Bad weather and work

woodbine
woodbine Member Posts: 140
Hi,
I work for a local authority which has just issued a new, rather draconian, bad weather policy. Basically, anyone who doesn't make it to work, or who leaves early due to snow, etc, will be docked pay, or have to take it out of leave, with no exceptions.
I am particularly worried if there is a repeat of something that happened last year - I had gone to work by train, but heard that because of the worsening conditions the service would be stopped after the next train. If I was not allowed to leave, I would then face a 2 mile walk home. I have OA in my knees, hands and spine. To some of my collegues walking home would just be a bit of a nuisance, but it would almost certainly cause me a great deal of pain - cold affects me very badly, as with most of us with OA. My manager doesn't seem to feel that my disability is severe enough (I'm not registered disabled, nor do I have a visible sign of OA, such as a limp -most of the time) to warrant applying for permision to make special arrangements - and anyway, I could not do my work in any of the nearer council buildings as I would not have the computer access or equipment I need. This seems ridiculous to me - the chances are if I had to walk home I'd be in too much pain afterwards to work for at least one day, so they will loose by it anyway. My sickness record is excellent, so they should know that I'm not just 'trying it on'.
Do you have any suggestions or ideas about this please?

Naomi

Comments

  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,779
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Dear Naomi,

    Thank you for your enquiry to Helplines. If you have a diagnosis of osteoarthritis (your GP might be needed to verify that) then you have coveragae by the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act). In order to begin a conversation with your employer if you feel that their bad weather policy may infringe your rights then you have to consider making your arthritis known to them. Under the DDA you are entitled to reasonable adjustments - one such might be to be able to work from home using a home computer and the internet if bad weather makes travel impossible, but you cannot guarantee that you will be successful in those kinds of discussions.

    The problem will be doing this during a very difficult time in the public sector. You might want to approach a third party - say a union rep. and discuss the matter?

    I hope that is helpful

    Guy
  • woodbine
    woodbine Member Posts: 140
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks - that is helpful. My diagnosis was made my GP - and my employer know about it - in fact, my GP has given me a 'fit note' - one of the conditions he specified is that I should not be exposed to cold, or work in cold conditions!

    I Know that it is difficult for employees at htis time, but we used to be allowed 1 day a year of bad weather allowance, or at least a few hours if we needed to go home early. It sems to me that denying us this will impact more on those with disabilities, than without. As you suggest, I will speak to someone in the union. Is this the type of issue an equalities officer could help with, do you know?

    Thanks again,

    Naomi
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,779
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Dear Naomi,

    I am glad you have found our information helpful, if you speak to your union about your concerns they should put you in touch with best person to deal with this. You may also like to try contacting the Equality and Human Rights commission as they can give advice and information on your rights under the DDA.
    http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/

    Best Wishes
    Adele

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