Pontins agreed to change their working practices after disclosing a blacklist of Irish surnames used to exclude bookings from their holiday parks Gypsies and travelers

The EHRC said Pontins had an “unwanted guest” list on its intranet containing mostly common Irish names to identify people it didn’t want in its parks

According to the i, there were 40 names on the list including Boyle, Keefe, Gallagher, O’Donnell, McGuiness, Murphy and O’Reilly

He said staff monitor calls and refuse or cancel reservations made by certain people with an Irish accent or name, and Pontine’s commercial vehicle policy excludes Gypsies and travelers from its holiday parks

By refusing to provide his services to clients of a certain race or ethnic group, Pontins was “directly discriminatory on the basis of race” and violated the 2010 Equality Act, said the ‘EHRC

Pontins, which is owned by Britannia Jinky Jersey, has six holiday parks in England and Wales

The EHRC declined to say how long Pontins had the policy in place, but according to the i, the list has been in use for at least six years

Alastair Pringle, Executive Director of the EHRC, said: “It’s hard not to compare with a list of ‘unwanted guests’ and the signs displayed in hotel windows fifty years ago, explicitly banning Irish and black people

“Prohibiting people from accessing services because of their race is discrimination and is illegal To say that such policies are outdated is an understatement”

“It is fair to challenge such practices and any business that feels it is acceptable should think again before they find themselves facing legal action”

A spokesperson for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Completely unacceptable to discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity It is true that the EHRC and Pontins have investigated this”

The Voyageurs Movement, a charity that promotes the inclusion of Gypsies, Roma and Travelers, said the Pontine’s policy was “really shocking” but “not surprised”

“We frequently hear about gypsies and travelers being turned away from holiday parks because of their ethnicity,” said its managing director, Yvonne MacNamara

The charity hopes the agreement between the owner of Pontins and EHRC will lead to better practices, “and we also hope other vacation providers think twice before adopting similar policies.” , added Ms. MacNamara

The owner of Les Pontins said he would “improve the training and procedures of the personnel” of the company and that he would take measures “to promote equality in all of its activities”

As part of the deal, the Pontines are to investigate the list of “unwanted guests”, take appropriate action and ensure lessons are learned

It should request a review of its reservation and commercial vehicle policy and take into account all recommendations, and provide equality and diversity training for staff annually

The EHRC launched an investigation in February 2020 after complaints from the whistleblower and travelers Its Pontine agreement is binding from February 22, 2021

In 2017, the EHRC declared Gypsies and Travelers to be “one of the most disadvantaged groups in Britain” in terms of health and education

He said that in parts of the UK, “local authorities have innovated to meet the needs of these nomadic groups in order to preserve their traditional way of life, while also accessing health and education services and maintaining good relationships with other communities”

However, in other parts of the UK, “Gypsies and Travelers continue to be at the center of social tensions with housing issues at heart. People living near unauthorized sites are often oppose developments without a building permit or where the environment is damaged “

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News from around the world – GB – Pontines used the ‘unwanted list’ of Irish surnames

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56246848