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Grocers Concerned Government Action on Personal Licences Does Not Resolve Training Issue

The Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) fears many small shops continue to face significant challenges in training all staff who sell alcohol by the 1st September, despite measures taken by the Scottish Government today which will enable licensed premises to continue to trade until the 1 November 2009 where the designated premises manager’s application for a personal licence has yet to be approved by the licensing board.

During regular meetings with the Scottish Government, SGF has repeatedly raised members concerns about the problems the delay in the issuing of personal licences will have on their ability to sell alcohol and train staff

The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 requires all sales staff to have received a minimum two hours training before they can sell alcohol. Training for staff can be provided in-house by a personal licence holder or by a training provider.

John Drummond, Chief Executive of SGF said,

“Whilst this will resolve some timing issues, small shops still run the risk of being unable to sell alcohol on 1st September, as the provisions included within the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (Transitional Provisions) Order 2009 do not apply to training.

“Many small shops were relying on their personal licence holder to train additional members of staff. However, the regulations still require a personal licence holder to have been issued with their licence in order to carry out training. It is both unreasonable and impractical to expect retailers to have to meet the costs and inconvenience of arranging external training at short notice, in the holiday period, and when demand for this type of training is at an all time high, simply because a licensing board has not allocated significant resources to this process. SGF will continue to make representations to the Scottish Government on this matter.”