In a stance against abuse of all kinds, pubs owners are being given the option to sign up to TEPA – The Equality in Pubs Accreditation – which publicly lets visitors know that a venue has a zero tolerance policy on homophobia, sexism or racism in any of its guises for both its staff and its drinkers.
Launched at Imbibe Live this week, those pubs that sign up will be given a window sticker and a plot on a map on TEPA website in 2019 to show their civic duty to act should they recognise abuse in their venue.
‘Social equality is a human right. Let the best pubs, bars and taprooms, run by the most accommodating, kind and friendly staff identify themselves and help all people remember that the value of pubs is as much what they represent as anything they serve across the bar,’ said TEPA founder Jessica Mason.
From September this year TEPA will be open for submissions from publicans, after which a shortlist will be drawn up and the first accredited TEPA venues will be visited and mapped before the end of 2018.
Mason founded TEPA after reading an article by beer writer and broadcaster Emma Inch, describing Inch’s apprehension upon visiting new pubs and how, as a lesbian, she was made to feel unsafe.
‘Reading her account made me feel saddened that pub experiences were sometimes not always positive for all people. It made me try to think of ways to combat that,’ said Manson.
‘Nobody should be made to feel unsafe in a public house or indeed suffer any anxiety over going out to socialise. I immediately called up Inch to ask her opinion and she said: “It sounds fantastic” and “could have a big impact” so we discussed ways in which she could feed into TEPA by describing how it feels to constantly be negotiating your safety upon entering a pub for the first time.’
As part of TEPA, a training module is being devised for bar staff to learn how to deal with discrimination or any forms of abuse, what to do and when to step in to harmonise the situation and make the victim know they are supported by the venue.
‘After talking about TEPA during the Imbibe Live show this week as well as discussing equality across the trade, it was wonderful to have so many people come to talk about ways to move things forwards,’ said Manson. ‘If you would like to put yourself forwards as a potential venue we will update you as soon as we can. Committee members will be identified within the next month. Anyone interested in supporting the cause, please get in touch.’