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The SLTA seeks clarification on the Job Retention Scheme. New Office Bearers announced and membership fees suspended. Updates from Brewers and Wholesale Suppliers. Relaxation of water rates and MOTs.


Earlier today, the SLTA participated in an industry conference call with Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Tourism. The focus of the conference call was:-

  • UK / Scot Government communication: Timely, Concise & Consistent
  • Job Retention Scheme – urgency on furlough clarity.  *(See note below)
  • Grants: access, process, self-catering exclusion
  • Bank loans: industry concerns re no capital holidays, restrictions
  • Self Employed support
  • Insurance
  • April Wage increase
  • Other reliefs
  • Employee welfare support

Job Retention Scheme (specific issues on the JRS).             

  • Over what reference period will the 80% of earnings be calculated?
  • Will pay be based solely on wages or will it include supplementary income, such as tips?
  • Will we continue to pay people via payroll/PAYE and then reclaim the 80% from Government separately/at a later date?
  • Will the payments to employees be subject to income tax deductions, employer and employee NICs continue to be charged on ongoing employment and those in furlough?
  • Can furloughed workers be activated and de-activated as needed?
  • Can furloughed workers receive training during this period?
  • Is the April 1 National Living Wage increase going ahead, or has it been deferred?
  • Will the process for furloughing be streamlined to assist with cashflow issues?
  • Employees may want to look for alternative hours in other sectors during our period of closure. Do we know how this will affect the 80%?
  • We assume that as a Grant there is no expectation to repay this. Is this correct?
  • If we furlough people who are paid more than the current ceiling are we still able to claim the £2,500 maximum per month for these people?
  • If staff have been laid off-can I re-employ them in furlough?
  • What’s the position on continuity of employment under employment legislation for a worker previously laid off but rehired and paid under support measure?
  • Has consideration been given to those in the middle of an apprenticeship – either with training providers or colleges – will this period be extended?
  • Statutory pension deductions who pays?
  • Employers NI – who pays?
  • Holiday pay – who pays?

The SLTA will give an update on the outcomes as soon as available.


Earlier today the SLTA announced that it would be suspending its membership fees and that new Office Bearers would be appointed.   In a communication to its members the Association said:-

“In these extremely difficult and unprecedented times, when we are all being asked to band together and fight this disease and help each other to see us all through the collateral damage caused by this epidemic, the SLTA has suspended membership fees in the interim. For members who pay by annual and monthly direct debit, there is no need to cancel your direct debit as no further payments will be taken from your account in the meantime.

We have seen support for our industry from both UK and Scottish Governments to a greater level than we could have ever imagined a couple of weeks ago and companies are also lending support to the industry.   In the grand scheme of things suspending SLTA membership fees is a small measure of help, but it all adds up, and the Association will continue to send out as much up to date information and advice as it can.

The Association’s AGM should have taken place tomorrow with new Office Bearers being appointed, but obviously the meeting has been postponed.   However, the new Office Bearer appointments will come into being as of 12.00 noon tomorrow (26th March).   The new Office Bearers are:

PRESIDENT – Stephen Montgomery, South West of Scotland LTA.

VICE-PRESIDENT – Graham Blaikie, Edinburgh & South East LTA.

TREASURER – Murray Lamont, Inverness & Highland LTA.

The 2020 AGM will take place later in the year and coincide with an event to celebrate the appointment of the new SLTA Office Bearers and hopefully the return to some form of normality.”


A number of brewers and wholesale suppliers have been in touch with their customers regarding what actions they are taking during the COVID-19 epidemic to assist the trade.   We have been advised that the following communications have been received by customers of:-


Dear Customer
The Coronavirus outbreak is a complex and rapidly evolving situation which is changing daily. Tennent’s will adhere to all Government advice to meet our key priority of protecting the welfare of everyone including our colleagues, consumers, customers and suppliers. 

The announcement on 20th March by the UK Government to shut all pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants means that our hospitality industry is facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the current Coronavirus pandemic. 

 Given the uncertainty facing the industry, I would like to take the opportunity to assure you of Tennent’s continuing commitment to support you in the coming days, weeks and months as we work through this crisis together. 

