Business benefits of accessing all areas
LEADERS of the hospitality industry are set to receive expert advice on how to boost business – and keep on the right side of the law – by looking after disabled guests properly.
Ian Streets, managing director of Anlaby-based About Access, will speak to members of the Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitality Association (HEYHA) about the provisions of the Equality Act 2010, which bans unfair treatment and helps achieve equal opportunities in the workplace and in wider society.
Access consultant Mr Streets – who works with architects and property owners to ensure buildings can be accessed by all – said the legislation is a challenge to hospitality operators to ensure their facilities are up to standard. But, he said it also presents an opportunity.
He said: "There are examples of guests being awarded significant sums in compensation because hotel facilities were not up to the standards set out in the Equality Act.
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"And in 2011 to 2012, the median disability discrimination payment by employers to their staff was for claims of amounted to £8,928.
"But as well as alerting businesses to the pitfalls of overlooking the legislation, I want to point out the benefits of making disabled guests feel welcome.
"It makes good business sense to ensure your premises are accessible to disabled people, because then they will be accessible to everyone and people will always go back to a place where they feel they have been looked after properly."
Paul Vinsen, chairman of HEYHA, said: "We represent hotels and conference centres throughout the Hull and East Yorkshire area and work to help them generate more business by improving standards of hospitality.
"Hopefully, our members will appreciate that providing the right sort of facilities for disabled people is something which will help them promote their business in a positive way."
Mr Streets will speak at the next meeting of HEYHA at The Village Hotel in Priory Park East, Hull, tomorrow.