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Starcross ferry discrimination?

yorkie

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Lots of words like "absurd" and "false" with zero argument or justification.
You have zero argument or justification.

Given virtually all at risk people have already been offered vaccines quite some time ago, and given the risk of transmission outdoors is negligible, and given the individual(s) with the irrational phobia of unmasked human faces can choose to wear an N95 mask if they wish, there can be no justification for saying it is "reasonable" to break the law.

I destroyed your argument; to claim I have no argument is absurd.
 
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35B

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They are in the position of needing to comply with the law.

An irrational phobia of human faces does not alter this obligation.

This is completely false and absurd.


That is not acceptable, as I have said


That would be their choice to make, but it's a false dichotomy.


This is an absurd argument.

If they believe in the fallacy of mandating masks outdoors, they can choose to wear N95 masks themselves, which are intended to protect the wearer.
My comment was specifically related to last year’s circumstances, and I agree with @Yew is disproportionate this year.

However, I stand by my view of the proportionality of any response, and especially whether desiring legal action is likely to achieve a good result for anyone. All will lose if the result of this is that they pack up and the ferry ceases operation.
Meanwhile, I suspect that anyone arguing with them over masks or anything else is simply likely to be denied access and find that their case is insurmountably difficult to pursue to prove both discrimination and unreasonableness in the context of a small ferry where the operator may express concern about the willingness of a rejected would be passenger to obey instructions if required.

Better by far that the operator is gently convinced of the error of their ways than that the situation is made highly conflictual.
 

Ianno87

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You have zero argument or justification.

Given virtually all at risk people have already been offered vaccines quite some time ago, and given the risk of transmission outdoors is negligible, and given the individual(s) with the irrational phobia of unmasked human faces can choose to wear an N95 mask if they wish, there can be no justification for saying it is "reasonable" to break the law.

I destroyed your argument; to claim I have no argument is absurd.

If you read upthread, I was talking about their justification at the height of the pandemic perhaps being reasonable. I agree it's shaky ground to continue to stand on now.

Saying "I have destroyed your argument" doesn't make it true (usually a sign of someone losing an argument trying to close it down). I didn't claim your argument wasn't without merit, I'm merely taking a less black/white view on interpreting the law.
 

35B

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You have zero argument or justification.

Given virtually all at risk people have already been offered vaccines quite some time ago, and given the risk of transmission outdoors is negligible, and given the individual(s) with the irrational phobia of unmasked human faces can choose to wear an N95 mask if they wish, there can be no justification for saying it is "reasonable" to break the law.

I destroyed your argument; to claim I have no argument is absurd.
I suggest you off your high horse, and read what you write with neutral eyes. The absurdity is in your hyperbole.

As for the N95 masks, I would be interested to know whether wearing them in the environment of a public service outdoors is compatible with the safety requirements around audibility in the event of announcements.
 

yorkie

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I suggest you off your high horse, and read what you write with neutral eyes. The absurdity is in your hyperbole.
How ironic! I suggest you look at your own postings, especially when you are attempting to justify unlawful behaviour.
As for the N95 masks, I would be interested to know whether wearing them in the environment of a public service outdoors is compatible with the safety requirements around audibility in the event of announcements.
Thanks for demonstrating yet another reason why masks are not the panecea some people erroneously think they are.

None of this huffing and puffing can justify unlawful behaviour by the operator.
 

Ianno87

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My point is that the ferry operators might have more of a leg to stand on legally (even if still a very infirm wobbly one) than @yorkie is giving them credit for.
 

35B

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How ironic! I suggest you look at your own postings, especially when you are attempting to justify unlawful behaviour.

Thanks for demonstrating yet another reason why masks are not the panecea some people erroneously think they are.
I’ve never suggested they’re a panacea. As for lawfulness, you rather pre empt what a court might say should it get that far - the Equalities Act includes the concept of reasonableness and hence shades of grey in interpretation. This is one where, I strongly suspect, the judgment of Solomon will be required should it go that far.

Meanwhile, I hope that the end result of this is not that a small business packs up, only for no one else to replace it. The Equalities Act, whatever it’s flaws, was not intended to deliver equality by ensuring that none should have anything.

