This week the Scottish Government stepped in with emergency legislation which will ease the burden on Licensing Boards responsible for processing personal licence renewal applications.
Until now, Licensing Boards had only three months to process all renewal applications lodged by the May 31 deadline. Many clerks had expressed concern that already stretched licensing departments would struggle to manage the additional workload in the fixed period of time and as a result licences could be lost despite licenceholders getting their applications in and doing everything required of them.
The new order provides that the personal licence will continue to have effect until “28 days after the day on which the board has determined a renewal application made in respect of the licence or February 29, 2020”.
While this is clearly a positive step forward, however, it has been criticised for not going far enough.
All renewal applications for personal licences with an expiry date of August 31 must still be lodged by next Friday, May 31. There is no safety net.
Failure to do so will mean your personal licence expires at the end of August and you can’t act as a premises manager.
To lodge your application you must also provide a training certificate. If you have been unable to complete a refresher course all might not be lost. You can still apply up until next Friday with your original training certificate from 2007/2008/2009 – that is if you can locate it, of course!
It may be worth asking your LSO or the licensing team as l know that some Licensing Boards have retained copies.
Don’t forget, however, that you must still complete refresher training before August 31 and submit the certificate to the Board before November 30.
If you do find yourself in the unfortunate position of being unable to renew next week, your licence is still valid for the time being so there is time to consider a solution. This may include surrendering your personal licence and reapplying once training has been completed or having staff complete the training and apply for a personal licence.
I would advise you speak to your solicitor, the LSO or call out expert team on 0141 333 0636 if you are concerned.