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Navigating the New Year with Scott Bailey LLP, New Forest Business of the Year

Navigating 2024: A Guide for New Forest Hospitality Businesses

Scott Bailey Solicitors Lymington sums up some of the upcoming legal changes

New Year, new legalities! "Business of the Year" at the 2023 New Forest Brilliance in Business Awards Scott Bailey LLP offers an easy to read update for owners and operators of New Forest hospitality and leisure businesses about the upcoming legal changes which could affect them.

Helping you see the wood for the trees with Scott Bailey LLP

Ben IronmongerAs we kick off 2024, it's a good time for owners and operators of hospitality and leisure businesses to consider some of the upcoming legal changes in your neck of the woods. At Scott Bailey LLP, we act for a large number of leisure and hospitality businesses in the New Forest region and further afield. We're always on hand to advise on new rules and regulations, to try and make them a bit easier to understand, so you can focus on what you do best – running your brilliant local businesses.

So, what’s new, or potentially new, for your industry in 2024?

Martyn's Law and Venue Safety

It is early days still, but if enacted, Martyn's Law, or The Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill will be about making public places safer. This legislation arose following the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester back in May 2017, with one of the victims being Martyn Hett. His mother was awarded an OBE in June 2022 for services to counter terrorism, as a result of her campaigning efforts to better protect the public from terror attacks.

If this law rolls out, buildings and locations like sports stadiums, music venues, places of worship and universities will have some new duties to assess and address the risk of terrorism and to prepare and protect the public. It’s currently estimated that around 250,000 venues could be impacted. Operators will want to consider the impact of terrorism, and take proportionate steps to mitigate the risk – quite an intimidating prospect, but one that seems very sensible. We're keeping an eye on it at Scott Bailey LLP, ready to guide you through the changes and keep you on the right side of the law as and when it comes into play. At the very least, having proper policies and procedures in place will be in the interest of the business, as well as considering potential insurance products and so on.

Alcohol-Related Regulation

Now, for operators of licensed premises, there's a new focus on keeping customers safe from dodgy drink spiking situations. The rules around the Licensing Act 2003 have shifted, and that means extra steps, like training your door staff as well as having proper policies and procedures will be all the more relevant.

Employment-Related Challenges

Staffing – always an area to give business owners and managers a bit of a challenge, with Brexit and Covid still having a huge effect on employment law and HR.

As well as changes to flexible working, introducing a right to request predictable working patterns, changes regarding sexual harassment, and parental rights, from April, minimum wage goes up for those 21 and over – to £11.44.

The Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023 is also kicking in on July 1 2024, adding a bit more management (and transparency!). The Act introduces new rights for workers, including the ability to request information about how tips are paid, and the right to bring a claim if their employer has failed to comply with the new obligations. Tribunals will have various powers, including the ability to order employers to revise the allocation of tips or to make a payment to one or more workers.

Broader Regulatory Landscape

There’s another budget to be had, and an election on the way… time for a famous line “what, another one?!”. For many, this won’t come soon enough, despite the dread of the relentless media coverage for the next [INSERT NUMBER DEPENDING WHICH INTERVIEW YOU READ] of months. It does however add further uncertainty to the business landscape.

Those 'low emissions zones' (LEZ) cropping up in built up areas might affect your game if you operate in affected towns and cities, (albeit perhaps not likely in the Forest any time soon…).

Finally, if your business relies on tourism, keep an eye on the short-term let (STL) market. Wales is gearing up for a scheme, and England might follow; time will tell.

How Scott Bailey LLP Can Help You

At Scott Bailey LLP, our business lawyers, whether in Company and Commercial, Litigation, or Commercial Property departments can help. In 2024, success in the New Forest hospitality scene means hard work, and staying on top, or ideally ahead, of the rules. The team at Scott Bailey LLP are the friendly faces ready to guide you through these changes, to enable your business grow. Do get in touch if you require any assistance with your leisure and hospitality business in the New Forest region, we’re here to help.

About Scott Bailey LLP

Founded in 1930, Scott Bailey has grown to become a leading firm in the New Forest, providing a full range of legal services to private individuals and businesses. Services for individuals include Residential Conveyancing, Divorce, Family, Wills Trusts & Probate, Litigation & Disputes.

SME business legal services include Corporate, Commercial, Intellectual Property, Dispute Resolution, Landlord & Tenant, Insolvency and Employment Law. Scott Bailey LLP is one of only a very few firms based in the New Forest providing these specialist services. 

The first firm in the region to receive the Law Society's prestigious LEXCEL award for high standards of practice management and customer care, Scott Bailey LLP promises top-quality, professional help from a team of expert solicitors who will put your best interests at the heart of their work.

Scott Bailey was delighted and proud to win "Business of the Year" at the 2023 New Forest Brilliance in Business Awards - read story here.

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