Welcome to the Alliance of British Clubs

Courtprice Limited – Specialist Insurance Brokers to the Alliance of British Clubs

Courtprice Limited, Specialist Insurance Brokers to the Alliance of British Clubs for over 30 years.

Formed in 1984, in the same year as the Birmingham Club Secretaries Association, .and just before the emergence of the Alliance of British Clubs, Courtprice Limited are Specialist Club Brokers, operating the Club Protector Scheme.

Many other broking firms have come and gone over the last 30 years or so, often seeing the Club world as a quick turnaround in cash but, often burning their underwriters account with cheap premiums which look good for a while but are unsustainable.

Damaged Insurers have then been pulling out of the Club market for many years when in fact, had the account been properly managed, the Insurer would have stayed the course.

Courtprice Limited has always returned all discounts and benefits to the individual Clubs and has never paid introductory fees to any Club organisation, instead choosing to benefit the Club member with a competitive premium, backed by a first class service.

Using Whole of Market, Courtprice Limited have inter-traded with several major Insurers over the last 30 years or so and have built up a reputation, in the market, for being professional, firm but entirely honest with the Underwriters.

Directly regulated by the FCA, adopting the treating customers fairly regime, Courtprice Limited offer a simple, sleep easy approach to the whole process of arranging Club Insurance. Having the correct Sums Insured, calculating Revenue figures from Club Accounts, coupled with a free claims handling service ensures retention rates of nearly 100% over many years trading.

Courtprice Limited has built a working relationship with several Solicitor firms who are conversant with Club Insurance Rules and Regulations, especially employment related matters.

Should any Alliance of British Clubs member Club wish to take advantage of these benefits then they should contact Julian Goodman, Development Director, Courtprice Limited either by email at: julian@courtprice.co.uk or by telephoning 0121 447 7555 or any of the supporting team members that look after the Alliance of British Clubs connection.

ABC Legal Advisor – Issues Raised by Clubs

Peter Adkins, the Legal Adviser to the Alliance of British Clubs is a Solicitor who specialises in advising Clubs on Club Law generally. He is also a Legal 500 recognised expert in Licensing Law. Peter is always happy to discuss legal problems over the telephone with member Clubs who need guidance or are in difficulty.

Two issues raised by Clubs have been foremost in my inbox recently. The first is on whether Clubs can allow members to drink outside the Club premises, and the second is the old thorny issue of letting out rooms to non-members

What’s all this about outside areas? In short some Clubs have been told by their local licensing officers that they cannot allow members and guests to take their drinks out on to patios and other outside areas. This most often occurs when Clubs are running under a Club Premises Certificate (CPC) as opposed to a Premises Licence.

The basis for this is contained in the original Licensing Act. S 73. This says, in summary, if your CPC allows you to supply alcohol for consumption off the premises then it must be in a sealed container. It must also be made to a member of the club in person.

So why is this a problem, it’s only the patio, that’s surely part of the Club anyway? Well you need to look at the plans that are attached to your CPC. Many Clubs, when they went through the conversion process for their old licence in 2005, only sent in plans for the main building, excluding any external areas. If they did this, then taking drinks on to the patio is technically an ‘off’ sale and should be in a sealed container only.

How do you get round this? The easiest way is to contact your local authority and apply for a variation of your licence. As you will be increasing the area covered by your licence some authorities may push for a new licence application all together, others will take a more pragmatic approach and allow a small extension of the area as a variation.

Contact me if you need more information on how to do this.

Letting out rooms. I am still surprised by how few Clubs understand the position on letting out rooms to non-members for events. This is a real problem if you run under a CPC and I have written about it often over the years.

For those new to this the position is that when the Licensing Act 2003 came into force, the old style permission which allowed Clubs to operate a number of external functions was removed. To a certain extent this was overcome by the use of Temporary Event Notices (TENs) but these are limited in their number.

Committee members often hark back to the old rules, often they cite their Club Rules which have not be changed since pre 2005, but the old arrangements simply do not apply.

