“Dear The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP and The Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP,
We write as a trade body representing a group of businesses which supply Door Supervisors to the Hospitality and Night Time Economy sectors. We feel compelled to alert you to a looming crisis facing licensed operators in the hospitality and nightlife sector; a crisis caused by a growing shortage of security professionals available for work in the industry. Averting this crisis will require the postponement of new training requirements for Door Staff, scheduled to be announced in the next few days, hence the urgency of our representation to you.
As you will be aware, the regulatory body overseeing door supervisor licences falls in the remit of the SIA, under the Home Office. We have highlighted our concerns to the SIA over current resource levels within the sector, and according to the industry up to 6 in 10 door supervisor positions for nightclubs, pubs, bars and other late night entertainment venues are at risk of being unfilled come June.
New door supervisor SIA license applications have dwindled significantly in the past twelve months, and many working in the industry have understandably sought other, and more stable, sources of employment during the pandemic. Door supervisors have been unwilling to work short and unreliable hours, with increased health risks, and prolonged financial uncertainty. Others have opted to use their licenses in alternative static security roles, such as in testing centres, retail and other environments.
As a result, the nightlife sector has been left with dwindling staff numbers. Many of our members face significant shortages. We risk a Door Staff shortage causing a collapse of the night time sector, at the critical moment businesses need to recoup the losses of the last year.
This issue is set to be compounded by planned regulatory changes to door supervisor licenses. Due to extended training requirements, the cost to become a licensed door supervisor will, in turn, increase. To reflect the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in, we ask that the Home Office and BEIS reach an agreement to delay the anticipated training requirements in view of this staff shortfall. Having sufficient security in place is essential for venues to meet their licensing conditions, and crucial to ensure the night time economy can open in a safe and secure manner.
We ask that you consider the calls of our members and the Night Time Industries Association to postpone new training requirements until October 2021 for new licenses, after the re-opening season, and until April 2022 for renewals. We know that the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions will bring new challenges to managing the public health risk and it is vital that businesses, employees and consumers are prepared and able to enjoy the re-opening period in a way that is safe, secure and financially viable.
Chairperson, UK Door Security Association”