Let's say I have a premises that one can enter to do fun activities, costing €5 to enter.

I was thinking that you could use a turnstile and an automated payment system to allow guests to enter the premises.

This means there wouldn't be a need for a manager/receptionist on the premises at all times (or at any time for that matter).

I'm curious, however, if there is any legal requirement to have someone on the premises to keep an eye on things? Would there be any liabilities for a business if something happened that could have been avoided if someone was there?

Regardless, CCTV could be used to monitor remotely.

I'm specifically interested in the laws for Ireland, but answers for other jurisdictions would be interesting as well.

2 Answers 2


I think the concerns are more economic than legal, although legal concerns are sometimes present.

You don't want people to trash the place. You want there to be an "authority figure" whose presence encourages order, deal with unexpected situations, and whom people who aren't tech savvy feel comfortable dealing with, and it can create a better customer service relationship.

It really depends on the nature of the premises. There is not a one size fits all rule.

There are situations where one doesn't have someone on the premises.

There are bank vestibules with automatic teller machines in them. There are coin entry bathroom/shower facilities. There are self-storage facilities that work like that. There are deeply rural places with low traffic that rely on an honor system rather than trying to monitor use (e.g. some campsites). There are AirBnB type rentals. The are car repair shops with after hours drop off boxes.

On the other hand, there are some situations where it is pretty much inconceivable that you wouldn't have someone one site monitoring the situation.

I'm pretty sure that you have to have someone on premises for a pub. I'm sure it is necessary in places where you have unaccompanied minors (at a minimum, as a practical reality for liability purposes). There aren't many medical services that can be provided in that format (although there might be a few).

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    I have seen coin-operates laundromats with no one representing the owner on site, although more often there is one such person. A pay-at-pump gas station might not need an attendant. If entry is by turnstile one would need to consider possible turnstile jumpers. However, many NYC subway stations have no attendant at least at some tiems. Jul 29, 2021 at 0:12
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    @DavidSiegel NYC subway stations are owned by governmental entities and as a result have less liability exposure than the other possibilities.
    – ohwilleke
    Aug 2, 2021 at 19:49
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    @DavidSiegel every station has at least one 24-hour booth. There was a plan recently to eliminate the workers who cover during half-hour shift breaks, but a court ruled that such a change required public hearings, which hadn't been held: nydailynews.com/new-york/…
    – phoog
    Aug 12, 2021 at 15:38
  • @phoog, about ten years ago, when I had occasion to travel in NYC late at night with some frequency, that was not the case (or if there was an attendant present I did not spot that person). Perhaps policy has changed since then. Aug 12, 2021 at 15:54
  • @DavidSiegel which station? Stations that have a separate fare control area on either side of the tracks typically have only one 24-hour booth (a change that I think was made about 15 or 20 years ago). The big sign on the stairwell should indicate where the 24-hour booth is.
    – phoog
    Aug 12, 2021 at 16:34

As long as there are no (more or less) obvious dangers there, like pits people could stumble into and get hurt (paging Andy Dwyer...) etc. you should be fine legally. However, be aware that if anything were to happen to a customer, a judge might see things differently. Especially if children are involved, it could be deemed reckless not to have a person physically present.

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