If you do offer private functions under a CPC then the Police or Licensing Authority will raise the issue of whether you are able to continue to trade as a Members Club under a CPC at all. If ignored then those involved (principally the Committee and Secretary) could well be found to be selling alcohol without the appropriate permissions and be guilty of an offence. This covers swingeing fines and even a threat of imprisonment. Unlikely as this may be, perhaps more importantly the often chosen route of the Polcie is to seek the revocation of the CPC for the Club. This means almost inevitable closure.

Put more simply – don’t do it! But what do you do instead? You need to apply for a Premises Licence to operate either instead of, or alongside the existing CPC. Your Club can have both and it is common for only part of the building e.g. a concert room, to be covered by the premises licence.

This means the Club can run events for members in one area and non-members in another area on the same night.

The Club will gain as it has a new source of income and can advertise freely for outside events. You do need to keep separate accounting records if alcohol is sold to the public. Your accountant should be able to help you here.

Apart from the need for different accounts procedures there are other matters you need to consider. Amongst these are

  • 1. You will need an individual with a Personal Licence to be the DPS. I recommend you have at least 2 staff members with Personal Licences at any time
  • 2. You need to ensure the ‘jackpot’ gaming machine is not in the area covered by the Premises Licence or is switched off
  • 3. The Police do have increased rights of entry
  • 4. Police often want to add extra conditions as well e.g. CCTV, SIA registered door staff at events etc
  • 5. The cost. It will involve a new application and this will incur an application fee and advertising
  • 6. You may need new plans as well and I would recommend professional help when considering the proposal, in preparing the application and dealing with any objections

The views of members need to be taken and often a PR exercise is needed with the members and the local community. The local community often are happy with a Social Club but get more excited over an application for a Premises Licence as they see it as another Pub opening, even though the hours are often the same.

It may look difficult, and initially there is a cost, but it is a sign of a well run Club that you have identified the problems and taken steps to resolve these before the Police or Licensing Officers threaten to close you down.

As always I am happy for any member Club with a query to ring me for 15 mins telephone based advice. If I can’t help you, I can normally recommend you to someone who can.

For more information on any of the above – or any Club matters or problems please contact:

Peter Adkins
Director Regulatory Services

EMMS-GILMORE-LIBERSON Solicitors

Lancaster House
67 Newhall Street
Birmingham
B3 1NQ

E-mail: Padkins@egl-law.com
Direct Dial: 0121 262 6437
Mobile: 0771 945 2090
Main: 0121 314 0000

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage – April 2019

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is the minimum pay per hour most workers under the age of 25 are entitled to by law.    

The government's National Living Wage (NLW) is the minimum pay per hour most workers aged 25 and over are entitled to by law.   The rate therefore, will depend on a worker's age and if they are an apprentice.   HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs) can take employers to court for not paying the NMW/NLW.

The current rates from April 1st 2018 were:

  • £7.83 per hour - 25 yrs old and over
  • £7.38 per hour - 21-24 yrs old
  • £5.90 per hour - 18-20 yrs old
  • £4.20 per hour - 16-17 yrs old
  • £3.70 per hour  -  Apprentice

The new rates from 1 April 2019 are:

  • £8.21 per hour - 25 yrs old and over
  • £7.70 per hour - 21-24 yrs old
  • £6.15 per hour - 18-20 yrs old
  • £4.35 per hour - 16-17 yrs old
  • £3.90 per hour  -  Apprentice

It is against the law for employers to pay workers less than the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage, or to falsify payment records.  If an employer doesn't pay the correct rate, a worker should talk to their employer and try to resolve the issue informally first. If this doesn't work a worker may make a formal grievance to their employer. 

A worker can make a complaint to HMRC who will investigate the complaint. If HMRC find that an employer hasn't paid at least the National Minimum Wage, they can send a notice of arrears plus a penalty for not paying the correct rate of pay to the worker.  

The government's National Living Wageis different from the Living Wage, which is an hourly rate of pay and updated annually.  The Living Wage is set independently by the Living Wage Foundation and is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK.     Employers may choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis.    

