Are you prepared for changes under antiterrorism bill Martyn’s Law?

All public businesses with a capacity of more than 100 people will be required to train staff under the new legislation.

In the wake of the devastating Manchester Arena bombing in 2017, which claimed the lives of 22 innocent people including Martyn Hett, the government has sought to introduce the ‘Protect Duty’ that will be known as Martyn’s Law via the draft Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill. The ‘Protect Duty’ was one of the recommendations of an inquiry into the 2017 bombing.

The draft bill, originally published in May 2023, seeks to impose obligations upon premises that differ according to their capacity. Premises with a capacity of under 100 will fall outside the scope of Martyn’s Law, but premises with a capacity of 100 to 799 will fall within the ‘standard tier’, and premises with a capacity of 800 or more will fall within the ‘enhanced tier’.

There has been extensive discussion regarding the obligations the proposed new legislation will place upon owners and operators of publicly accessible premises, and whilst there is support, there is also concerns regarding the potential impact upon the resources of those who will be subject to the new legislation. The anticipated set-up costs and ongoing costs of implementing Martyn’s Law has caused concern among voluntary organisations and business owners about the financial impact the introduction of the new measures may have, particularly upon small and medium-sized organisations.

A recent consultation document confirms that there is likely to be a “significant period prior to the implementation of the legislation following royal assent. This is expected to be a period of at least 18-24 months to ensure sufficient time for those responsible for premises and events in scope to understand their new obligations, and to plan and prepare.

An update from the government is expected in the coming months in response to the consultation, which should provide more guidance on what this legislation will entail and how hospitality businesses can prepare for the changes.

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