The head of a Whanganui horticulture company in line for a national award for employing practices says some of his best workers are those with disabilities.
Horticultural Services is one of three companies up for the ACC employers attitude award. The winner will be announced next month at a function in Auckland.
The company's owner and managing director of 13 years, Tony Sanson, said he had often struggled to find good employees in Whanganui who would turn up on time Monday to Friday.
But he's found some people value their job more than others.
"For us it's really about the attitude of the individual," he said.
"We employ a number of people with disabilities. That's varied in regards to the individual. A lot of other employers just turn a blind eye to it and say 'no we're not interested' because of their disabilities.
"Some of these guys are exceptionally loyal. They value their job. They want to turn up, they want to work, they want to contribute. In this day and age, in all honesty, it's quite hard to find."
He cited a recent case of a young employee who was coming to the end of his 90-day trial.
"I was reviewing him. He hadn't spent a 40-hour week with us. That was in his 90-day trial so what was he going to be like afterwards? [He] just wouldn't turn up, had all the excuses in the world.
"That doesn't allow our managers to plan. Tomorrow we want two guys here, three guys there or what have you."
Sanson's company has hired people who are deaf or partially deaf, missing limbs or suffering from diseases like multiple sclerosis to name a few.
"They fully contribute," he said.
"We don't treat them any differently. We make a few allowances ... depending on their particular issue in regards to adapting the work environment to allow them to undertake the job and certainly in a safe way as well as allowing them to achieve it. They're just one of the crew."
It was all about attitude, Sanson reiterated, while stating he would "employ another two people tomorrow," if they were keen and reliable.
Sanson's company was nominated for the ACC award by disability services and support organisation, Workbridge.