Further details may be found on the website of ACAS, at http://www.acas.org.uk

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Your Club

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and your Club: What You Need to Know

Introduction

On 25th May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became law. This has made many Clubs nervous and unsure of whether they comply.

The GDPR are a mammoth piece of legislation that deals with, the relationship between a business, a consumer and a consumer's personal data.

But how does this all affect Social Clubs? As readers will know we try in these articles to give an easy to read summary of new legislation, this, though, is a complex area and we can obviously only give outline guidance here. We would strongly recommend that if you are still uncertain about your position that you contact us or other advisers for more detailed advice.

In this article we will break down the lawful bases that you can rely on to continue to collate and store members data, as well as a summary of their rights under GDPR. Finally, we will look at an example case, applying the knowledge to three possible areas.

The GDPR considers the situations in which a Club is lawfully allowed to collect the personal information of an individual. Personal information, means any information that could be used to directly or indirectly identify a particular person. This includes obviously, name, address, telephone number etc. GDPR also recognises further "special categories of personal data", including: racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, membership of a trade union,  data about sex life or sexual orientation.

The GDPR applies to both "controllers" - those that decide the purpose and means of "processing"personal data - and "processors" - those that actually do the "processing". In many Clubs this will be the Secretary and the Committee. "Processing" is so wide that if you do anything at all involving an individual's personal data, you are likely to fall under the GDPR's remit.

The Checklist

So, in what situations are you allowed to process a Member's personal information? If you can meet all of the conditions on this checklist:

Lawfulness:

  1. We have a lawful basis for the processing.
  2. If we are processing "special category" data, we have a further condition for this.
  3. We are not doing anything generally unlawful with this data.

Fairness:

  1. We can justify any negative impact of our processing on our members.
  2. We only process our members' data in a way they would reasonably expect, or can justify unexpected processing.
  3. We do not mislead or lie to our members when we process their data.

Transparency:

  1. We are open and honest with our members and respect their right to be informed.

Most Clubs should easily be able to comply with the above.

 

Lawful Bases?

The GDPR lays out six appropriate legal bases, or reasons, for processing a member's personal data. Of these, three most concern us: consent, legal obligation and legitimate interests.

Consent:

You may use a member's personal information if they have consented. However the GDPR sets out a high standard for what counts as consent. This requires a positive opt-in from your member. This cannot be a default option, (e.g. a pre-checked box). You need to be as specific as possible, letting your member know what you are going to do with their information and how you will use it. Thisincludes naming any 3rd parties that will rely on the consent e.g. possibly the CIU if you pass data to them. Also, you should make it easy for your members to withdraw consent, and tell them how to do so. You need to keep their consent under review, refreshing it if anything changes. To sum up, real consent means providing your members with a real choice and giving them control.

How? Probably the easiest way is to have your members sign up to a data policy when they apply for or renew their membership. You also need to advise them how they can change their permissions. This may be by simply telling the secretary or some online procedure.

Legal Obligation:

You may process a member's personal information if there is a specific statute or court ruling that demands the processing of that data. . This may possibly extend to conditions on your alcohol licence requiring you to give copies of CCTV to the Police in certain circumstances.

Legitimate Interests:

You may process personal information if you can identify a legitimate interest that your processing would serve. This is the most flexible basis.  Relying on a legitimate interest is appropriate where you use a member's data in a way that they would reasonably expect and which has a minimal impact on their privacy. e.g. advising them by e-mail, or letter, of an AGM, EGM, or of forthcoming elections and possibly events. If you rely on legitimate interests, you are taking on extra responsibility for protecting or considering your member's rights and interests. To sum up, there is a three part test to work out whether you can rely on legitimate interests:

  1. Can we identify a legitimate interest?
  2. Can we show that our processing is necessary to achieve that interest?
  3. Have we balanced that interest against our member's rights and interests?

A Member's Rights under GDPR

On top of having a legal basis for your processing, you must also process a member's personal data in a way that respects their data rights. The GDPR sets out seven distinct rights: the right to be informed, of access, of rectification, to erasure, to restrict processing, to data portability and to object.

