Travellers win £24,000 for discrimination

Posted: 3rd June 2015

Pub barIn a ground-breaking case, a group of travellers, gypsies and their supporters have won damages of £24,000 after being refused entry to a pub. A judge found that they had suffered direct race discrimination and were entitled to compensation for their injured feelings.

The group had attended a conference in North London organised by a charity dedicated to the promotion of greater integration of Irish travellers into UK society. After the event, they had attempted to adjourn to the Coronet pub next door but were excluded by door staff on the manager’s instructions.

Upholding the group’s claim against the pub’s owners, Wetherspoons, the judge found that the manager’s thinking was suffused with the assumption that Irish travellers and English gypsies caused disorder wherever they went and that violence would inevitably erupt if they were allowed into the pub. That amounted to stereotyping on grounds of ethnic origin and direct discrimination contrary to the Equality Act 2010.

Eight members of the group had suffered distress at not being allowed into the pub and, although they had not been mistreated by door staff – who had acted in a non-aggressive and generally calm manner – they were each entitled to compensation of £3,000 to reflect the injury to their feelings.