Martyn Hett was one of the victims of the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing. The new proposed Martyn’s law will require venues (including pubs, restaurants, hotels and arenas) to take steps to prevent potential terrorism. The bill is currently in draft but is likely to be finalised and introduced later this year.

How will Martyn’s law apply to the hospitality sector?

Venues will be required to provide better protection and training against  potential terrorism threats across the United Kingdom.

Who do the requirements apply to?

All Premises with a capacity of 100 people or more will have to comply. Obligations depend on whether the business is a Standard or Enhanced Tier business.

Responsibility will fall on the business or the person with control of each premises or public event.

Standard Tier

All premises with a capacity of 100 – 799 people will fall within the standard tier.

This is likely to include many pubs, restaurants and bars.

Under the standard tier you must undertake basic, low-cost measures to improve proactive security, this is set to include:

  • Terrorism protection training;
  • Standard Terrorism evaluation (evaluation of the best procedures to put in place to minimise the impact including how to evacuate the premises);
  • Register premises with the regulator (in the case of a public event notify the regulator that the event is taking place).

Enhanced Tier

All premises and public events with a maximum capacity of 800 or more will fall within the enhanced tier. This is likely to include larger venues including clubs and arenas.

All enhanced tier premises and events must comply with all requirements under standard tier and must also:

  • Appoint a designated senior officer who will regularly review a terrorism risk assessment;
  • Implement reasonably practicable security measures to reduce the risk of harm i.e., procedure to follow in the event of an attack;
  • Keep and maintain a security plan which should be provided to the regulator.

If you only have control of part of a building i.e., a bar or restaurant in a bigger building complex, the person/business in control of your outlet will have a duty to cooperate with the operator of the building to fulfil their duties.

Temporary Events

If you are planning a temporary event with over 800 people, you must ensure the event compiles with Martyn’s Law. You will need to comply with the Enhanced Tier requirements even if your usual capacity is less than 799.

Enforcement and Sanctions

The Regulator will have powers to inspect and enforce all requirements under both tiers.

Initially a contravention or restriction notice will be issued for non-compliance. If the breach is not remedied a fixed penalty fine (max £10,000) will be issued.

For the enhanced tier only, the Regulator can issue a maximum fixed penalty of the higher of £18m or 5% of worldwide revenue. Criminal sanctions will also be available.

When will the new law come into force?

There is no date yet for implementation.

Costs of complying

The costs of complying with the new obligations should not be a huge burden for the sector. The main cost will be setting up the correct procedures and providing staff with the appropriate training. You are likely to have extensive health and safety policies in place already, meaning the new requirements will be an extension to these. For larger venues such as arenas, it is likely anti-terrorism policies are already in place so these will need reviewing and aligning with the new requirements.

What should you be doing to get ready for the new regulations?

  • Decide whether the Regulations will apply to your outlets and whether they are standard or enhanced tier.
  • Consider whether your existing health and safety policy can be extended to cover the new obligations;
  • Consult ProtectUK guidance and start to introduce relevant policies that can be finalised when the new regulations come into force

Further information

ProtectUK is a central consolidated hub for trusted guidance and advice for venues. The guidance and policies on the site will be updated once the regulations are finalised.

Guidance on risk management can be found here

Risk management templates and examples are available here

For further advice contact Lisa Gilligan

The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the present time and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.