Advice needed please....

need me bed
need me bed Member Posts: 103
Hi everyone, I was wondering if someone in the forum here could help with an issue i'm having at my current work place. I work in a call centre as an advisor and have my own desk set up for me to use when i am at work. The issue is that i have been told today I cannot have my folding walking stick tucked to one side of my desk (i usually fold it in half and slide it on to the top tier of my 2 tier desk where it is not in the way/obstructing my work area), i regularly use this as i have difficulty walking (I have RA). As many of you will know/understand this can get progressively worse in the colder weather... I did ask why i couldn't have my walking stick on my desk and was told it doesn't fit with the LEAN programme the company has gone through ( there is a website all about it if you type LEAN in to a search engine it pops up a link called what is lean... we have to 5S our desks *again this is explained in the website to give a clearer understanding if needed*)... but I can have 1 personal item on my desk whilst i'm at work. I said that it is my personal item but again was told this does not conform to what a personal item is. Apparently a 'personal item' is a photo or cuddle toy type thing... surely a mobility aid IS a personal item.. I'm fuming to put it politely and mildly .. I have difficulty picking things up off the floor in general and I feel I am being discriminated against and this is a really big issue for me, i have enough hassle from them if i have to call in sick if i'm having a bad flare up and constantly being advised that I may be subject to disciplinary proceedings if i take more sick time away from work. The company i work for is a huge very well known UK insurance company possibly the biggest in the UK.
I'm so annoyed and upset ... i could have cried, but didn't want to give them the satisfaction of letting them know how upset I am coz that wold mean they've won again... I have been in tears several times stressing over all the hassle It's quite a stressful job as it is and the added stress is making me feel worse... I hope you don't think I'm being silly or anything. I don't really know what to do any more i'm at my wits end I really really want to tell them where to put there job and go home but i can't afford too especially as the way things are and jobs being few and far between around here at the moment.

I would really appreciate any help or advice any of you could give me. We don't have HR on site i can only contact them by telephone and this is frowned upon and on the other hand i don't want to be made to feel like a total twit for ringing them up for something work obviously feel is 'trivial'... aaaarrrrggghhhhh

Thanks in advance all

Gentle hugs



  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,068
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    This is atrocious!!

    have you no union there?? If not you can still contact ACAS helpline for advice.

    In fact l think despite their stoopid 'lean' thingy (which l thought said people should be valued :???: hmmmph) they are discriminating against someone who has a disability. In actual fact they are not making 'reasonable adjustments' under the Disability Discrimination Act.

    Have you seen Bagpuss' thread?? She is taking legal advice about employment issues via her own house insurance!! Take a look it might also help you.

    Love a fuming

    Toni xx
  • need me bed
    need me bed Member Posts: 103
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for the reply Toni, I'm still livid about it today, Just 'How dare they?? is all I can think. I have seen Bagpuss' thread, I really feel for her too... these people just should be allowed to get away with this kind of behaviour... I saw the bit about the house insurance and am gonna check mine... we don't have a union at work another thing that's frowned upon! The company are just so bad to people who have a disability no matter what it is. one of my close friends got hauled in the other day for having his call script in black and white rather than colour.... He's colour blind and can't read it when it's in colour!!!!! It's all very do as I say not as I do and that just makes my blood boil....We have the 'big' bosses round next week and we have been told we may get picked to go meet with them.... I sooo hope they pick me coz they won't know what's hit them!!!

    Thanks for the support it's much appreciated xxx
  • mariefab
    mariefab Member Posts: 21
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    2 things to consider.

    1. The fact that you need a stick to get about suggests that your RA amounts to a disability.
    Your employer is therefore required to consider the reasonable adjustments that can be made in order to overcome the substantial (i.e. greater than minor or trivial)disadvantage you have compared to non-disabled employees.
    Failure to do so is disability discrimination.

    Below is the relevant section of the Equality Act 2010:

    In your case they are failing in relation to the first and/or third requirements.

