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UK pub chain issues apology and compensation for refusing service to Irish Travellers

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UK pub chain issues apology and compensation for refusing service to Irish Travellers

In recent news, it has been reported that nationwide pub chain, Greene King, has issued a public apology on 15 November 2022 to 12 Irish Travellers, who have remained anonymous, for refusing service in April 2022. It is also understood that the chain has also collectively compensated the affected travellers by way of a five-figure sum in an out of court settlement.

It is reported that 6 of the 12 affected Irish Travellers were refused service and asked to leave pub premises in Essex after visiting to watch a boxing event in April 2022. The 6 remaining of the group were also advised not to attend. It is understood that those in attendance were advised that the pub’s policy restricted the service of Travellers, something which their representatives later denied.

Nevertheless, the chain issued a formal apology and it is understood that they agreed to settle the matter out of court, advising that further staff training has been provided following the alleged incident and that the aggrieved Traveller’s legal costs were paid along with a financial donation to the Traveller Movement Charity.

How can you ensure that your business is inclusive?

In the above reported incident, it was alleged that service had been refused to the 12 customers because of their heritage, as Irish Travellers. This would have amounted to direct discrimination and is unlawful under Section 13 of the Equality Act 2010 as race is a protected characteristic under the act. The alleged policy, should it have existed, would have also been directly discriminatory and the implementation of it could have been argued to have constituted indirect discrimination.

To ensure that your business is inclusive to all, it is beneficial to review all policies and to further ensure that all staff receive appropriate diversity/equality training. If you are a small business owner, and you are unsure where you stand on your Equality Act duties, please do not hesitate to get in contact and make an enquiry with our discrimination law specialists.

Stephensons’ discrimination law solicitors are experts in their field, specialising in both cases brought in the civil courts and employment tribunals for and against clients across the country.

By Thomas Yates, discrimination law team