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The Legal Case

The legal case is contained within the Equality Act of 2010.  This pulled together a wide range of legislation into one document and thus simplified the law.  It covers disability, gender re-assignment, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, colour and nationality, religion and belief.  It accepts that some disabilities are invisible but the act enshrines in law the fact that it is illegal to discriminate against any of these groups.  Hotels, conference centres and other hospitality businesses must make reasonable adjustments to ensure all those covered by the Act do not face discrimination.  So what small adjustments could a hotel make that would enhance a disabled guests visit;

  1. Offer a magnifying glass with a daily newspaper.
  2. Install a dimmer switch so that a blind person can adjust the light to their particular needs.
  3. Provide a dog's water bowl in reception if a blind person is staying with their assistance dog.
  4. Have a special welcome letter for deaf people so that they know things like when dinner is served, how to get sub titles on the bedroom TV and the time for breakfast.
  5. Checking a wheelchair user in at a seperate table in the reception area.
  6. Offering a breast feeding mother various options of where they would like to sit and feed their baby.

In AccessChamp we have interviews with a solicitor plus coffee time chats in this area so that staff realise their legal responsibility.

The penalty for non compliance of the Act will enable the judge to award compensation and to rectify the situation that has discrimination.  It seems logical that you should take action before this happens.

Probably the biggest issue for any business is the adverse PR that can result.  Imagine a situation at a wedding where the needs of a favourite Great Aunt have not been considered.  The whole wedding could have been ruined but it will be the PR damage to the business that will be catastrophic.

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