IHG scoops prestigious award for disabled employment

December 07, 2007 // Franchising.com // InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) this week received recognition from the Minister for Disabled People, Anne McGuire, for its ongoing success in recruiting, retaining and promoting disabled staff at the RADAR People of the Year Human Rights Awards.

RADAR's People of the Year Human Rights Awards is the only event in Europe that honours individuals and organisations that have made a significant contribution to furthering the human rights of disabled people.

Now in its 41st year the awards, held at Old Billingsgate on the evening of 3 December, were staged to coincide with the international day for disabled people.

The Employment Award, sponsored by Royal Mail Group, was presented by Anne McGuire to Christopher Rawstron, IHG's Vice President Operations UK and Ireland. The judging panel were impressed by IHG's dedication to creating a workplace where employees enjoy their work, are encouraged to achieve their best and want to remain in an organisation that makes them feel part of a team by valuing their involvement.

Speaking of the very strong commercial case for hiring disabled people, aside from societal benefits, Chrisopher Rawstron explained: "Being a global hospitality business, IHG has one of the UK's most diverse workforces and this is something we are very proud of. While it is our policy to get the right person for the job, disabled people are typically committed and loyal to their jobs, so we are very pleased to have them on board.

Having previously received the RADAR Customer Service accolade in 2005, IHG, which owns InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Express by Holiday Inn brands in the UK, has focused its recent endeavours on developing its 'Disability Confidence in Employment' strategy to ensure that its practices provide equal opportunities for all job-seekers.

IHG first trialled a disability-led recruitment campaign in Edinburgh in 2006, which involved an Open Day followed by a pre-employment course to help selected applicants prepare for job interviews. This approach proved so successful that it has recently been adopted in the London and South East region, resulting in a further seven new recruits, and plans are underway to replicate this initiative in other regions of the UK.

IHG has also introduced a Disability Advisory Committee to engage with disabled employees in order to develop the 'disability confident' culture which exists in IHG and to try and adjust ways of working in order to attract more disabled job applicants. All UK hotel employees were invited to volunteer themselves to join this important group of strategic partners.

"IHG is attracting great staff to our fantastic teams", continued Rawstron. "Recruiting disabled people allows us to access a wide and rich pool of talent, and we recognise that a flexible approach may be necessary to retain disabled people and help them to achieve their full potential".

Liz Sayce, RADAR chief executive, said, 'Our People of Year Awards celebrate those individuals and groups who are at the cutting edge of making Britain a more inclusive place. Everyone benefits from a society where we all belong and the pioneers who have been awarded tonight for pulling the boundaries of the possible even closer reveal powerfully that an inclusive society is well within reach for Britain's 11 million disabled people and people with long term conditions.'

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