Finally, one of the less attractive traits of the last year has been the hyper partisanship of those with different views, frequently expressed in internet pile ons. I rather suspect something of the sort here in the identification of this business and desire to make an example of it. Oppression in the name of freedom is never a good look.
 

yorkie

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I’ve never suggested they’re a panacea. As for lawfulness, you rather pre empt what a court might say should it get that far - the Equalities Act includes the concept of reasonableness and hence shades of grey in interpretation. This is one where, I strongly suspect, the judgment of Solomon will be required should it go that far.
I think this is an absurd argument; if you were to win on that basis, it would create a ludicrous dehumanising precedent.

Meanwhile, I hope that the end result of this is not that a small business packs up, only for no one else to replace it. The Equalities Act, whatever it’s flaws, was not intended to deliver equality by ensuring that none should have anything.
Again this is an absurd argument.

We are not debating the reasonableness of an adjustment that would put an operator out of business.

If an operator chooses to break the law, irrationally and without justification, they are putting their own business at risk by their choices, attitude and behaviour.

To suggest otherwise is at best disingenuous

Finally, one of the less attractive traits of the last year has been the hyper partisanship of those with different views, frequently expressed in internet pile ons. I rather suspect something of the sort here in the identification of this business and desire to make an example of it. Oppression in the name of freedom is never a good look.
Those in glass houses are advised not to throw stones.

As for your claim of "oppression in the name of freedom", if anyone is carrying out "oppression" it is the business owner.

I suggest you stop digging.
 

35B

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I think this is an absurd argument; if you were to win on that basis, it would create a ludicrous dehumanising precedent.


Again this is an absurd argument.

We are not debating the reasonableness of an adjustment that would put an operator out of business.

If an operator chooses to break the law, irrationally and without justification, they are putting their own business at risk by their choices, attitude and behaviour.

To suggest otherwise is at best disingenuous


Those in glass houses are advised not to throw stones.

As for your claim of "oppression in the name of freedom", if anyone is carrying out "oppression" it is the business owner.
We are discussing the question of an interpretation of risk that is very particular to that particular business, though. It is a business that uses one boat, and has little or no ability to enforce distancing because of the nature and design of that boat. The circumstances and operation of a business are a key consideration in the definition of “reasonable” when considering what reasonable adjustments can or cannot be made to bring the service into full compliance with the Equalities Act.

This is a case where there are conflicting rights at work, and strict legalism does not help resolve the issue. I happen to agree with you that the evidence of the last year shows that the risk in situations like that of the ferry is vastly lower than was assumed a year ago, and that the degree of concern for crew and households is in any case wholly disproportionate given the level of vaccine roll out.

At the moment, while masking and distancing advice remains in force, my gut feeling is that despite this they would be able to argue the restriction is proportionate, balancing perceived threat to life against tourists’ ability to pursue a leisure activity (its noteworthy that the ferry does not run in winter, and is therefore better considered part of the core local public transport, but a tourist atttraction). After (hopefully) June 21st, it’s likely that defence based on government policy and pandemic status will be fatally undermined.

It’s that disparity between impacts that makes me so uncomfortable about the targeting of this business. Glancing at their Facebook page, my hunch is that they’ve barely changed last year’s posting, and given it relatively little thought, which makes me suspect that there should be room for reasonable engagement. Instead of which, there are demands that they must change, backed by unproven assertions that they must be breaking the law, that do nothing to resolve a situation, and everything to encourage the bunker mentality.

Their position is clearly based on fear, a fear which is now disproportionate; this is a family business, rather than a corporate and needs to be viewed in that light. You will know from your work in schools that dealing with someone in a state of heightened fear and anxiety with reference to law and rules is of very limited effect, and tends to inflame, not solve a problem; likewise, that in that state of mind logic and facts come way below emotion and adrenaline. This issue will be solved with empathy, not conflict; conflict will harden barriers that empathy can soften.
 

duncanp

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The law on face coverings is what it is.

It is not what people think it is, nor is it what people think it should be.

The fact is that the law allows for certain people to be exempt from wearing a face covering in situations where it is otherwise compulsory, such as on public transport like the Starcross Ferry.

The Equalities Act 2010 states that service providers must make reasonable adjustments to cater for the requirements of customers with disabilities.

So in flatly refusing to carry people who cannot wear a face covering for reasons of disability, the owners of the Starcross Ferry are breaking the Equalities Act 2010, and ignoring the laws on face coverings.

Whether anything is to be gained by prosecuting the ferry operators is questionable, but they certainly should be reminded of the laws regarding exemptions to mandatory face coverings.

