Tied Pubs (Scotland) Bill

 

About the Bill

The aim of the Tied Pubs Bill is to improve the position of tied pub tenants by requiring the establishment of a Scottish Pub Code to govern the relationship between pub-owning businesses and their tied tenants and ensuring the appointment of a Scottish Pubs Code Adjudicator to apply the code. 

A tied pub is one where there is a contract between the owner (pub-owning business) and the tenant, which means that the tenant has to buy certain products (mainly beer) from the owner at a higher than normal wholesale cost in exchange for rent of the pub (the rent is often set at a lower than market value).

There are currently around 750 tied pubs in Scotland.

Current Status of the Bill 

The Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee is considering the Tied Pubs (Scotland) Bill and we previously asked for your views on the bill. Due to the impact of COVID-19 on the pub industry, the Committee agreed to pause its call for views and evidence sessions on the bill, which were due to take place in April. We acknowledge that this continues to be a challenging time, but believe it would be helpful for the industry to have clarity on matters contained within the bill. We reopened the call for views and survey over the summer recess and plan to take oral evidence on the Bill in August and September.

SPICe Briefings

SPICe has produced a briefing on the Bill:

Stage 1

Your views 

The Committee reopened its call for evidence and survey with a closing date for responses of 14 July.

We asked pub owners, drink suppliers and membership bodies to respond to our call for views.

Pub tenants were asked to share their views through our anonymous survey.

You can find responses to the call for views on the following page:

SPICe produced a summary of the responses received through the Committee's survey:

On 10 August, the Committee held an online focus group with pub tenants to explore their views on the Bill. The following anonymous note was produced to summarise the discussion:

Stage 2

Ahead of taking the Bill the Committee wrote stakeholders, giving them the opportunity to submit your views on a number of outstanding matters.

The following letter was sent to CAMRA, GMB Scotland, Society of Independent Brewers, Scottish Licensed Trade Association, Campaign Director of the Campaign for Pubs, Pubs Advisory Service, Star Pubs & Bars, British Beer & Pub Association, Hawthorn Leisure, Greene King, G1 Group plc and Tennent Caledonian Breweries.

Correspondence

On 4 May Neil Bibby MSP, the Member in charge of the Bill wrote to the Committee regarding consideration of the Bill. The Committee replied on 19 May.

The Scottish Government provided a memorandum to assist consideration of the Bill.

On 11 September, Neil Bibby MSP wrote to the Committee with several points which arose during the session.

On 19 October, Neil Bibby MSP wrote to the Committee with additional information.

On 21 October, the Committee received a letter from Star Pubs & Bars responding to the points made by Neil Bibby in his letter of 19 October.

Work by other Committees

The Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee reported on the the bill at Stage 1.

Report

The Committee reported on 11 November 2020.

Stage 1 Report on the Tied Pubs (Scotland) Bill

The Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills responded on 21 January 2021.

Debate

The Stage 1 debate took place on 26 November. MSPs voted on the Bill and agreed that the Bill could continue.  

 
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