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British Summertime

Top tips on how to switch safely to summer hours

It is coming to that time of year again where the clocks move forward for British Summer Time (BST) and we will lose an hour.

This year the clocks change on the morning of Sunday 27th March and 01:00 on the Sunday morning will change automatically to 02:00.

It is important, if your premises trade beyond 01:00, to consider what measures are in place for both your premises to remain open and to trade legally without the risk of enforcement action. It is also important that both staff and customers are aware of BST and any change in hours.

This could impact on many areas of your business, but here are some key licensing considerations:

  • Firstly, check your premises licence to see if it permits the extra hour of trading for the start of BST – it may not be listed with your normal hours, but under a ‘seasonal variation’ or ‘non-standard timing’;
  • If your licence does not include BST then it is important to understand that there is no automatic right and you would need to consider if you want to trade the additional hour or are happy to close ‘earlier’;
  • If you do not have BST on your licence and would like to retain the additional hour then you can apply for a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) for the additional hour (or any extended period required) for all licensable activities;
  • For a standard TEN the council require 10 clear working days’ notice (not including the day of receipt by the council or the day of the event) and so the deadline would be the 10th March 2016 (for an application submitted online).
  • For a late TEN the council require 5 clear working days’ notice and so the deadline here would be 17th March 2016 (for an application submitted online). However, with a late TEN the authorities have a right of veto and so if they object there is no right to a hearing and the event cannot go ahead. It is therefore advisable to lodge the application with plenty of notice to avoid this if possible;
  • It is advisable to make sure that all staff and customers are aware of your proposals for BST, especially if there are no measures in place for you to be able to trade the additional hour as detailed above – if so then they will need to be made aware that technically closing occurs an hour earlier (e.g. if you are licensed for alcohol sales until 02:00 then when the clocks automatically change at 01:00 you will need to close the bar);
  • If the measures are in place to remain open then staff should be aware that they will be working later and this will need to be taken into account for them booking both their own transport home and any customer taxis.

Finally, and probably the most easily overlooked – remember to change any clocks / timed devices so that they are showing the correct time.

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