Licensed operators should amend their licence if they want to avoid losing an hour of business when the clocks go forward.
That's the advice from licensing law experts Poppleston Allen ahead of the move to British Summertime this weekend.
The time is set to move forward from 1am to 2am on Saturday 28 March. Businesses licensed to trade until 2am could have a problem because they will technically be obliged to close immediately, as soon as the time change takes place, robbing them of an hour's trading.
However Poppleston Allen's Jeremy Allen said that licensed operators could get around this by including a special provision on their licence which effectively allows BST to be ignored when counting the number of hours the premises traded.
"On this basis, 1am remains 1am for the purpose of the licence only, even though the clock will say 2am. If there is no thing in your licence to that effect, you are obliged to close one hour early. This can obviously cause problems: your customers may have arranged transport home at the old 2am, which will be the new 3am," said Allen.
He advised venues whose licence did not currently cover this point to use a Temporary Event Notice to get round the issue until they can amend the licence.
By Neil Gerrard
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