What I would say in mitigation is that many service providers have been bullied into an overzealous interpretation and enforcement of the COVID-19 regulations by nasty, petty and spiteful jobsworths from the police and local authorities who are on a power trip and have got nothing better to do.

The irony is that the Starcross Ferry is only a 15 - 20 minute journey and the boats used have an open air section. So the risk of transmission of the virus by anyone using the ferry without a face covering is vanishingly small.
 

yorkie

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We are discussing the question of an interpretation of risk that is very particular to that particular business, though. It is a business that uses one boat, and has little or no ability to enforce distancing because of the nature and design of that boat. The circumstances and operation of a business are a key consideration in the definition of “reasonable” when considering what reasonable adjustments can or cannot be made to bring the service into full compliance with the Equalities Act.
You are just using weasel words to justify a clear and obvious breach of the law.


This is a case where there are conflicting rights at work, and strict legalism does not help resolve the issue.
There is no 'issue' to be resolved; the ferry company simply needs to comply with the law.

The apparent justification for breaking the law is based on a complete and utter fallacy.

I happen to agree with you that the evidence of the last year shows that the risk in situations like that of the ferry is vastly lower than was assumed a year ago, and that the degree of concern for crew and households is in any case wholly disproportionate given the level of vaccine roll out.
I am glad you agree with me, which makes this whole charade pointless, but if you continue to mislead, I will continue to respond.
At the moment, while masking and distancing advice remains in force..
This is disingenuous; masking is neither enforced outdoors, nor is it enforced for 6-11 year olds, nor for anyone aged over 11 who is covered by an exemption.

... my gut feeling ....
Really doesn't count for anything, sorry.

... is that despite this they would be able to argue the restriction is proportionate, balancing perceived threat to life against tourists’ ability to pursue a leisure activity
This is an absurd argument. There is no threat to life, nor are the unlawful measures a proportional response to any erroneously perceived threat.

(its noteworthy that the ferry does not run in winter, and is therefore better considered part of the core local public transport, but a tourist atttraction).
By your logic, any form of public transport that operates a limited timetable can break the law, so that'll include Summer Saturday extras, DalesRail etc? This is a flawed argument which does your case no favours.

Furthermore, it is not correct to suggest that this allow the company to unlawfully discriminate.

After (hopefully) June 21st, it’s likely that defence based on government policy and pandemic status will be fatally undermined.
I would agree that their already untenable argument would presumably be dropped after 21st June.

It’s that disparity between impacts that makes me so uncomfortable about the targeting of this business.
They are not being "targeted"; they are targeting others. There are consequences for their choice. They have recieved many complaints and bad publicity and have chosen not to rectify their behaviour.

To suggest they are victims in this is at best disingenuous and arguably absurd.

Glancing at their Facebook page, my hunch is that they’ve barely changed last year’s posting, and given it relatively little thought, which makes me suspect that there should be room for reasonable engagement.
They appear to be making the same arguments today. I agree they should behave reasonably in their engagements with the public and they would be strongly advised to do so.

Instead of which, there are demands that they must change, backed by unproven assertions that they must be breaking the law, that do nothing to resolve a situation, and everything to encourage the bunker mentality.
They blatantly are breaking the law; to suggest otherwise is disingenuous.

I agree they have a "bunker mentality" and it is disappointing to see some people supporting such behaviour.

Their position is clearly based on fear, a fear which is now disproportionate;
I agree with you on this point and given you agree with me, I suggest we end this charade.

this is a family business, rather than a corporate and needs to be viewed in that light.
This is not a valid defence in law.

You will know from your work in schools that dealing with someone in a state of heightened fear and anxiety with reference to law and rules is of very limited effect, and tends to inflame, not solve a problem; likewise, that in that state of mind logic and facts come way below emotion and adrenaline. This issue will be solved with empathy, not conflict; conflict will harden barriers that empathy can soften.
With all due respect, it's not my job to emphasise with them and encourage them to act in a way that reduces the risk to their business. That's the job of friends and family and others who know them, who can see the damage they are causing.

Clearly the matter has been highlighted in the local press and through social media and yet there is no sign that the company will change its ways to comply with the law, so the matter needs to be pressed in my opinion. If you don't like that, then that's not my problem.

I am not stopping anyone having a conversation with the company but I don't see why you or anyone else should complain about my highlighting of this issue; if you want to reach out to them with empathy in order to convince them to see sense, no-one is stopping you doing so.

