Pontins Charged for Refusing Entry to Irish Travelers Based on Last Names and Race

Once a bustling holiday park, Pontins could be on its last legs after a shocking investigation revealed discriminatory practices against the Irish Traveler community, including refusal of entry based on last names.

Discrimination at Pontins Unveiled

Britain’s budget holiday site, Pontins, faces accusations of discriminatory practices against Irish Travelers, brought to light by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

According to the investigation, Pontins is alleged to have compiled a list of Irish last names, labelling them as “undesirable guests,” and refusing them upon entry.

As a result of the investigation’s results, Pontins has been charged with an “unlawful act notice” after Watchdog revealed the discrimination towards the Irish Traveler Community.

Categorization as ‘Unwanted’

Irish Travelers and their friends and families were reportedly categorized as ‘unwanted’ guests in a clear instance of discrimination.

Workers at Pontins were allegedly trained to identify Irish accents to screen and reject reservations from individuals with such accents.

Another discriminatory rule involved the requirement for guests to be on the voting register, potentially disadvantaging Travelers who are less likely to be registered.

Equality Act Breaches

The EHRC asserted, “Our investigation into Pontins uncovered flagrant breaches of the Equality Act 2010,” according to Baroness Kishwer Falkner.

“Their business practices demonstrated shocking overt race discrimination towards Irish Travelers and there was a culture of denial,” according to Baroness Falkner.

Pontins received an unlawful act notice from the EHRC, citing “multiple instances of race discrimination against Irish Travelers.”

Britannia’s Response Requested

Britannia, the parent company of Pontins, said, “We are in the process of reviewing the unlawful act notice and investigation report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.”

“The specific incidents reported by the EHRC are historic issues predating 2018. The call centre where the incidents took place has closed, and the majority of the staff involved have now left Pontins,” Britannia assured.

Whistleblower’s Revelation

The EHRC became aware of these discriminatory practices in 2020 through a whistleblower, “While we are certain that Pontins are not the only ones operating such discriminatory policies, we welcome the EHRC’s investigation and commend the whistleblower’s principled stance,” said Chris McDonagh, the campaigns officer at Friends, Families and Travelers.

McDonagh revealed that although what happened to Irish Travellers at Pontins was “deeply saddening,” the notion of turning them away due to race and culture “did not come as a surprise.”

An agreement was reached between Pontins and the EHRC in 2021 to prevent further breaches, but Pontins failed to comply, leading to the EHRC’s withdrawal from the agreement in 2022.

Alex Langsam, the CEO of Britannia, Pontins’ parent company, declined to apologize to employees who lost their jobs unexpectedly.

Diminished Park Count

Once boasting 30 parks, Pontins now operates only three, showing the rapid decline in the budget-friendly holiday park due to financial strain and storm troubles.

Pontins was once a bustling holiday site for Brits, and future stars such as Shane Richie and Bobby Davro started their careers as part of the famous “blue coats” entertainment staff.

Pontins was founded in 1946 by Fred Pontin, and various owners took charge from 1978 onwards. However, Britannia Hotels decided to save the company from administration in 2011.

EHRC Leader’s Findings

Baroness Kishwer Falkner argued the company’s discriminatory practices were “instigated and supported by senior managers and their leadership failed to take any action or accept corporate responsibility.”

After multiple administration scares, underfunded parks and now this discriminatory investigation, surely Pontins can’t hold on much longer.

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The post Pontins Charged for Refusing Entry to Irish Travelers Based on Last Names and Race first appeared on Edge Media.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sean Aidan Calderbank.

Oscar Davies, an expert in US and UK politics and sports, is renowned for his sharp and engaging writing style, appealing to a broad spectrum of readers.

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