BIS admits misinterpretation of BII data in statutory code consultation

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Leasehold estate, Lease, Bii

The BII has released a joint statement with the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) after BII data was misinterpreted in a Government paper
The BII has released a joint statement with the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) after BII data was misinterpreted in a Government paper
The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) have issued a joint statement clarifying 'a misinterpretation of BII data' after a Government paper claimed the BII had received more complaints against pub companies than was actually correct.

A consultation paper on the proposed statutory code,​ which seeks to regulate the relationship between large pubcos and their tenants, had claimed that the BII had received a number of 'complaints' over a three-year period to its Licensee Business Support Helpline.

However the figure actually related to the number of calls. Not all of the calls were complaints, the BII said today.

BII chief executive Tim Hulme said: “Over three years we received just fewer than 600 calls, which were recorded on a database and categorised by subject whether it be dilapidations, rent reviews, lease renewal, lease and tenancy negotiations or general business support.

"The service is part of our commitment to providing our members with high quality information, skills and business benefits and is very much in line with the essential work the BII undertakes to promote skills and education in the UK. Feedback from our members shows that the Licensee Business Support Helpline is highly valued,” he added.

Clarification

A BII spokesperson told BigHospitality many pubcos, which help fund the organisation, actually directed licensees to the helpline which is designed to be a general helpline rather than a telephone number for people who want to register complaints. 

While admitting an error had been made, a BIS spokesperson said it was clear from the data that tenants from larger companies, rather than those from smaller companies or free houses, were most likely to call the helpline. 

"We acknowledge that the figure in the pubs consultation should have more accurately referred to 'calls' rather than 'complaints'.

"We will correct this in the consultation and in future documents. Nevertheless, the data still shows that tenants from larger companies were significantly more likely to contact a helpline than tenants of smaller companies or those who ran free houses.

"As such the initial proposals - that a threshold of 500 pubs would capture the majority of the problem - remain appropriate. We are of course open to further evidence and feedback on what would be an appropriate threshold," the spokesperson added. 

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