The irony is that the Starcross Ferry is only a 15 - 20 minute journey and the boats used have an open air section. So the risk of transmission of the virus by anyone using the ferry without a face covering is vanishingly small.
I agree and this demonstrates the argument that their unlawful behaviour is in any way proportionate to any perceived risk is completely unreasonable.
 

Cdd89

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Their position is clearly based on fear, a fear which is now disproportionate; this is a family business, rather than a corporate and needs to be viewed in that light. […]This issue will be solved with empathy
How much empathy and latitude should be shown to a family business refusing service to people in wheelchairs, or of the wrong orientation? What about the empathy for those who cannot comply with the mask requirements and who are discriminated against by being unable to use a ferry service that able bodied travellers have access to?

I don’t buy that any profitable business is all-or-nothing in the way described. If they decide to stop operating the service because they are scared to comply with the law, another company that is compliant with the law would come along.
 

35B

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How much empathy and latitude should be shown to a family business refusing service to people in wheelchairs, or of the wrong orientation? What about the empathy for those who cannot comply with the mask requirements and who are discriminated against by being unable to use a ferry service that able bodied travellers have access to?

I don’t buy that any profitable business is all-or-nothing in the way described. If they decide to stop operating the service because they are scared to comply with the law, another company that is compliant with the law would come along.
Would there be? That’s a bold assumption.

You are just using weasel words to justify a clear and obvious breach of the law.



There is no 'issue' to be resolved; the ferry company simply needs to comply with the law.

The apparent justification for breaking the law is based on a complete and utter fallacy.


I am glad you agree with me, which makes this whole charade pointless, but if you continue to mislead, I will continue to respond.

This is disingenuous; masking is neither enforced outdoors, nor is it enforced for 6-11 year olds, nor for anyone aged over 11 who is covered by an exemption.


Really doesn't count for anything, sorry.


This is an absurd argument. There is no threat to life, nor are the unlawful measures a proportional response to any erroneously perceived threat.


By your logic, any form of public transport that operates a limited timetable can break the law, so that'll include Summer Saturday extras, DalesRail etc? This is a flawed argument which does your case no favours.

Furthermore, it is not correct to suggest that this allow the company to unlawfully discriminate.


I would agree that their already untenable argument would presumably be dropped after 21st June.


They are not being "targeted"; they are targeting others. There are consequences for their choice. They have recieved many complaints and bad publicity and have chosen not to rectify their behaviour.

To suggest they are victims in this is at best disingenuous and arguably absurd.


They appear to be making the same arguments today. I agree they should behave reasonably in their engagements with the public and they would be strongly advised to do so.


They blatantly are breaking the law; to suggest otherwise is disingenuous.

I agree they have a "bunker mentality" and it is disappointing to see some people supporting such behaviour.


I agree with you on this point and given you agree with me, I suggest we end this charade.


This is not a valid defence in law.


With all due respect, it's not my job to emphasise with them and encourage them to act in a way that reduces the risk to their business. That's the job of friends and family and others who know them, who can see the damage they are causing.

Clearly the matter has been highlighted in the local press and through social media and yet there is no sign that the company will change its ways to comply with the law, so the matter needs to be pressed in my opinion. If you don't like that, then that's not my problem.

I am not stopping anyone having a conversation with the company but I don't see why you or anyone else should complain about my highlighting of this issue; if you want to reach out to them with empathy in order to convince them to see sense, no-one is stopping you doing so.


I agree and this demonstrates the argument that their unlawful behaviour is in any way proportionate to any perceived risk is completely unreasonable.
You are choosing to ignore the role of reasonableness in the legislation, and the difficulty of its definition.
 

nedchester

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You are just using weasel words to justify a clear and obvious breach of the law.



There is no 'issue' to be resolved; the ferry company simply needs to comply with the law.

The apparent justification for breaking the law is based on a complete and utter fallacy.


I am glad you agree with me, which makes this whole charade pointless, but if you continue to mislead, I will continue to respond.

This is disingenuous; masking is neither enforced outdoors, nor is it enforced for 6-11 year olds, nor for anyone aged over 11 who is covered by an exemption.


Really doesn't count for anything, sorry.


This is an absurd argument. There is no threat to life, nor are the unlawful measures a proportional response to any erroneously perceived threat.


