Could your pub get a ‘banter bouncer’? Proposed laws to protect workers mean bosses fear they may have to police punters making crude jokes or shouting abuse while watching sport on TV
- Pub bosses might have to hire ‘banter bouncers’ as they cut down on loud chat
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Pub bosses fear they might have to hire ‘banter bouncers’ to stop boozy pub chat under new rules.
An update to the Equalities Act will see new rules introduced to stop workers being harassed in the workplace.
But landlords have said the rules might mean an end to drunken chants and banter as workers would have the right to sue if they felt threatened.
Pub owners have said they would be forced to bring in extra bouncers to police their customers’ behaviour.
Conversations that could become off-limits include sexual comments about others – even if they aren’t in the room – shouting at the sport on the TV, sexist crude and offensive jokes and any talk that could intimidate workers.
Pub bosses said they might be forced to hire ‘banter bouncers’ to enforce the new rules, which the government says are to protect workers (file image)
Conservative MP Danny Kruger joked that pubs might be forced to put up ‘No banter allowed’ signs to stop punters taking things too far
Critics of the new rules say the update will leave punters unable to have friendly conversation with staff without fear that they’ll be thrown out.
They’re demanding explicit exemptions for jokes and sporting chat be written into the new Worker Protection Bill.
The bill was introduced by Liberal Democrat Wera Hobhouse and is currently at the report stage of its passage through the House of Commons.
Hugh Osmond, head of Punch Taverns, told The Sun that pubs might need extra people in to help enforce the new laws.
‘How could we stop a group of people coming into a pub and having an offensive chat in the corner?’
He added: ‘You wouldn’t find rules this strict in China or Russia.’
Conservative MP Danny Kruger was similarly dismissive of the new scheme and suggested that pubs might be forced to put up ‘No banter allowed’ signs.
The government said the law will not impede free speech but will force employers to protect their employees by making them legally liable.
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