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All owners/operators of licensed premises and their staff should have a basic awareness of child protection issues, including:

  • Preventing alcohol sales to under-18s
  • Explicit and age-restricted entertainment content
  • Being alert to the possibility of child abuse and neglect
  • Being aware of signs that premises are potentially being utilised for child sexual exploitation
  • Knowing who to raise concerns with

For example, hotel staff may have to watch out for guests that take children into their rooms, especially where the children have not been checked in, as there may be abuse or trafficking being committed.

Some businesses, such as casinos, will need to restrict children from the premises entirely. Alternatively, the admission of children might need to be restricted after a specific time in the evening, depending on the nature of activities.

The admittance of children to premises exclusively or primarily used for selling alcohol should only be permitted if they are accompanied by an adult.

Conditions may be added to a premises licence requiring:

  • Adoption of Challenge 21/25
  • Limitations on the hours children may be present
  • Exclusion of children
  • Exclusion of children when specific activities are taking place
  • Staff training to include age verification, indicators of child sexual exploitation, protecting children from exposure to gambling, etc.

Showing 12, 15 or 18-rated films at a licensed premises

Access to age restricted films must be enforced with adequate provision for restricting children from viewing content certified above their ages. Staff should be trained to check ages at the point of sale and prior to a screening.

Entertainment involving child performers

Local bye laws control the rules on employing children on licensed premises. Children taking part in performances will also require permission from the local authority.

Does my business need a child protection policy?

There are occasions when a documented policy setting out measures to protect children from harm should be in place at the premises, particularly if the local authorities have concerns about the premises.

Download our free child protection policy template by filling in the form above.



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