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BBPA agrees code of practice reform

The British Beer & Pub Association has unveiled major changes to the Pub Industry Framework Code of Practice and resolution procedures.

Implemented in response to September’s report by the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee, the reforms offer greater support to publicans working in tied tenancies.

The original framework was drawn up in January 2010 in an effort to improve the transparency of tied agreements, ensure tenants received better information from their pub company and help publicans become better qualified to run their business.

Under the revised code, the BBPA and its pub company members have committed to the following steps:

–       A more robust accreditation process for company codes of practice, which must reapply for accreditation from the British Institute of Innkeeping every three years.

1. The creation of the Pub Independent Conciliation and Arbitration Service (PICAS), funded by BBPA members, to decide and compensate tenants with disputes other than rent, which is already covered under the PIRRS scheme.

2. Legally binding status for the Pub Industry Framework Code of Practice, which will be incorporated into future lease and tenancy agreements.

3. A review to be carried out in collaboration with the BII, Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations and other stakeholders to strengthen the industry framework code.

4. Improved training standards and better provision of independent, expert business advice.

Explaining that “There will always be a place for tied pubs as a low cost means of entry for self-employed pub entrepreneurs,” BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds added: “we recognise that would-be and existing licensees need support and a clear understanding of what it takes to run a pub.”

Simmonds also highlighted the “significant progress” achieved since the introduction of the framework in January 2010. She observed: “In its first year, the Pub Industry Framework Code of Practice has improved the transparency and openness of the commercial relationship between pub companies and lessees.

“Independent research has demonstrated the new code’s rapid acceptance within the industry and is increasingly understood by licensees.”

Simmonds described this latest reform as “a further sign of our commitment to work with our members and industry representatives to strengthen the self-regulatory framework and the health of the sector as a whole.”

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