By your logic, any form of public transport that operates a limited timetable can break the law, so that'll include Summer Saturday extras, DalesRail etc? This is a flawed argument which does your case no favours.

Furthermore, it is not correct to suggest that this allow the company to unlawfully discriminate.


I would agree that their already untenable argument would presumably be dropped after 21st June.


They are not being "targeted"; they are targeting others. There are consequences for their choice. They have recieved many complaints and bad publicity and have chosen not to rectify their behaviour.

To suggest they are victims in this is at best disingenuous and arguably absurd.


They appear to be making the same arguments today. I agree they should behave reasonably in their engagements with the public and they would be strongly advised to do so.


They blatantly are breaking the law; to suggest otherwise is disingenuous.

I agree they have a "bunker mentality" and it is disappointing to see some people supporting such behaviour.


I agree with you on this point and given you agree with me, I suggest we end this charade.


This is not a valid defence in law.


With all due respect, it's not my job to emphasise with them and encourage them to act in a way that reduces the risk to their business. That's the job of friends and family and others who know them, who can see the damage they are causing.

Clearly the matter has been highlighted in the local press and through social media and yet there is no sign that the company will change its ways to comply with the law, so the matter needs to be pressed in my opinion. If you don't like that, then that's not my problem.

I am not stopping anyone having a conversation with the company but I don't see why you or anyone else should complain about my highlighting of this issue; if you want to reach out to them with empathy in order to convince them to see sense, no-one is stopping you doing so.


I agree and this demonstrates the argument that their unlawful behaviour is in any way proportionate to any perceived risk is completely unreasonable.
Whether we like it or not law is often not a binary issue and we should be careful to say that one thing is definitely right or wrong. Test cases often cause matters to be clarified and often one law can be contradicted by another law. This will possibly be case with Coronavirus laws which have been rushed through. Also, one has to be careful not to let your own bias influence judgement. I'm very much with 35B on this.
 

yorkie

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Would there be? That’s a bold assumption.
If it's a viable business, then they would.

But this isn't a valid excuse for what they are doing and nor is it a reason not to call them out.

It is their poor choices and behaviour that is causing this issue.

I reject any false suggestions that this is in any way comparable to the reasonableness (or otherwise) of any adjustments that may need to be made (at cost) to accommodate people with disabilities, for example by making costly alterations to the vehicle or the landing location. It's a false equivalence and an invalid comparison; this is purely a debate about their unlawful behaviour and diabolical attitude towards people with exemptions, including children as young as 5 or 6 years old.

Whether we like it or not law is often not a binary issue and we should be careful to say that one thing is definitely right or wrong. Test cases often cause matters to be clarified and often one law can be contradicted by another law. This will possibly be case with Coronavirus laws which have been rushed through. Also, one has to be careful not to let your own bias influence judgement. I'm very much with 35B on this.
That is disappointing, but we will have to agree to disagree.
 

NSEFAN

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The Facebook page might be espousing a strict facemask rule, but how strongly is it actually being enforced? We have lots of announcements in the trains and stations about facemasks, however I get the distinct impression that enforcement is not actually very strict, in the hope that most people will just do as they are told, and those who don't will be in the minority anyway.
 

yorkie

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The Facebook page might be espousing a strict facemask rule, but how strongly is it actually being enforced? We have lots of announcements in the trains and stations about facemasks, however I get the distinct impression that enforcement is not actually very strict, in the hope that most people will just do as they are told, and those who don't will be in the minority anyway.
It's not entirely, but what has been posted sounds rather concerning:

https://www.facebook.com/StarcrossExmouthFerry/posts/3709033439195659?comment_id=3923608641071470
Robbie Harkness said:
Excellent service my only problem was my 16 year old son has severe autism and asthma we managed to get him to wear a mask even though he is exempt.


Courtney Tribble said:
You should put a note on here saying if your exempt from wearing a mask or can’t wear a mask then you can’t travel to save people the disappointment of turning up to be turned away. Just an observation
Cody Rackley said:
thanks for your comment I will put something on the page now to do so!
 

_toommm_

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I cannot believe that we’re still getting people saying it’s tough if people are exempt. My older brother is severely autistic with severe learning difficulties. Would you really expect someone who, with the greatest respect to him, has the mental capacity of a baby, to understand why face coverings must be worn, let alone wear one and keep it on?

Companies that don’t recognise exemptions should absolutely be brought up on it, and I commend @yorkie for doing so.
 

