Alcohol Act brings training requirements in run up to October 1
BASIC training has been mandatory for staff working in licensed premises since the introduction of the 2005 licensing Act almost two years ago, but October this year brings a raft of new rules, putting even greater onus on staff training.
The Alcohol Act comes into effect on October 1, and bar staff will need to be made aware of the key changes that come with it.
Chief among these is the requirement for all licensed premises to operate a Challenge 25 policy, as well as the re-introduction of vicarious responsibility for premises licence holders, which could see the holder of a premises licence prosecuted when an employee breaches licensing law.
Fortunately publicans have a number of training providers they can turn to for help with understanding these new laws and requirements.
Mary Ellmers of ServeWise told SLTN that investing in staff training brings more benefits than just legal compliance.
“We know that the level of service provided by staff is one of the key features that shapes a customer’s experience and enjoyment of visiting a licensed premises and in their decision about whether to return or not,” she said.
“Staff who are well trained also report feeling happier and more supported. They are, therefore, more likely to do a better job and to stay with their employer for longer.
“Well-trained staff are an essential asset of a good business.”
Providing a better service for customers and avoiding legal pitfalls are both solid reasons to invest in staff training.
However, a well-trained and professional workforce could also help raise standards across the trade, according to BII international development director Alice Cardwell-Hodges.
In fact, she reckons raising the bar for entry-level staff could help make the trade a more attractive career choice.
Investing in staff training brings more benefits for operators than just legal compliance.
“If an accredited qualification was made mandatory for all new entrants to the trade and delivered as a mandatory part of their hospitality course within a college course this would raise the bar for the trade being seen as a professional industry and reinforce its career potential,” she said.