The Right to be Informed

This covers telling members of the purpose for processing their data, how long you intend to hold that data for and who you are going to share that data with (if anyone).

The Right of Access

Members must be able to view and access whatever personal data you hold, That can be verbal or in writing, but you must respond within one month. In general, you cannot charge a fee for this access

The Right of Rectification

Members have the right to request that you rectify any incomplete or inaccurate personal data. Youmust respond to such a request within one month. Again in general you may not charge a fee.

The Right of Erasure

Members (and former Members) have "the right to be forgotten" - i.e to have their information erased. If the data is no longer necessary for the purpose that you originally processed it for, or the member withdraws their consent, or you have processed that information unlawfully to begin with, then a member may lawfully demand that you erase their data. You may want to consider in some circumstances if it is appropriate, or even possible, for someone to remain a member. Again, you have a month to reply to an erasure request, and may refuse if there is an overwhelming reason why you must keep that personal data.

The Right to Restrict Processing

Members have the right to have further processing of their personal data suspended while the erasure / rectification request is responded to.

The Right to Data Portability

A Member has the right to receive back any personal data that they have given to you in a structured, commonly-used and machine-readable format, for example files on a memory stick or CD. Also, they have the right to ask you to transmit their personal data to someone else, including other companies.

The Right to Object

Finally, Members have the right to ask you to stop processing their data- and you must inform them of this when you first process their data. Importantly, this is an absolute right when it comes to directed marketing. . This is not the same as an erasure. You should retain enough personal information so that you know that they do not want directed marketing. If you are processing personal data for a legitimate interest, however, you may refuse an objection, but you must be able to justify your refusal by showing that you have struck a balance between your Member's rights and the interests of the Club.

How does this affect Clubs? Some examples

The Committee of an incorporated Club are worried about the GDPR's impact on three main areas: member's applying to come to events, CCTV operating within the building and the e-mails they send to members to invite them to events. In the first case, members of the club may apply via email or the website with their details and the names of guests for a booking list, allowing them entry and access to the Club event. Applying what we've just discussed, we can see that, with a few caveats, the Club is probably acting lawfully. By sending in their names and email addresses, members and guests are not sending "special category" personal data and are consenting to being placed on the event list. As long as the information is stored securely, only used as the members and guests would expect it to be used (i.e. placed on a list of attendees), and if the members can have their information erased from the VIP list at any time, then the information is likely being handled in a GDPR-compliant way.

What about the CCTV cameras inside the club? The Committee could potentially rely on written consent but this is not a viable method to run the system as every single attendee would have to positively consent to the cameras. It is better to rely on either legitimate interests (preventing property damage, theft or other crimes from negatively affecting the business) or on legal obligation (the CCTV cameras were required by the local police). Either way, you could justify the CCTV > You should ensure that the recordings are stored securely and regularly wiped.

In the third case, the club regularly sends out e-mails inviting members to events. The Committee could again rely on consent here, providing that, at the time of the obtaining or renewing membership, the member was given all of the required information and positively consented to it. Alternatively legitimate interest, events and socialising are after all why many people become members. You can use that information to advertise to members but must be prepared to cease doing so the moment any member says to stop.

Conclusion

Overall, hopefully you will see that the GDPR, while comprehensive and potentially intimidating, is mostly about the common-sense use of member's data and that many existing practices can be continued so long as you are prepared to justify your decisions.

Note though the rights that members have to control their data

Peter Adkins, the Legal Adviser to the Alliance of British Clubs is a Solicitor who specialises in advising Clubs on Club Law generally. He is also a Legal 500 recognised expert in Licensing Law. Peter is always happy to discuss legal problems over the telephone with member Clubs who need guidance or are in difficulty.

National Advice Helpline for ABC Members

ABC have joined together with Courtprice Insurance Brokers to provide all members with a National Advice Helpline.

As part of your membership we are able to help with technical enquiries and, through associated advisors, help with any insurance and legal issues that arise for you and your club.

One telephone number will bring you into contact with our helpline team who will then identify your problem and pass it to the relevant advisor.

Please see Member Services page for further details.