    The PCP in 20(3) would be the requirement to have only the items that they permit at your workstation.
    The PCP in 20(5) would be the requirement that they provide (or allow you to provide) the relevant auxiliary aid (folding walking stick).

    2. The ethos of the LEAN programme is the elimination of waste, whether of time or resources.
    When you consider that the single largest overhead of almost every employer is the cost of the working time of their employees; it's anti-LEAN for your employer to bring in a provision/practice that could well make you less productive (because it would be more painful and therefore take you longer to get about and could also aggravate your condition which would make it more likely that you would need time off sick).

    If you prefer not to phone HR, why not send them a letter/email based on the above.
  • traluvie
    traluvie Member Posts: 2,579
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    This is digusting..How dare they treat you like that..

    I really think someone in the department needs to be mada aware of this situation, cause they are actually breaking the law..
    Acas is good advice and CAB too..
    Please do not fight this on your own.. they need to be punished for there attitude...I am shocked..
    Keep us updated on whats going on..x
  • janie68
    janie68 Member Posts: 1,186
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Lea

    The others have given great advice, they are actually taking the 5s's too far with regard to your walking stick. It is an aid to help YOU, and quoting the equality act 2010 should be enough to HR should get them to think again. im so sorry you are being subjected to this treatment, it is disgusting.

    I am aware of the 5's as we have a similar thing at work, my stick or wheelchair are not part of it there.

    Good luck and update us, as we are worried about you

  • need me bed
    need me bed Member Posts: 103
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi gang, thanks for your support.
    I called HR this morning before i went to work and they totally agreed with me that there is NO Policy anywhere that states i cannot have my (folding) walking stick on my desk and to speak to my line manager... so i did that today and now they're saying it's a hygiene issue as my sick touches the floor, in his words.. i'm not allowed to put my shoes on my desk so why should you be allowed to have your stick?? Fuming is an understatement. Every time i broach the subject of my disability they find away to throw it back in my face... again I was in tears following my meeting with my line manager.... he makes me feel so small and worthless and that i'm making a mountain out of a mole hill.... i really hope that one day he will find out what it's like to be disabled, and how sensitive someone can be about it too. (i don't wish ill on anyone as a general rule but i consider this the exception to the rule) I have a new line manager starting and she was also in the meeting and she said she was going to ring HR 'as they know nothing of this 5S thingy and shouldn't be talking about things they don't understand' ... ho hum... another black mark against me... i seem to have so many they think i'm a right trouble maker but all I do is stick up for myself. They have said that I can put my stick in my desk drawer so it is more accessible. I said that isn't what i was told last week i was told to put it on the floor, he then said he didnt say that at all, so i'm being accused of lying as well.... the place is a joke... the sooner i can find alternate employment the better i think... i really don't want to stay working for a company that can treat people in such manner....
    I'd like to thank you all again for your help and support....

  • topgirl
    topgirl Member Posts: 290
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    This is awful....

    If you need aids to help you in work then it is a legal requirment that they allow you it...You should also be allowed a 'grabber' to help you pick things up.
    What if someone is in a wheelchair???..the wheels touch the floor!!!!...would they not allow that?????

    You need to fight it....its hard..when i went into work meetings i got tearful should be allowed someone in to support you..

    Look at your home insurance...hopefully you will have legal advice in with it..ring them..its free and ask to speak to a solicitor to suit your needs...
    Get in contact with the disability advisor at the jobcentre...mine was great and offered to come to work meetings with me....
    Google DDA and this will give you strenth to prove to yourself that your workplace is wrong...
    If needs be print it out and tell your line manager that your workplace has a legal requirment to make reasonable adjustments in the workplace for say its a massive company..??..shame on them...Ask to see their disability policy...that will **** them up...
    When the crying stops( it will)...can get bloody angry!!!!!.......
    Keep in touch...I won my case with a massive company too who , once i put in an offical grievence couldnt do enough, heads rolled and i got a chair in 2

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