Pub managers to take legal action over working hours

Pub
managers’ union, the National Association of Licensed House Managers (NAHLM),
has decided to begin legal proceedings against the Spirit Group, a subsidiary
of the recently floated Punch Taverns.

The
union, part of the Transport and General Workers’ Union, claims the Spirit
Group has failed to recognise the Working Time Regulations.

Peter
Love, NAHLM national officer, said: "The average 48-hour working week
aspect of the Working Time regulations is a crucial matter for our members
especially with the Government poised to introduce legislation for 24-hour
opening of pubs."

The
Government has promised radical reform of the licensing laws in England and
Wales. Legislation is expected in the next Queen’s Speech, which will include
major changes to opening hours.

Love
said: "We are not against these changes but there must be safeguards for those
working in the industry. We must ensure they are not exploited and have some
quality of life."

The
Spirit Group claims pub managers are excluded from the regulations, citing
Regulation 20 as their justification. That regulation excludes managing executives,
people with autonomous decision-taking powers and people whose hours cannot be
measured or predetermined.

By Quentin Reade

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