Following our announcement last week of the postponement of the planned wholesale price increase on our own beers and ciders, together with a 3 month capital and interest payment holiday on loan repayments, we are today announcing some further measures to assist you.

Tennent’s are committing to a full credit or swapping of “Old for New” on the recommencement of normal trading. This will apply to any kegs of Tennent’s owned brands that remain un-broached.  Any questions on this please pick up with your Account Manager 

We understand the cessation of trade will impact on your cash flow and are reviewing each customer’s account on an individual basis to support during this period. We would ask that you do not cancel any Direct Debit mandates outright as this may cause problems once normal business resumes.  Our Account Managers will be in touch in the coming days regarding support options.

Tennent’s will continue to support our customers throughout this time and have set up a dedicated government support phone line and email.  Please call 0141 202 7170 or email where an advisor will be able to point you in the right direction of all support announced by the government to date. Details of Government Support measures can be found Here – these will be updated as new initiatives are announced.

We have pulled together a guide on brands dispense equipment measures that customers should put in place to safely shut down and protect equipment while closed and steps to allow you to pour quality draught beer as soon as possible when you are able to re-open. Details can be found below and on 

Our Customer Contact Centre is available 8:00 am – 5.30 pm. Wellpark – 0141 202 7290  or via email: 

Our business is fully committed to supporting you and the wider On -Trade through this Public Health Crisis and as we prepare to return to normality in the future.  Our team will work with you to understand how we can overcome these challenges together.  Yours sincerely,
Kenny GrayMD – Scotland

Dispense system close down process
Given the Government announcement to close pubs, clubs, hotels and restaurants from 21st March, we are providing below guide to ensure that dispense systems are protected and shut down safely to allow them to be up and running quickly when normal trading resumes.
Failure to properly close down the system may cause irrevocable damage to dispense equipment and render it unusable.   Please follow the simple steps below to safely close down the system safely and avoid any delay when your outlet re-opens. Closedown Process

  • Disconnect all the kegs.
  • Clean all the lines in the outlet following your standard process.
  • When the lines are cleaned and flushed empty the cleaning bottle and blow the lines clear of water. (This can be done by opening the taps and waiting until all the water is dispensed and the lines are empty).
  • You should leave the lines empty of water (water can cause damage and taints to the lines).
  • Spray the couplers with alcohol sanitiser spray and prevent them from dropping on the floor.
  • Clean the tap nozzles and put them back on the taps.
  • Switch off the beer coolers and turn off any gas bottles.
  • Cellar cooling and beer coolers can be turned off to save energy/cost

Re-opening Process

  • Please follow the steps below, 24 hours ahead of re-opening.
  • Turn on the cellar cooling on.
  • Turn on the beer coolers and gas system.
  • Clean the beer lines again in line with your standard process.
  • When the lines are clean, flush with water.
  • Connect the couplers to kegs that are in date.
  • The beer cooler will be ready to dispense at the correct temperature within 2 hours.

Inverarity Morton

Dear customer,
In these unprecedented times we have made the decision, in the best interest of the health & wellbeing of our staff, customers, suppliers, and the public to follow advice from the NHS and Government to send all non essential staff home to abide by Public health guidelines. Our business is still 0pen for customer collections, applying social distancing protocols and we will continue to process retail orders.

However, now that every Pub, Restaurant and Bar across the UK has closed we will suspend all deliveries & customer uplifts from Monday 23rd March 2020 until further notice. We are still available to advise your business, collect payments and assist you through this difficult time.
Listed below are the key contact details you may require:-

Sales – Tel: 0141 620 6100

Credit Control – Tel: 0141 620 6185
Opening Hours: Monday –Friday 9am-4pm

Sales Contacts

  • David O’Neill – Regional Sales Manager North – 07500 555 511
  • Tom Clarkson –Regional Sales Manager East- 07801 456 255
  • Brian Allan – Regional Sales Manager South – 07827 303 764
  • Jane Campbell – Regional Sales Manager West – 07760 161 161

Everyone who is part of the amazing licensed trade of Scotland knows how much our relationships mean to all of us. We, as a business, are doing everything we can to protect these relationship as well as protecting our business, our supplier and our customers for the future. Thank you for your ongoing support. Please keep in touch in the weeks to come and stay safe.

