Q – I’m thinking of taking on a 14yr old person who’s looking for a PT summer job, 3 days a week. He will be feeding and cleaning the kennels and cattery. Will I need to alter my insurance to accommodate this?
The insurance industry has agreed that students (14 to 17 year olds) on work experience placements should be treated as employees for the purposes of insurance. Such placements must conform to the requirements of the Education Act 1996 and any other regulations in force at the time.
If your business already has employees and therefore Employers Liability insurance is already in force, a work experience person is unlikely to affect your premium and terms of cover. If however your business doesn’t currently have any employees, then Employers Liability cover will need to be provided for the period the work experience student is ‘working’ at your business premises.
Association of British Insurers Guide ABI guide to insurance and work experience
Health & Safety Executive (HSE) Health and safety for small and medium sized businesses
Q – What does MLC mean?
MLC means Model Licence Conditions. The full name is Model Licence Conditions and Guidance for Dog Boarding Establishments 2016.
It’s a document that has been reviewed and updated in 2016 – the first time in 20 years. The document is designed to advise those tasked with inspecting, advising and licensing kennels under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963.
The MLC for Cats was similarly reviewed and updated in 2013.
Q – Does the MLC affect me?
Those tasked with inspecting, advising and licensing kennels under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 – in other words the Local Authority Licensing Team will use the MLC as guidance when inspecting and licensing boarding premises for dogs and cats.
The aim of the guidelines is to ensure compliance with the Animal Welfare Act 2006. The documents aims to reflect changes in training/ handling techniques during this time and will be kept under review to ensure that it remains relevant and accurate.
Q – Should I be concerned about the MLC?
Yes! Absolutely – please read on….
The amount of kennel space required to board a greater than 20Kg dog has increased significantly under the new regulations with the run area being expanded to a minimum of 6 sq m. In conjunction with this the amount of space required for multiple occupancy of dogs within a kennel has effectively doubled. This has had a significant effect on the size of the building required for boarding dogs.
In the typical 10 Kennel example shown for the previous guidelines a total area of Kennel space of 68.0 sq m is required. Under the new guidelines the total Kennel area requirement increases to 99.3 sq m, an increase in required kennel space of 31.3 sq m (~46%). The overall building size increases from 166 sq m to 220 sq m which is an increase of 54 sq m (~33%). Given that the sq m of a building is one of the biggest construction cost drivers this increase in size will have a significant impact on the cost of a new kennel building.
In order to determine the licensed number of animals that can be boarded on site, consideration would need to be given to the types of dogs that could be boarded and the likely combinations of multiple occupancy so that the owner will have the greatest amount of flexibility to offer places to their customers. This determination is very complicated based on the multiple occupancy rules and would need to be done in conjunction with the Local Authority Licensing Officer.
As well as the size increase there are other aspects of the new regulations that will also have a significant impact on the build costs for new boarding kennels and we are currently consulting with the Association of Licensed Kennels & Catteries (ALIKC) and our Local Authority Licensing Officer to review the regulations in full and understand the practical application and enforcement of the new regulations throughout the industry.
Q – How much could the new MLC cost me?
ALIKC commissioned has commissioned from industry experts, Kennelbuild an exclusive impact assessment of the new Model Licence Conditions and Guidance for Dog Boarding Establishments (2016) and the impact on kennel size.