Published: 26 February 2016
Q: Does my chef, who has a personal licence, have to have it in his possession when he is working at my gastro pub? He does not work front of house at all but I understand that all Personal Licence Holders must be able to produce their personal licence upon request by the Authorities?
A: You raise an interesting question. Section 135 of the Licensing Act requires that any Personal Licence Holder who is on premises “to make or authorise” the supply of alcohol must produce their personal licence for examination upon request by the Police or other authorised officer. Your chef is not on the premises to “make or authorise” the supply of alcohol but to prepare and cook food. This provision is primarily aimed at front of house staff who are directly involved in the sale of alcohol. Whilst the issue has not, to my knowledge, been tested, I do not believe it is directed to back of house staff who happen to have a personal licence but are in no way involved in the making or authorising of supply of alcohol. The position would of course be very different if your Head Chef happened to also be the Designated Premises Supervisor.
Nevertheless, as a matter of good practice it is best to advise all your staff who hold personal licences to keep them about their person – for example, if you had only one other Personal Licence Holder as the DPS, and that DPS resigned at short notice, your chef would need to be made the DPS in order for you to continue to sell alcohol, and in that event he or she would be involved in the making or authorising of alcohol sales.
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