Un­li­censed firms face £1,000 penalty

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Et Business -

THE World Cup has kicked off and more than half of lo­cal firms are let­ting their staff watch key matches, as long as it is busi­ness as usual.

How­ever, 32 per cent of busi­nesses are un­aware they need a TV li­cence to watch the games on­line, ac­cord­ing to a poll by the Fed­er­a­tion of Small Busi­nesses (FSB).

They risk a penalty of up to £1,000, which would be size­able dent in many firms’ cash­flow.

Chris Spies, Peter­bor­ough branch chair­man, FSB, said: ”It is im­per­a­tive that those small firms are on the ball and en­sure they are fully li­censed.

“And with half of FSB mem­bers say­ing that they will be let­ting their staff watch the tour­na­ment, both em­ploy­ers and their staff need to look at cel­e­brat­ing the World Cup re­al­is­ti­cally.

“Em­ploy­ers should have al­ready en­gaged with their staff so that they have plans in place to cater for those em­ploy­ees who want to watch the foot­ball, as well as those that don’t, and might want to work over­time dur­ing this pe­riod to make up the time.

“Sort­ing these is­sues out be­fore­hand means ev­ery­one can sit back and en­joy the World Cup, with­out the risk of get­ting fined and mak­ing sure jobs still get done in the work­place.”

Ian Fan­non, TV li­cens­ing spokesper­son, said: “Some man­agers might as­sume if they don’t have a TV in the build­ing, they don’t need to worry, but the rise of on­line TV means many more busi­nesses need to be cov­ered by a TV li­cence nowa­days.

“We want ev­ery­one to be able to en­joy the World Cup with­out hav­ing to worry about fac­ing a dif­fer­ent kind of penalty, and we’d rather busi­nesses think ahead and check if they need a li­cense than risk a court case and a fine.”

The FSB has also is­sued guid­ance for em­ploy­ers on how small firms can avoid em­ploy­ment is­sues dur­ing this high-pro­file month long tour­na­ment.

The tim­ings of the Eng­land matches lend them­selves very well to UK work­ing hours.

How­ever, the fed­er­a­tion is concerned that as Eng­land pro­gresses, work­ing fans may get over ex­u­ber­ant and staff ab­sence due to hang­overs will fol­low.

By JOHN KRALEVICH john.kralevich@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk

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