Yours Sincerely, Stephen Annand Sales Director M:07480 943544.


Dear Customer

There is not one part of society right now which is unaffected by the continuously developing COVID-19 situation and our thoughts are with everyone affected.

The closure of all pubs, clubs and restaurants from Friday 20th March is a devastating blow to all of us working in the industry. It was clearly a difficult decision for the Government, but it’s the right decision and one that must be adhered to for the safety and wellbeing of our society. And this must be our priority.

We’re reassured by the significant support package announced by the Government. It includes a range of measures which should help sustain pubs and the economy in these testing months ahead. It’s important you make full use of this. More details on how to access the support are included below.

We know the coming days and weeks will be filled with uncertainty. Let me reassure you, Heineken UK will continue to support you through this. We want to remain in contact with you throughout this, but for now I’d like to set out some initial guidance on how will work together.Speaking with the teamYou can continue to contact us for help and support. You can contact our On Trade team by telephone or online. Our Customer Services Contact Centre (Tel: 0345 878 7071) continues to operate, and our Heineken Direct platform is unaffected.We will continue to provide the latest guidance and advice on Heineken Direct so please check the platform regularly.

Stock Management
We know that all of you will have draught beer on your premises which you now cannot sell. We intend to collect any unopened kegs that will go out of date replacing it with fresh stock at no cost to you when you reopen your pub or bar. This is a logistical challenge, but one we’re up for and will be in touch over the next few days on how this will be managed.

SmartDispense Payments
We are suspending the collection of SmartDispense payments for the duration of the period that the On Trade is closed.

Payment Terms
The cessation of trade will understandably be impacting your cash flow. We are reviewing the needs of each customer on an individual basis and will support you as best we can. We have asked our sales teams to discuss this with you over the coming days.

Dispense systems
We wrote to you last week on how to correctly shut your dispense system. It is vitally important that you have followed these instructions, both as a safety measure but also so that you’ll be in the best position to start up again. If you have a SmartDispense system, click here for guidance, and if you have a standard dispense system, click here for guidance.

Checklist to temporarily close your pub
As well as shutting down your dispense system, we have made a checklist available of the other things you might want to think about as you temporarily close your pubs. This list is available on Heineken Direct here.

Starting back up
While it’s hard to look forward at the moment, we will get through this and when your doors do re-open, we think people will come out in force to support the On Trade.

We’re already thinking about what ‘the other side’ might look like, and how we will hit the ground running to help stimulate revenues, including logistics of getting started again as well as marketing investment.

I’m sure this situation has a long way to go before we see it improve. The most important thing we can do right now is to fully adhere to the Government advice and look after ourselves, colleagues and loved ones.

Stephen WattOn Trade Director, HEINEKEN UK


Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Andrew Bailey, the Governor of the Bank of England, and Chris Woolard, the CEO of the FCA, have written to the CEOs of the UK Banks on the subject of COVID-19 and bank lending.

For a copy of the letter click here.


PRS and PPL are continuing to issue invoices to the trade and the SLTA will be contacting them.  It may be stating the obvious, but payment of such invoices will hardly be high on the list of anyone’s priorities at the moment.

Relaxation of charges to help with coronavirus pressures.

A package of measures worth £60 million has been agreed between the Scottish Government and the water industry to help businesses facing difficulties with water charges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Scottish Water has agreed to suspend pre-payment charges for licensed providers for two months, beginning with the April payment. This means providers – who supply water services to businesses – can be flexible with their own customers at this difficult time.

The package of measures, introduced with immediate effect, has been developed by Scottish Water, the Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS) and the Central Market Agency (CMA), in conjunction with the Scottish Government.

Businesses should get in touch with their Water Service Provider.


With many things on business owners minds, it will be easy to forget some of the basics.  One thing you can forget about is your vehicles MOT if it is due after the 30th of March

Vehicle owners in Britain will be granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.

All cars, vans and motorcycles will be exempt from needing a test from March 30.

This will allow people to carry on with essential travel during the coronavirus pandemic, the DfT said.

This means if your vehicle’s MOT is close to expiring then you will not need to arrange to have a test carried out, and you will be able to drive on the roads providing your vehicle is in a roadworthy condition.

Drivers were warned that vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition.

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