Licensing lawyer cautions Scottish ministers over Safe Home campaign
Stephen McGowan, head of licensing at TLT Solicitors, has warned the Scottish government to think carefully over proposals to change licensing laws to compel venues to arrange safe transportation home for staff.
Mr McGowan told Scottish Licensed Trade News that licensing law “should not be used as a back door to interfere with or enforce other areas of law”.
His intervention comes after the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) and campaign group Better Than Zero met with Scottish government ministers to discuss their Safe Home campaign.
They argue that operators should be legally obligated to pay for taxis to get staff home safe after late shifts.
Dave Moxham, deputy general secretary of the STUC, said the STUC had “identified a potential legal route to address this particular issue”.
However, Mr McGowan said: “There will be unanimous support of the view that it is perfectly correct and sensible for employers to ensure that they are looking after the wellbeing of their staff, but there is significant weight to the argument that licensing law should not be used as a back door to interfere with or enforce other areas of law.
“Having operators support a Safe Home campaign is one thing, but I don’t think it appropriate to ask licensing boards to assess the employment practices of operators in the way suggested – that is a matter for employment tribunals.”