December 18, 2009 - Administrator
The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has warned business owners to ensure that they have a TV licence in place if they allow staff to watch TV during the Christmas period, or risk a penalty of up to £1,000.
Businesses are legally required to have a TV licence for any equipment on which live programmes are watched or recorded, including computers and mobile phones as well as TV sets, digital boxes, and DVD or video recorders.
However, computer users only need a licence if the viewer watches programmes at the same time they are being broadcast on television.
Businesses risk being fined up to £1,000 if they do not have a licence. TV Licensing said that its business team will visit unlicensed premises during the Christmas period.
A colour TV licence currently costs £142.50. Businesses only require one licence to cover all staff members at a single site.
“It is the responsibility of the business to ensure that their organisation is correctly licensed,” said FPB spokesman, Phil McCabe. “If people are caught watching TV illegally, your company risks a court case and a hefty fine.
“The key thing for businesses is that they could be held liable even if they were unaware that staff were watching TV on the premises, so it’s essential to work out whether or not your business needs a licence,” he added.