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Designated Premises Supervisor Q&A

How do I deal with a prolonged absence?

Q:  I am the Premises Licence Holder of a handful of pubs on the South Coast.  Each pub has its own Designated Premises Supervisor who is the manager.  Last week, one of my managers broke his leg and he will be unable to come to work for some time.  There are no other Personal Licence Holders at this pub and I am not sure whether I need to specify a new DPS on the Premises Licence while he is away.  Can you help?

A:  The Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) is the person who is responsible for the day-to-day running of the premises.

There is a mandatory condition on all Premises Licences that alcohol shall not be sold where there is no DPS, or when that DPS does not hold a Personal Licence or their Personal Licence is suspended.  It would, of course, be absurd if an application was required to change the DPS whenever there are any short absences, such as when the DPS is on holiday or off sick.

In addition, the DPS cannot be expected to be at the premises at all times (this may also be contrary to the Working Time Regulations).  However, the fact remains that this is probably a measure of fact and degree.  If your DPS is likely to be absent for more than a few weeks, it may be sensible to specify someone else as DPS in their absence.  You do, of course, need someone with a Personal Licence, however, they do not have to be in situ at the premises all the time; they just have to have responsibility for the day-to-day running.
You may, therefore, think about having one of your other Managers take over the role in the interim. You should, of course, check your Premises Licence to make sure there are no conditions that prohibit this. If in doubt, take legal advice or speak to your local Licensing Officer.  There may also be contractual and employment law issues to consider

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