New Code to Provide Long-Awaited Protection for Tied Pub Tenants in Scotland

New Code to Provide Long-Awaited Protection for Tied Pub Tenants in Scotland

In a notable development for Scotland's hospitality industry, government officials have confirmed plans to introduce secondary legislation for a Scottish Pubs Code in Parliament this week.

Numerous tenants of tied pubs in Scotland have encountered difficulties stemming from their business arrangements, often compelled to procure alcohol and other necessary supplies exclusively from their landlords.

“We need to do all we can to protect pubs, bars, and licensed clubs in Scotland, which in 2022 supported 34,000 jobs throughout the country and play an important role in our communities.” - Richard Lochhead

For some time now, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, representing independent pub owners, has fervently campaigned for the introduction of a Scottish Pubs Code and the approval of the Tied Pubs (Scotland) Bill.

The anticipated implementation of this new code is set to empower tenants in their negotiations with landlords, promoting fairer business conditions and nurturing a more robust hospitality sector.

Various organizations have thrown their weight behind the legislation, including Camra (the Campaign for Real Ale), GMB Scotland, the Federation of Small Businesses, and the Scottish Tourism Alliance.

This move follows numerous grievances voiced by tied pub tenants regarding the disadvantages posed by their agreements with major pub companies.

The enactment of the code is paramount in ensuring equitable competition within Scotland's hospitality sector, with many tenants pinning their hopes on its potential to preserve their businesses and livelihoods.

“These new protections in law are vital so tied tenants can make a long-term success of their pubs and shape the unique character of their businesses to become an integral part of their community.” - Stuart McMahon

In a demonstration of solidarity with Scotland's hospitality sector, Small Business Minister Richard Lochhead has expressed his endorsement for the forthcoming Scottish Pubs Code and Tied Pubs (Scotland) Bill. These initiatives aim to institute fairer business conditions for tenants and cultivate a healthier industry.

Minister Lochhead recognises the significant impact that local pubs, bars, and clubs have on employment and community cohesion in Scotland, underscoring the necessity of addressing the power asymmetry between landlords and tenants.