WM Bus

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I noticed this on NXWM facebook page, someone claiming they were spat at by another passenger.

National Express West Midlands - Posts | Facebook
Zo Westwood said:
Sandra Cope my son is exempt as he has autism and severe asthma and get rude comments from people it upsets my son i try to explain to people and get called terrible names which I class as disability discrimination i have a couple of recordings I can't put the words on here
Zo Westwood said:
I hate the school run times and try to avoid buses then and walk for half an hour to get my autistic son to his specialist college we've been spat on and suffered verbal abuse nothing gets done



And other people commenting on there don't seem to be able to read the sign on the bus that all forward facing seats can now be used.
 
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EssexGonzo

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A retailer near me has a more pragmatic way of ensuring that they don’t exclude everyone but also demonstrate a duty of care.

Instead of insisting on a face MASK being worn, they do allow a face COVERING to be worn which includes the clear plastic shields that look a little ridiculous but do allow the wearer to breath more easily. I cannot see why anyone would claim a medical exemption from such a device and it at least offers some real protection against direct “splatter” (sorry could not think of the right word!).

I have not seen anyone without some sort of covering for quite a while in this shop.

It seems to recognise that not everyone can physically or mentally cope with a close fitting nose and mouth mask.

Obviously it won’t filter out the anti-mask objectors (as opposed to those with a claimed medical reason) but it doesn’t seem to keep most people happy.
 

yorkie

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@WM Bus unfortunately it is not uncommon for disabled people to be on the receiving end of physical or verbal abuse or be discriminated against.

The measures taken ostensibly to reduce the spread, along with the authoritarian behaviour, attitudes and policies of some organisations and individuals, has sadly made things worse.
 

35B

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If it's a viable business, then they would.
A business may be entirely viable to run for an existing operator, but not be viable to set up anew.
I cannot believe that we’re still getting people saying it’s tough if people are exempt. My older brother is severely autistic with severe learning difficulties. Would you really expect someone who, with the greatest respect to him, has the mental capacity of a baby, to understand why face coverings must be worn, let alone wear one and keep it on?

Companies that don’t recognise exemptions should absolutely be brought up on it, and I commend @yorkie for doing so.
I agree that they should be brought up on it - my disagreement is with the conflictual approach being taken. As the Asher Bakery case showed, family businesses have various facets to them, which the law acknowledges rather than being absolutely black and white.
 

yorkie

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A business may be entirely viable to run for an existing operator, but not be viable to set up anew.
That doesn't justify discrimination on the part of the existing operator, so this is a moot point.

I agree that they should be brought up on it - my disagreement is with the conflictual approach being taken.
That you have an issue with me calling out the discrimination, while seemingly not with the discrimination itself (which is by definition conflictual) is very telling indeed.

As the Asher Bakery case showed, family businesses have various facets to them, which the law acknowledges rather than being absolutely black and white.
I don't think that's in any way a valid comparison; it's a completely different case.
 

Mojo

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Instead of insisting on a face MASK being worn, they do allow a face COVERING to be worn which includes the clear plastic shields that look a little ridiculous but do allow the wearer to breath more easily. I cannot see why anyone would claim a medical exemption from such a device and it at least offers some real protection against direct “splatter” (sorry could not think of the right word!).
Visors achieve nothing to protect other people (the stated aim of face coverings) apart from making the wearer look ridiculous. Indeed, in Scotland they are explicitly not permitted as an alternative to a proper face covering.
 

yorkie

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Visors are effectively a method of placating hysterical people who require an organisation or individual to be seen to be doing something but it's not clear if this operator would accept visors or not, as I cannot see any mention of visors either way.
 

AlterEgo

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But extremely trivial to start a boycott from those who can & have no issues with the rule.
Disagree; this is about disabled accessibility which is a fundamental part of living in a liberal and inclusive society.

The law on face coverings is what it is.

It is not what people think it is, nor is it what people think it should be.

The fact is that the law allows for certain people to be exempt from wearing a face covering in situations where it is otherwise compulsory, such as on public transport like the Starcross Ferry.

The Equalities Act 2010 states that service providers must make reasonable adjustments to cater for the requirements of customers with disabilities.

So in flatly refusing to carry people who cannot wear a face covering for reasons of disability, the owners of the Starcross Ferry are breaking the Equalities Act 2010, and ignoring the laws on face coverings.

