Hotel group Jurys Inn has announced a partnership with Scope charity aiming to change attitudes towards disability in the workplace.
"We believe as an employer we can directly support Scope by making further improvements to the way we support people with disabilities," said Jason Carruthers, managing director of Jurys Inn.
"Working with a partner who has expertise in this area will help us inform our strategy about how we can open more opportunities for people with disabilities."
He said the group is engaging with Scope to identify what kind of arrangements it can make to support people with different kinds of conditions, and how it can tap into groups that may have dismissed hospitality as an industry.
He said: "I would like to see a much more significant number of disabled people working for the business than we have today."
Minesh Patel, policy and campaigns manager at Scope, added: "Disabled people with certain impairments and conditions, for instance chronic fatigue, may need to take time off for treatment or rest, so the hotel industry, which is seven days a week and 24/7, lends itself more quite nicely to flexible patterns of working.
"A key starting point for businesses is to begin at the top - for boards of hotels to really commit to looking at employment practices for disabled people. It sends a really strong message to disabled employees but also the organisation as a whole.
"It trickles down to giving line managers the support and awareness to understand disability better so that when somebody is going through the process of recruitment or has a disabled employee in their workforce, there isn't that hesitation or fear about how to support that individual."
Linda Squires works as a public area cleaner at Jurys Inn Swindon and has been with the group for nearly seven years. She was diagnosed with Parkinson's three years ago.
"I don't let it stop me from doing things," she said. "Working at Jurys Inn keeps me active and keeps me motivated. They're very, very supportive."
She detailed the open lines of communication between her and her manager as an example of this support.
Jurys Inn will also be working with Capability Scotland, Rehab Group (Ireland) and the Cedar Foundation (Northern Ireland). All money raised by Jurys Inn and its customers will be distributed between the four charities.
Jurys Inn operates 36 properties in the UK, Ireland and the Czech Republic.
Pictured (from left): Kacey Atkinson, training store manager, Scope Swindon; Linda Squires, public areas assistant, Jurys Inn Swindon; John Markham, general manager, Jurys Inn Swindon.