PLH fiasco goes from bad to worse

By Gillian McKenzie

JUST when we thought the personal licence renewal debacle couldn’t get any worse…

Nine years after the 2005 Act came into force, introducing the personal licence and the requirement to renew that licence every ten years; at least two years since licensing lawyers began calling for clarity on the renewals process; and after months of SLTN regularly requesting those details, the Scottish Government released a ‘communications document’ last week – just three weeks before the renewals application window opens on August 31.

The trouble is, the document has led to more uncertainty.

Firstly, the government is “recommending” PLHs sit the refresher course to renew their licence – this seems to go against the legislation, which states that renewals should be treated the same as applications, ie. the application should be submitted with a “licensing qualification” (the SCPLH); the five-yearly refresher training is also required under the Act.

This isn’t the only concern.

Both the full SCPLH and refresher courses are currently being updated to take in legislative changes, yet PLHs are being advised to take the current refresher course. And there is still no renewal fee set – a consultation on a proposed fee of £50 closed yesterday and it could be October before this is in place.

The Scottish Government is quick to crow about how important our hospitality and tourism industry is; yet, through a distinct lack of clarity and direction on its part, that sector is now in a perilous position with thousands of people’s livelihoods at stake.

That, in my book, is simply unacceptable.