Can legislation create a fairer environment for pub landlords? Holyrood Committee asks.

21.02.2020

A Members Bill which aims to create a fairer environment for pub landlords is to be scrutinised by the Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee.

The Committee has today issued a call for views on the Tied Pubs Scotland Bill which seeks to strengthen the position of pub tenants through the creation of a Scottish Pubs Code. This proposed legislation would give landlords more of a say in their business while an independent adjudicator would oversee the application of the new code.

The Bill also seeks to improve choice for consumers, by making locally brewed products more accessible in tied pubs.   

Committee Deputy Convener, Willie Coffey MSP said:

“With around 750 tied pubs in Scotland, we want to know what impact this legislation would have on local businesses and the communities that they are at the heart of.

“We want to hear from pub landlords, tenants and brewers to understand if changes need to be made.”

Background

A copy of the Bill, and its accompanying documents, are available on the Scottish Parliament’s website.

  • What are your views on the Bill overall? Do you think that legislation in this area is necessary?
  • Do you think the Bill achieves its aim of improving the relationship between pub-owning businesses and their tenants?
  • Could the Bill have any impact on investment in the pub sector in Scotland?
  • Should the Scottish Pubs Code apply to all pub owning businesses and tenants in Scotland?
  • Do you have any comments on the role of the Adjudicator?
  • The Policy Memorandum states that the Bill aims to adapt the 2015 Act to Scottish circumstances and to avoid problems experienced in implementing the Act in England and Wales. Do you think the Bill meets these aims?
  • The Bill proposes that tied tenants have the option to apply to their pub owning business for a quote for a „Market rent only‟ (MRO) contract. Do you agree with this proposal and how do you think it would work in practice?
  • The Bill proposes that tenants should have the right to stock at least one guest beer at any time, irrespective of the terms of their contract. What impact would this have?
  • The Bill proposes that the office of Pub Code Adjudicator will be funded through a levy on pub-owning companies in scope of the code. The Financial Memorandum estimates that annual costs for pub-owning businesses will be around £6,000 to £86,700 depending on size. The Committee would welcome any views of these estimates (and the assumptions around the volume of work for the office of the Pub Code Adjudicator) and the funding model.
  • Do you have any other comments on the Bill?

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