The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) investigated Pontins about their working practices after disclosure it had blacklisted several Irish surnames and screen out their booking for its holiday park from Gypsies and Travellers, after being contacted by a whistleblower.
Pontins said it had now signed a legally binding agreement with the EHRC to stop discrimination.
The EHRC said Pontins had an “undesirable guests” list of 40 names including Boyle, Keefe, Gallagher, O’Donnell, McGuiness, Murphy, and O’Reilly, on its intranet of mainly common Irish names to identify people it did not want at its parks.
It said staff monitored calls and refused or cancelled bookings made by people with an Irish accent or surname, and Pontins commercial vehicle policy excluded Gypsies and Travellers from its holiday parks.
The EHRC said “ Pontins breached the 2010 Equality Act, by declining to provide its services to guests of a certain race or ethnic group, Pontins was directly discriminating on the basis of race.
Alastair Pringle, EHRC executive director said: “ It is hard not to draw comparisons with an undesirable guests list and the signs displayed in the hotel windows fifty years ago, explicitly barring Irish people and Black people.
Pontins said it agreed to enhance staff training and procedures and would take measures to promote equality throughout the business.