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  • HR Heartbeat: Pontins unlawfully ban Irish Travellers, Avanti lapse in menopause train-ing, and…

HR Heartbeat: Pontins unlawfully ban Irish Travellers, Avanti lapse in menopause train-ing, and…

Get your HR headlines in a hurry and stay on top of the latest employment insights

First published on Monday, Feb 19, 2024

Last updated on Monday, Feb 19, 2024

2 min read

Have you heard the latest news?

Welcome to HR Heartbeat, where we give you a rundown of the week's top employment law stories. Stay on the pulse of current trends impacting your business, plus get up-to-the-minute commentaries on all things HR and legal.

Discrimination against Irish Travellers found at Pontins

Pontins, the holiday resort company, has come under intense scrutiny for refusing entry to around 115 people with Irish surnames.

Following an investigation, the company has been served an unlawful act notice by the Equality and Human Rights Commission for breaching the Equality Act.

An investigation found multiple instances of racial discrimination against Irish Gypsies and Travellers. Including creating a list of Irish surnames labelled as ‘undesirable guests’ and instructing staff to decline or even cancel bookings under these names.

The EHRC has ordered Pontins must:

  • Review and update their policies and procedures to ensure they are not discriminatory.
  • Apologise and engage with the Gypsy and Traveller community to acknowledge their corporate responsibility and commit to a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination.
  • Develop and deliver training, including equality training around their legal duty to not discriminate.

Baroness Falkner urges all employers, but especially those in the hospitality sector, to reassess their processes and make sure they’re not using discriminatory policies that prevent people from accessing services because of their race.

BrightHR offers 24/7 employment law advice to help you regularly review and update your policies to make sure they’re not discriminatory.

Plus, our easy-to-use learning management platform can help you train your managers with CPD-accredited courses on topics like managing investigation and disciplinary processes, disciplinary outcome and appeal procedures and more.

Avanti’s menopause pack misses connection

Avanti has come under scrutiny after their menopausal gift bags sparked controversy. The gift bags were designed by Avanti’s in-house menopause support group to help employees manage symptoms.

But The Transport Salaried Staff’s Association dubbed the content of the packs “appalling, demeaning and dismissive.” Ouch...

In a lapse in judgement, the pack included various items with notes, like:

  • A jelly baby sweet “in case you feel like biting someone’s head off”
  • A tissue for “if you’re feeling a bit emotional”
  • A paperclip “to help you keep it all together”

Not only were the notes deemed to be insensitive, but the train driver’s union argued Avanti would be better placed by developing workplace policies and procedures that value and support premenopausal and menopausal employees.

For more advice on this topic ask BrightLightning:

LGBTQ+ employee wellbeing at risk

A new study finds the risk of poor wellbeing in LGBTQ+ employees is 8% higher than in heterosexual employees.

According to LGBTQ+ charity, Stonewall, the main reason for this is fear of how their identity will be received in the workplace.

As February is LGBTQ+ History Month in the UK, it’s more important than ever to learn how you can support your team this month and beyond. Read BrightHR’s blog which breaks down of some of the main challenges your LGBTQ+ staff may face so you can better support them.

Higher chance of working parents leaving jobs

The latest Modern Families Index reveals (40%) of working parents are looking to move jobs for higher pay and more support.

The index also found more working parents have lost confidence in their employer’s support of family life and responsibilities over the last year.

So, what can employers do to help this and stop themselves from losing valuable talent? Some proven examples include a greater focus on wellbeing, offering flexibility, and having HR policies that support working parents.

For more advice on this topic, ask BrightLightning: Can an employee make a flexible working request for childcare issues.
And that’s a wrap. Tune in next week for more headlines and make sure you stay ahead of major employment law changes!

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