Latest regulatory updates

Last updated 23rd August 2019Kurt Janson

Kurt Janson, Director of the Tourism Alliance, gives a monthly update on the latest regulatory changes affecting the hospitality industry. 

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Fill vacancies through being Disability Confident

One of the biggest issues facing the tourism industry is how to find employees with the skills and motivation needed to provide the standard of service required to maintain competitiveness.

In a tight labour market with low unemployment, businesses are increasingly having to find untapped pools of people to fill vacancies.

There are around 7 million disabled people and people living with health conditions of working age in the UK. Of these, 376,000 are unemployed, while 3.3 million disabled people of working age are classed as being economically inactive. This represents a significant recruitment opportunity for businesses. However, surveys have shown that many employers are unsure about how to employ disabled staff and what adjustments they need to make, which is hindering recruitment.

To help address this, the Government has recently launched ‘Disability Confident’, a scheme that provides guidance and information for employers to help them increase their understanding of disability and enable them to recruit and support disabled people and those with long term health conditions in work.

One of the main points is that very often the costs of making reasonable adjustments to accommodate disabled employees are low and could simply be making changes to a disabled person’s working pattern, ensuring that information is provided in accessible formats or providing training or mentoring. 

Where new or modified equipment is needed, there is also help from Access to Work towards some costs and businesses with fewer than 25 employees can get extra support through Jobcentre Plus, including:

  • matching candidates to jobs
  • support through the interview process
  • advice on workplace adaptations, induction and mentoring
  • help arranging in-work support from local community specialists
  • help completing an Access to Work application

The Disability Confident website, which is endorsed by UKHospitality, enables businesses to sign-up to the campaign and access a range of information. You can also find  links to other resources to enable employers to become more confident when attracting, recruiting and retaining disabled people.