Pontins Faces Accusations of Discrimination Against Travellers

Pontins Faces Accusations of Discrimination Against Travellers

Pontins, a popular holiday camp operator, has recently come under fire for its discriminatory practices towards Irish Travellers. An investigation conducted by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) revealed that the company had compiled a list of “undesirable” Irish surnames and instructed call center staff to reject bookings made by individuals with Irish accents. Additionally, Pontins implemented rules requiring guests to be on the electoral roll, negatively impacting Gypsies and Travellers who are less likely to be registered. These actions have been deemed to be in violation of the Equality Act 2010.

The investigation by the EHRC uncovered flagrant breaches of the Equality Act 2010 within Pontins’ business practices. The discriminatory treatment towards Irish Travellers was not an isolated incident, but rather a part of the company’s operational culture. Senior managers within Pontins endorsed and supported these discriminatory policies, while failing to take any action or accept corporate responsibility. Such behavior is completely unacceptable and must never be tolerated in any organization.

As a result of the investigation, the EHRC has ordered Pontins to issue a public apology to the Traveller community and provide equality training to its employees. Failure to comply with these requirements could result in criminal charges for the company. The EHRC’s Chairwoman, Baroness Kishwer Falkner, expressed deep concern over Pontins’ discriminatory practices and emphasized the need for accountability and changes in the company’s leadership.

Pontins’ owner, Britannia Jinky Jersey Ltd, responded to the investigation by stating that the reported incidents were historic, predating 2018. They also mentioned that the call center involved in these incidents had been closed, and the majority of the staff responsible had already left the company. While they admitted to reviewing the EHRC’s findings, they did not explicitly address the accusations of discrimination.

While the focus of the investigation has been on Pontins, it is important to acknowledge that they may not be alone in their discriminatory policies. The EHRC’s investigation signifies a broader problem within the holiday and hospitality industry, where discrimination against marginalized communities such as Travellers may still persist. The EHRC’s intervention and the actions taken against Pontins serve as a strong message that such practices will not be tolerated.

The EHRC’s investigation into Pontins and the subsequent publicity surrounding the discriminatory practices have shed light on the challenges faced by Irish Travellers and other marginalized communities. Awareness and education about the rights of these communities are crucial in combating discrimination. Organizations within the holiday and hospitality industry must prioritize equality training for their employees to ensure that such discriminatory behavior is eradicated.

The revelations about Pontins’ discriminatory practices serve as a call for meaningful change within the industry. It is imperative for both the company and the wider industry to recognize and rectify any instances of discrimination. The rights and dignity of all individuals, regardless of their background, should be respected and protected. By addressing these issues head-on, the holiday and hospitality industry can work towards creating a more inclusive and equal environment for everyone.

The EHRC’s investigation into Pontins’ discriminatory practices towards Irish Travellers has uncovered the company’s flagrant breaches of the Equality Act 2010. This serves as a reminder that discrimination within the holiday and hospitality industry still exists and must be addressed. Pontins and other companies within the industry must take concrete steps to eradicate discrimination and create a more inclusive environment for all.


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