particularly
important when it comes to making sure staff are aware of the key
conditions on any premises licence. Ideally also keep a record of
the fact that you undertook that training, which should be repeated
at appropriate intervals.
Be aware that what feels like minor
breaches will look very different, should you find yourself under
the enforcement microscope. And what other operators do is not
going to get you out of jail. Keep written records of incidents and
visits. Incidents should in any case be logged. But more broadly
memories distort and fade; written records are an important way to
If serious issues do arise, remember
that the authorities may well take a tough line in their formal
responses and go for what might seem like heavy penalties. That is
not a criticism of them or their approach. They are themselves
under intense pressures and certain circumstances mean that they
may feel they have no choice, even if they don't realistically
expect to achieve the threatened result. Aiming high can also be a
useful compliance tool.
If you do end up on the radar of
enforcement, the rule of thumb is engage with the enforcement
officers and authorities. And try to encourage dialogue. The
protagonists (collectively) in the Fabric case could have saved a
considerable amount of time cost and stress if they had taken that
approach earlier. 'Principled' positions may sometimes feel
like the correct approach, but it is frequently hard not to be left
with a sense that the end result could have been achieved with a
lot less pain.
So, there are some lessons from the
Fabric case to commend to all.
This article first appeared in
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Goodman Derrick's employment team will be hosting a workshop on HR horrors and how to deal with them. This practical session, on Wednesday 10 May 2017, will use case studies to deal with some of the tricky HR situations often faced by employers.
Hotel proprietors are strictly liable, without proof of negligence, for the loss of property brought to the hotel by their guests, unless they can show that the loss resulted from the guest's own negligence.
The High Court held, in The Software Incubator v Computer Associates, that a supply of commoditised software is a sale of goods for the purposes of the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).