In this litigious age, golf clubs are advised to be increasingly aware of the ever increasing volume of government legislation affecting the day-to-day running of their business.
Equality - The Equality Act 2010
The Bill received Royal Assent in April 2010 and formally became The Equality Act 2010. The provisions of the Act relating to gender, religion or belief, pregnancy, motherhood and sexual orientation became effective in October 2010. From 1 October 2012, a private club cannot, without sufficient reason, discriminate against club members and guests because of age. The Government Equalities Office has produced a guide for private clubs and other associations and this can be found under the Related Documents section on the right hand side of this page.
The latest Advice Note (8th Edition - September 2012) can be found within the Related Documents section located on the right hand side of this page.
Reforming the law on Scottish unincorporated associations and criminal liability of Scottish partnerships
In 2009, a Scottish Law Commission Report (the "SLC Report") included proposals for reforming the law on Associations. The Scotland Office recently conducted a consultation on the proposals which, we are advised, are considered to be broadly beneficial to golf clubs and their members on the basis that they provide greater legal certainty than is presently the case both in terms of i) the legal status of any club in terms of contractual and legal capacity and ii) the rights and liabilities of club office bearers and the general member population, which is of benefit to both those individuals and any third party seeking to engage with a club in a contractual capacity. See Related Documents for a paper providing greater detail and a copy of our consultation response.
Phee v Gordon & Others (November 2011)
In a recent court judgement, Anthony Phee was awarded £397,000 having lost an eye after being struck by a wayward drive whilst playing at Niddry Castle Golf Club in West Lothian. James Gordon’s tee-shot from the 18th hole struck Mr Phee walking on a path between the 6th and 7th holes. Mr Gordon was deemed 70% liable, while the club 30% liable for having no warning signs at the tee or the path. A brief guide to some of the key issues highlighted by this case has been prepared by the SGU and SLGA. See Related Documents.
The Pensions Act - Overview
From 1st October 2012, changes to pensions law will affect all employers with at least one worker in the UK. It will be compulsory to automatically enroll all eligible jobholders into a workplace pension scheme. The employer responsibilities will be introduced in stages over 4 years, starting in October 2012 through to September 2016. Each employer will be allocated a date from when the duties will first apply to them, known as their ‘staging date.’ The SGU/SLGA has produced a helpful advice note on the subject, and encourage all golf clubs to digest this document, and follow the links to further assistance.
See Related Documents for The Pensions Act advice note
Long Leases (Scotland) Bill
Golf clubs/courses that are subject to ultra-long leases may wish to consider this Bill. The SGU has taken some initial advice and there does not appear to be undue cause for concern. However, clubs/operators subject to such leases are encouraged to consider the bill and if necessary to make contact with the Scottish Government by contacting Sandra Jack on Sandra.Jack@scotland.gsi.gov.uk or 0131 244 2025.
Protection of Vulnerable Groups Act 2007
The SGU/SLGA encourages all golf clubs to fully digest this new legislation which replaces the Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003. This can be studied in full, at www.infoscotland.com/pvgscheme. We will provide detailed training and support at Scottish Golf Club Seminars which take place annually. In addition a pragmatic briefing note to assist clubs with the impending changes is available to download from the related documents section on the right.
Scottish Golf Licensing Service
The SGU and SLGA have secured a specialist licensing law service for all affiliated clubs. This service is being provided to affiliated clubs in association with the Licensing Team at Scottish law firm Tods Murray. The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 has brought an incredible number of new rules and regulations – and feedback from clubs indicates that it has been a difficult time for clubs trying to navigate their way through the maze. The Scottish Golf Licensing Service offers expert advice to clubs at an exclusively special rate.
Click here for more information
Outdoor Access Act
Click here for more information about the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003
Government Equalities Office - Guide for Private Clubs & other Associations