Pubs in England and Wales could be forced to fork out more than £150m over the year to train bar staff if government proposals become law.
Under the Policing and Crime Bill, being debated in Parliament this week, the Government can set nine conditions on all premises and club licences.
A supporting document, entitled "Impact Assessment and a Code of Practice for the Industry" suggests that one of these conditions could be compulsory training, which is already a statutory requirement in Scotland.
The Government estimates that the cost of training all servers in licensed premises will, in the first year, be between £37.7m and £151m. In subsequent years, with a 50% turnover in staff, the cost is estimated at between £19m and £76m per annum.
Jeremy Allen, managing partner at solicitors Poppleston Allen, said: "It's hardly the right time to impose such an additional burden on the licensed trade."
By Daniel Thomas
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