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BBPA responds to MPs debate on pub industry code of practice


BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments:
“We are disappointed that MPs have supported calls for further red tape for pubs. We have demonstrated that self-regulation is working. Our focus remains in delivering against the recent agreements we have made to enhance the Industry Framework Code, introduce a more effective mediation service and improve support to lessees and tenants. With the number of pub closures falling, further Government red tape for pubs risks choking off recovery – stifling growth and hitting jobs.

“The voluntary approach has enthused pub companies to go far beyond the Framework Code in their own Codes of Practice. What we need is more transparency and low cost ways to complain (PICAS) and better business support for would-be licensees to help them make a success of running a pub in a truly challenging economic climate. If Parliament could concentrate on reducing beer taxation, it will help publicans far more than any calls for a statutory code.”

Notes to editors:

In November 2011, the British Beer & Pub Association announced extensive reforms to the Pub Industry Framework Code of Practice and resolution procedures. After discussions between the Government and industry partners, the industry agreed binding principles that apply to companies operating tied tenancies and leases, enshrine the Industry Framework Code of Practice in law and provide low cost mediation and conciliation services to tied pub operators.

Key new commitments made by the BBPA and its pub company members are as follows:

*A more robust accreditation process for company codes of practice, which would require reaccreditation by the BII every three years.
*A new arbitration service, the Pub Independent Conciliation and Arbitration Service (PICAS) for disputes other than rent, with the ability to provide compensation, to which all tenants and lessees could appeal. Its establishment would be funded by BBPA members, and it would complement the existing low-cost PIRRS arbitration scheme which relates only to rents.
*A legally binding status for the industry framework code, which will be included in future primary lease and tenancy agreements by ‘reference’, and will be offered as a supplementary contract for incorporation into existing agreements. 74 per cent of all leased and tenanted pubs in BBPA membership were sent letters from their pub companies before Christmas, making the Industry Framework Code legally binding.
*A strengthened industry framework code. The BBPA, BII and FLVA have already agreed an enhanced Industry Framework Code which has been sent to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. The new code introduces a formalised conciliation and advisory service, a tri-annual review process and a range of technical improvements.
*An enhanced provision of independent expert business advice and setting the highest standards of training.


Regulation, Pubs, Property & Planning

For further information contact:

Neil Williams
Head of Media
Tel: 020 7627 9156 / 07974 249 779

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