Travel companies who fail to consider disabled people when recruiting for positions are missing out on huge opportunities, a recruitment agency warned.
Jane Hatton, founder of disabled recruitment specialist Evenbreak, said disabled people bring numerous benefits to a business.
“Why employ more disabled people? Disabled employees bring advantages – they are just as productive on average as non-disabled employees; they have 30% less sickness absence on average and they bring additional skills.
“Being disabled by its very nature means we face barriers that others don’t,” said Hatton, who herself is registered as disabled. “Sometimes, even getting dressed in the morning can be a challenge, so we’re better at dealing with small things [like coughs or colds].
“We develop these resilient, creative, problem-solving skills – exactly the ones you want as an employer. It’s not about pity,” she added. “It’s about talent.”
Hatton also pointed out having disabled people in the team could help encourage more disabled customers to a business – thereby enabling companies to tap into the estimated annual £250 billion the “purple pound” (the spending power of disabled households) is worth.
“Disabled people want to travel too. They need to think about accessibility, to have confidence in their travel company and they need to know they’re booking with someone that understands these issues. It gives them confidence.”
“If you want any of the 13 million disabled people in the UK – and their families – booking your holidays, you need to think about recruiting more disabled people,” she added.