The Right To Work In The UK
There have been a few amendments to the LA2003 as late but none more serious than the introduction of the rights work in the uk for personal licence holders.
Under the Immigration Act 2016 any Personal Licence Holder and individual Premises Licence Holder must be entitled to work in the United Kingdom from 6th April 2017. If they are no longer entitled to work on or after 6th April 2017 then their Personal Licence (or Premises Licence where held by an individual) lapses immediately and cannot be resurrected unless transferred or an Interim Authority lodged within 28 days of it lapsing.
When applying for a Personal Licence we must include evidence with the application of our entitlement to work in the United Kingdom.
If a Personal Licence application reveals that an individual has been issued with a Civil Penalty Notice for an immigration offence then the Licensing Authority must notify the Home Office Immigration Enforcement Service who may object to that Personal Licence application.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR EMPLOYERS?
In terms of the Licensing Authorities’ powers when it comes to Personal Licences, a Licensing Authority if it finds that a Personal Licence Holder has been convicted of a relevant offence or ordered to pay an immigration penalty on or after 6th April 2017 may take action against a Personal Licence by suspending it for up to 6 months or revoking it.
The Licensing Authority can do this without a hearing. The Licensing Authority will ask the Personal Licence Holder to make representations before it makes any decision and if it is minded not to take any action against the Personal Licence will also ask the Police to make representations.
Any decision to revoke a Personal Licence will have no effect until the 21 day appeal period has come to an end and should the individual appeal then until their appeal has been dealt with. The difficulty for you is that the Licensing Authority which will consider any suspension or revocation would be the Personal Licensee’s “home” authority i.e. the Licensing Authority which issued the Personal Licence in the first place. In all likelihood this will not be the Licensing Authority where the Personal Licence Holder now works and if they are employed by you as a Designated Premises Supervisor once their licence has been suspended or revoked after any appeal, if they continue to be the Designated Premises Supervisor this will be a breach of the Mandatory Conditions that the Designated Premises Supervisor must hold a Personal Licence.
As the Premises Licence Holder you would have a defence against any prosecution if you were able to demonstrate that any breach was due to “an act or omission” of another person or “some other cause beyond your control” but that you “took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid committing the offence”. You should therefore, I recommend build in some sort of due diligence process with your Designated Premises Supervisor to carry out regular checks with them to ensure that their Personal Licence has not been suspended or revoked. I would expect that checking with them, recording this in writing and asking for sight of their Personal Licence should suffice as opposed to you going to the time and trouble of ringing up each and every Licensing Authority which has issued your Designated Premises Supervisors with a Personal Licence to check that it has not been suspended or revoked.