Ryan Soper Medirek Martyn's Law

Medirek’s Ryan Soper: Martyn’s Law – It doesn’t exist yet

Martyn’s Law is not yet law but there is much you can do to educate yourself on pending legislation, and avoid costly “Protect Duty consultants”, so says Ryan Soper, director of Medirek, an event medical and safety specialist…

The words Martyn’s Law and Protect Duty are getting banded about the event industry with increasing furore, the point highlighted and the fires very much stoked when it was mentioned in the King’s Speech at the end of 2023.

However, with this increased exposure of the intended legislation and the assurance that it will have a marked and momentous impact on the events industry, we are beginning to see an increase in what is effectively a business scam. With lots of “consultants” of various ilks approaching establishments to offer “Protect Duty assessments” or make assurances that their product or service will comply with the upcoming Protect Duty or Martyn’s Law regulations. The fact of the matter is that while we have had assurances that the legislation will be coming, we still do not have any confirmed timeframes or any clear idea of what the true implications it will have on events and businesses alike.

In fact, the information on the ProtectUK website has been drawn back for the proposed “standard tier” citing that they will engage in a further period of consultation for that tier following several raised concerns with how the bill will translate into the operation of the standard tier venues. This is likely a wise move from the legislators as the standard tier regulations are going to affect the broadest range of venue operators. It looks like any venue (or indeed event) with a capacity of 100-799 people belonging to this tier and will be subject to implementing the measures that the regulator will set. As you can imagine, this tier will include operators from bar and restaurant chains, which potentially have substantial capital to implement measures, but are also going to implicate a number of much smaller operations. Student bars, social clubs and independent, community events such as fetes and carnivals will be somewhat concerned about how this legislation will impact their operations, especially how they will become compliant and avoid the suggested hefty fines when every penny counts.

It’s probably for this reason that these unscrupulous operators that offer Martyn’s Law or Protect Duty consultations incense us so much, and why I keep harping on about this point. Unfortunately, while these consultations and services may be offered in good faith, the current state of the bill and how this will then transform by the time it is published is so blurry and unknown that it is literally impossible for anyone to give you a true assessment of your compliance with the legislation. They’ll have no more access to the rules and regulations than you get via the ProtectUK website, which you can simply keep on top of yourself.

So let us end with a final reminder; save your money and consider your compliance with other regulations such as how you ensure that security personnel are properly inducted and briefed for your venue/event or your health and safety requirements. It’s still most likely you’ll suffer an incident within your venue or workplace due to a slip, trip and fall and so it’d be smart to dig out those risk assessments and policies and consider engaging a health and safety consultant to review their effectiveness and improve your practices in this regard.

Some of the language we have seen used in the information published so far regarding proposed regulations and “tests” used to ensure compliance have very strong parallels to already established health and safety practices. Furthermore, the ProtectUK website has some great information on how to achieve a high level of security at your event or venue, as well as training for your staff to ensure vigilance against attacks and hostile reconnaissance. Why not use your time and money wisely and make use of these resources as they’ll likely catapult in the direction of compliance with Martyn’s Law when it does come into force.

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