New rules for security staff could mean loss of jobs

New
laws requiring door supervisors, wheel clampers and security guards to be
registered may force many staff out of their jobs and push up staff costs, it
is claimed.

The
changes require those working in the sectors to pass a criminal background
check and reach set levels of training and professional standards. It will be a
criminal offence to work in these sectors without a licence from the
newly-launched Security Industry Authority (SIA).

To
qualify for a licence, workers must be conviction-free for two years. Those who
have committed serious offences must have been on the straight and narrow for
at least five years.

Some
commentators believe the tough background test will force around 40 per cent of
bouncers from their jobs, but Su Beacham, director of personnel and training at
JD Wetherspoon, doesn’t believe the law will create too much of a problem at
her firm.

Wetherspoon
outsources security, but, she said, most security companies already run
extensive checks.

“[The
new laws] will exclude some people, but I don’t think it will be that much of
an issue for us.”

More
of an issue is the extra cost of retraining staff in accordance with the law.
Beacham said this cost will effectively be passed on to drinkers.

The
laws require door supervisors and wheel clampers to be licensed first, followed
by manned guards and key holders in 2005, and private investigators and
security consultants in 2006.

By Quentin Reade

www.the-sia.org.uk

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