Legal considerations when planning events

You reserve a speaker, rent a hall, hire a team of volunteers and work out a marketing plan. If that is not enough, you need to make sure that your case is not subject to various legal issues. The specific legal requirements vary from place to place and depend on the type of legal event applicable. The list below outlines the major issues you should consider, but you should also seek advice from the organization (s) administrator involved in your event. If you are not sure about any of these items you can discuss them with your location as they should have experience with them.

Premises license

If you are going to invite the public to watch a play, watch a movie, listen to live or recorded music, or something similar, you have to do it right in the licensed premises. The license will determine exactly what activities are permitted and between what hours. Do not think that a concert can be held beyond 11 pm without checking the license. If the premises do not have a proper license, you can get what is called a temporary event notice, which is effectively a short-term license. Contact your local council for more information.

Serving alcohol

The sale or supply of alcohol is also regulated by the premises license. Not only do you need to have the right license arrangement, you also need to ensure that the person in attendance is a private licensee. Be very careful in this area as the penalties for violating the rules surrounding the supply of alcohol can be very severe.

Health and safety requirements

Understanding who is responsible for health and safety issues and making accurate risk assessments is essential.

The site is responsible for the health and safety of the premises, such as circuit breakers or emergency evacuations from the drawn ground floor. But event organizers take responsibility for event equipment, such as circuit breakers for speakers or other equipment brought to the venue.

You will need to make a risk assessment and document it. Think about what kind of things can go wrong and the possible consequences.

Public Liability Insurance

You must have public liability insurance for your event. What happens if an adult guest at your party slips in the car park and breaks his leg? Or what if a device falls on someone and injures them? You need to have the right insurance because these things happen. Contact your location to see what’s covered and what’s not covered by their insurance.

Noise levels

Usually you only have noise problems if your event takes place especially in a noisy band or in the evening. Some premises are subject to noise mitigation orders, which means that they are legally obliged to measure the noise and keep it below a certain level. Other premises should give proper care and attention to their neighbors.

Disabled access.

All new premises are required to provide full access and facilities for persons with disabilities, but not the old premises. Event organizers do not need to guarantee access for people with disabilities, but it is a good practice to do so whenever possible. This should be pointed out by advertising where it is not possible.

Food hygiene

If you serve food to the public, it must be prepared and stored in accordance with food hygiene regulations. A person with a certificate of food hygiene should take responsibility for managing the catering. Premises used regularly for food processing are inspected from time to time by the Pradeshiya Sabha.

Parking

If you are planning a major event and expecting ample parking, it is wise to talk to the police about other possible arrangements. If you want to keep the curbside clean on certain roads, you can hire traffic cones from the police.

Child protection

Your organization should have a child protection policy and your event should be consistent with this. If this is not the case, or if this is a privately organized activity, you should be aware of child protection issues. At a minimum, any volunteer who works with children must have a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check.

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