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Businesses warned over TV licence

Businesses have been warned they could be breaking the law if any staff watch live television on a computer if the company does not have a TV licence.

The TV Licensing Authority said businesses could be fined up to £1,000 if any staff member watched live TV on a desktop computer.

The business does not need a TV licence if staff members watch TV on a laptop or mobile phone as this is covered by the individual’s home TV licence.

However, the law states that if the phone or laptop is plugged in to a mains socket, the business will need a TV licence as it then it becomes a "legally installed device" requiring a separate licence.

If a customer walks in watching live TV on a phone or mobile device, they are covered by their own home TV licence.

Ian Fannon from the TV Licensing Authority said that businesses would not necessarily be left alone if they insisted staff never watch television at work.

He said: “Employers who state they do not need a licence could be inspected without warning at any time: "We have prosecuted people for watching on a computer."

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