Tattersalls Hotel, or Tatts as it's known locally, has recently been recognised for its commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace through Epic Assist's Supportive Employer Recognition Award.
The award comes after director of the business Rohan Hill worked with the disability employment service provider to hire three staff members with disability, making equal opportunity employment a priority.
“It started off in cleaning. That was where we were looking, for cleaners in the accommodation business,” he said.
“From there we moved to maintenance and found a guy and it just kept going. We haven’t looked back.”
Working with a DES provider to hire staff with disability was something Rohan had never considered before taking over Tatts Hotel but since making inclusion a priority, he said he had found lifelong staff members that were proactive and independent.
“It’s been fantastic,” Rohan said.
“The staff are very well mannered. They put more effort into their work. I feel they actually want to be here.
“At first, they were very nervous, they didn’t talk much but now they think for themselves and will come up to me and say I can do this or that.”
Like many, the hotel's team has had a rough trot over the past couple of years.
In July 2020 their second business, The Federal Hotel in the Bundaberg CBD, had a tragic fire rip through the building which destroyed the old hotel’s upper level in one clean sweep.
Rohan was determined to support his staff and keep them on the books during its closure.
He scavenged up any work he could find so they wouldn’t be left behind – whether that be painting or doing general tasks.
Now the team are back at work, having transitioned over to Tattersalls Hotel which was renovated to include backpacker accommodation that was once part of The Federal.
“We’ve kept the same people on that we started with and they’ve just transitioned into our new business,” Rohan said.
For Rohan, he said one of the biggest advantages of working with EPIC Assist had been the personalised support.
“They are very supportive. They come around, visit us at least once a week, if not at least once a fortnight,” he said.
“They talk to the guys out here then come back to us if they have any problems.
“Or if we have any problems, we can ring EPIC and they’ll come out and solve the problem if there is one.”
Rohan said there were many benefits in working with a disability service provider.
“Inclusive hiring is good for every business,” he said.
“There’s a lot of roles you can use for people with disability. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. There’s lots of different jobs around.”
EPIC Assist helps businesses to prioritise diverse and inclusive hiring.