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Pub and hospitality trade bodies publish track and trace guidance for businesses 

Leading trade associations representing the UK’s pub and hospitality sectors have today issued joint guidance to businesses on supporting the Government’s track and trace customer registration scheme.

The guidance has been jointly produced by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) and UKHospitality. It aims to provide clarity to enable businesses to take positive steps towards achieving the scheme’s public health objectives, as well as businesses’ obligations and practical tips to implement a successful scheme.

The core principles of the scheme, its objectives and practical solutions are explained, including:

·     What information should be recorded

·     How the information should be recorded

·     Relevant issues regarding GDPR.

In a joint statement, the trade bodies said: “There has been a significant amount of interest from both businesses and customers about the track and trace scheme and some confusion also.

“It is a core component of the safe reopening of businesses and it is something that all venues are going to have to get to grips with. This can help us to avoid a second spike and the disastrous consequences that would entail, for society and business.

“This guidance provides clear instructions to businesses on their obligations and reminds them why it is important that they make a success of the scheme. It is in the interests of everyone in the country that we all understand our role in the scheme and its importance in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Businesses are urged to read the guidance thoroughly and ensure that they have the proper procedures in place before they reopen their doors to customers. If they are unsure abut any element, they should contact their trade association immediately.” 

Energy suppliers destroying great British pubs in every community

Earlier this year, a survey of BII members revealed that 50% were forced into signing contracts at the peak of energy prices between July and December 2022. With meaningful energy support from Government falling away for the vast majority of pubs from 1st April this year, they are now facing a cliff edge of energy costs, alongside the surge in inflationary pressures in every area of their businesses.

As bricks and mortar businesses at the heart of their communities, they can only reduce their usage so much, with energy intensive kitchens & cellars, as well as the need for their bars to be warm and welcoming for their customers.

Without the ability to renegotiate contracts with suppliers that were signed in an unfair and uncompetitive market, many are facing bankruptcy, despite consumer confidence and turnovers growing in recent times. 

Adrianne Mead, licensee of the Royal Oak in Isleworth is facing energy bills of over £100k a year, after being forced to take a 12 month contract in September 2022, at the peak of energy prices.

Adrianne commented:
“We run a very successful pub, operating at the heart of the community for nearly 8 years now. We have survived through the huge challenges of the pandemic, but the threat to the survival of our business has now reached a critical level, with our energy costs tripling. At the time we signed our contract, Government had promised support for 2 years to consumers, and 6 months for businesses, and the then Prime Minister, Liz Truss, also promised business support after April 2023 ‘to vulnerable sectors, such as hospitality, including our local pubs.’

“The shortest contract available to us was for 12 months – we had no option but to sign, and we are now in a position where we are paying nearly £10,000 a month on the energy needed to keep our lights on and our kitchen open. If we were to get a contract with our supplier now as a new customer, we would only be paying £3,000 a month.

“These huge costs, delivered as part of a contract we had to sign in an unfair and uncompetitive market are now threatening the survival of our business – one that contributes a significant amount of tax into Government. More than that though, we stand to lose our home and our livelihood, whilst our community will lose a valuable and essential asset for local people. If we were allowed the option of renegotiating our contract with British Gas and YU Energy, it would save our business, but also benefit them, as if we have to close, they will lose all income from the pub.

“The stress we are feeling as a business is keeping us awake at night, putting an immense strain on our everyday lives. We have cut our usage as much as we can, but we are a warm, welcoming hub which provides so many local people with a place to escape from their own cost of living pressures, and we see it as our duty to continue to provide this.”

Steve Alton, CEO of the BII commented:
“Our members, independently running pubs in all communities, are in many cases days away from business failure, as a direct result of the unfair and unviable energy costs they are facing. These otherwise successful and essential community hubs are being forced to the brink of bankruptcy by energy suppliers, who are quite simply profiteering from vulnerable small businesses. 

“Despite the Government’s initial intention to support pubs with energy bills past April 1st, the Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS) provides almost no relief to licensees, who will now be paying, in many cases, more than 4 times more than they were in 2021. With wholesale prices falling dramatically in 2023, anyone signing into a new contract now can access prices as low as 30ppkWh, which is in stark contrast to contracted rates in 2022.

“Government’s extension of the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) for domestic users was the right thing to do, protecting vulnerable consumers from the cost of heating their homes and cooking for their families. So many small businesses, but particularly pubs, will have no protection from the end of this month, standing to lose their businesses, family homes and livelihoods. 

“Ofgem’s review of the numerous bad supplier practices including failure to pass on the Government support as well as rocketing standing charges, has already taken too long, and any further delays will now result in unnecessary business failures. They must use all of their powers urgently to encourage suppliers to recontract with those businesses who had no option but to sign deals at the peak of energy prices, or face being cut off.

“This is not just an issue of a small business disappearing - there will be a ripple effect on entire communities, losing essential skilled jobs, impacting on local suppliers & brewers, with lost Government taxation and repayment of pandemic specific debts.”

You can view the letter
here or see the attached PDF.

The Licensed Trade Charity launches new campaign as total service users hits 155k over 3 year period

With increased emotional and financial pressures being placed on those who work in the drinks industry, The Licensed Trade Charity has unveiled a brand-new campaign, ‘Because Everyone Needs A Little TLC,’ to drive greater awareness of the services the LTC offers and to encourage more industry professionals to access support when in need.


It is estimated that around 250,000 people working in the licensed trade are in need of support at any one time. Although awareness of the Licensed Trade Charity has increased in recent years, research has found that the majority of people working in the drinks industry are still unaware of the support they can access from the charity. ‘Because Everyone Needs A Little TLC,’ has been launched to impactfully communicate how the Licensed Trade Charity can help, who can access LTC services and to encourage those working in the licensed trade to seek support earlier to prevent an issue turning into a crisis.


The new campaign from the LTC is being supported by senior leaders throughout the industry, who will kick off the campaign with a thunderclap across social media on Monday 20th March, with further activity delivered by the charity and its partners across social and digital channels, trade events, PR and advertising. The charity will also be distributing material to over 2,000 businesses working in the sale, service, production or distribution of alcoholic drinks, to further communicate the services available, which includes emotional support, specialist guidance and financial grants.


Paula Smith, Head of Marketing at the Licensed Trade Charity said, “With the cost-of-living crisis biting and the hospitality industry facing continued challenges, we are very aware this is a tough time for many working in the drinks trade. However, if you are struggling, there is free support available from the Licensed Trade Charity.”


“With the launch of this new campaign, ‘Because Everyone Needs a Little TLC,’ we are determined to reach more people who work, or have worked, in the sale, service, production and distribution of alcoholic drinks, and encourage greater usage of our services among those who need them. Whether you or your colleague requires emotional support, specialist guidance or a financial grant, we implore you to speak to us because we can stop an issue turning into a crisis, and help you get you back to your best."


The launch of this new campaign comes as the Licensed Trade Charity releases its usage figures for 2022, the results of which show that drinks people accessing LTC services since the pandemic has remained markedly high, with the charity helping 36,000 people in 2022, bringing the total number of people helped since the start of 2020 up to 155k. Last year alone, financial support awarded by the Licensed Trade Charity through grants and services reached £1.17 million.


Calls to the charity’s helpline has also sustained very high numbers with the Licensed Trade Charity receiving 3,173 calls last year, up from 2,061 in 2021 and 1,037 in 2020. Of the calls last year, 63% were related to mental health.

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