This is a copy of the letter that our President sent to all the membership by post on 1st October.
1st October, 2012
Dear fellow Member,
At the Club’s Annual General Meeting in July, I appraised those present that the Club was seeking legal opinion on whether the Club’s guest policy was fully compliant with the Equality Act 2010. This advice was being sought as a result of a letter from a Club Member, to the Committee, indicating that the practice of excluding ladies as guests at lunch and dinner, may be unlawful.
A Special Meeting of the Club’s Committee was held on Tuesday, 18th September to discuss the legal advice subsequently received. The advice received confirmed that, following the coming into force of the Equality Act , the Club should treat all guests the same and that inviting ladies to certain events but excluding them from lunch and dinner would breach the requirements of the Act. I can report to you that, following full consideration of the advice by the Committee, and ensuring that the Club fully complies with the law, the following motion was proposed:
“The Club should continue as a gentlemen’s club and should adhere to a male only guest policy at all times, with the exception of when the Club is booked by a Member for a private party”.
The motion was carried unanimously by the thirteen Committee members present. A letter in support was received from one of the three absentee Committee members.
You will appreciate that as a gentlemen’s club this is in strict adherence to the rules which were only recently updated in 2011. It is with great regret that, now that the Committee is fully appraised of the law, we can no longer invite ladies to attend certain of our Club events as we have done in the past.
However, when the Club is booked by a Member for his own private party then the law does allow ladies to attend, and I’m pleased to say that this practice will continue.
The Savile Club has kindly agreed to continue to offer our Members, who wish to entertain a lady to lunch or dinner, the opportunity to do so in the Savile Club Dining Room, Bar and Drawing Room.