Whether anything is to be gained by prosecuting the ferry operators is questionable, but they certainly should be reminded of the laws regarding exemptions to mandatory face coverings.

What I would say in mitigation is that many service providers have been bullied into an overzealous interpretation and enforcement of the COVID-19 regulations by nasty, petty and spiteful jobsworths from the police and local authorities who are on a power trip and have got nothing better to do.

The irony is that the Starcross Ferry is only a 15 - 20 minute journey and the boats used have an open air section. So the risk of transmission of the virus by anyone using the ferry without a face covering is vanishingly small.
I agree entirely.
 

35B

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That doesn't justify discrimination on the part of the existing operator, so this is a moot point.


That you have an issue with me calling out the discrimination, while seemingly not with the discrimination itself (which is by definition conflictual) is very telling indeed.


I don't think that's in any way a valid comparison; it's a completely different case.
I have said, multiple times, that I disagree with the stance apparently being taken by the operator this year. My problem is with "calling out" where it is a synonym for teeing up conflict on something where the underlying issues go much deeper and wider than the specifics of the law. And the more so when the specific interpretation of the law being advanced is itself an authoritarian, not to say bullying, interpretation that denies any scope for the reasonableness test in that law and seeking to compel adherence regardless of all other factors.

The right outcome is that the ferry operator relaxes their mask policy, bringing it into line with the letter of the law, and without causing the operator or their staff to fear for their health of themselves and their family. Your approach, IMHO, is unlikely to achieve that - hence my suggestion of acknowledging where the people running this company are coming from, and how those people may be approached.

As for the Asher case, it was indeed different - but the Supreme Court found that the duties on a company were not such as to override the freedoms of the individual working for that company. Those seem like significant similarities to born in mind when construing what constitutes a "reasonable adjustment" under the Equalities Act provisions you wish to apply.
Disagree; this is about disabled accessibility which is a fundamental part of living in a liberal and inclusive society.
Indeed, but this is a strange field to pick for that battle when there are so many far worse accessibility issues which lie directly with government to resolve.
 

yorkie

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I have said, multiple times, that I disagree with the stance apparently being taken by the operator this year.
Then perhaps we should discontinue this charade.

My problem is with "calling out" where it is a synonym for teeing up conflict on something where the underlying issues go much deeper and wider than the specifics of the law.
Using complicated wording and being disingenuous doesn't alter the fact that this company is clearly discriminating.

And the more so when the specific interpretation of the law being advanced is itself an authoritarian, not to say bullying, interpretation that denies any scope for the reasonableness test in that law and seeking to compel adherence regardless of all other factors.
By all means write disingenuous long complicated sentences to try to justify the discrimination if you want, but I believe in calling a spade a spade. This is discrimination, it is unreasonable, it is unlawful, it is unjustifiable.

Nothing you have said alters this.

The right outcome is that the ferry operator relaxes their mask policy, bringing it into line with the letter of the law,
I am glad you agree with me on the fundamental issue.

and without causing the operator or their staff to fear for their health of themselves and their family.
One would hope that their irrational fear of faces of humans over the age of 5 will go away but it's an irrelevance to the matter at hand; an irrational fear on the part of a service provider does not justify discriminatory acts.

Your approach, IMHO, is unlikely to achieve that - hence my suggestion of acknowledging where the people running this company are coming from, and how those people may be approached.
I've addresses this upthread; I refer you to my previous answer.

As for the Asher case, it was indeed different - but the Supreme Court found that the duties on a company were not such as to override the freedoms of the individual working for that company.
I disagree; my understanding is that the fundamental principle of the case (rightly or wrongly) was that 'People cannot be forced to promote a belief they profoundly disagree with' which has absolutely nothing to do with discriminating against people in the manner that this company is.

Those seem like significant similarities to born in mind when construing what constitutes a "reasonable adjustment" under the Equalities Act provisions you wish to apply.
I strongly disagree; it is fundamentally a completely different case.

Indeed, but this is a strange field to pick for that battle when there are so many far worse accessibility issues which lie directly with government to resolve.
Rather than try to change the subject and deflect attention from the irrationality of this discrimination, you could create a thread to address those issues if you wish to do so.
 

aar0

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this is a family business, rather than a corporate and needs to be viewed in that light.
Rest assured the MAIB wouldn’t view them any differently should a marine accident happen for which the operator was culpable. It doesn’t make a difference.
 

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