Pubs, bars and restaurants in nightlife hotspot Newcastle will have to make sure staff get home safely after a late shift if they want an alcohol licence.
Under new rules signed off by the city council, all late-night venues that serve alcohol will have to provide free transport home for staff finishing work after 11.30pm, when public transport ends in the city.
The hospitality industry – which has been plagued by persistent staff shortages in recent months – frequently requires workers to finish work late at night, when they are at risk of violence after leaving.
Concerns for the safety of women walking home at night have been brought to the fore following the murders of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa. The killing of 35-year-old Zara Aleena, who was attacked late at night while walking home in London last month, has once again placed violence against women in the headlines.
“Enforcement of the law against sexual assault, including up-skirting, on public transport is appalling and only 2 per cent of victims go on to report sexual harassment on public transport,” councillor Nick Kemp told the council.
“This will significantly benefit the safety and wellbeing of our whole community, especially hospitality workers and particularly women, who often cannot afford, or access, safe transport options late at night.”