Help needed re Blue Badge - sorry....a bit long-winded

Mohawk
Mohawk Member Posts: 3
:oops: I'm so sorry my first post on the forum is an ask for help, but I really don't know where else to turn for help. I have had a Sero-Negative Arthropathy for a number of years and have had a recent bad flare. I'm having low back pain/stiffness and pain/stiffness in small joints of hands feet and elbows. My bloods have all been high and am on Plaquenil for disease modification as well as 90g of Arcoxia per day to help ease inflammation. I'm not a "sit down to it" type of person, and although I've been off work for a few months due to the flare, am desperate to get back to work. I work in a call centre - sitting at a computer and on the telephone, so this is why I've had to be off work. Anyhow....my issue is this:
Until now, I've had an informal arrangement with the building manager to park in a disabled parking space as I need the extra room to open up the car door fully to help me (struggle) to get out due to pain and stiffness in lower back. However, due to some of the other companies in the same building not respecting each others' allocated parking spaces, the Building owners have employed a Parking management company to oversee the parking and we now all have to have permits. My company has been given 95 permits to allocate to it's staff. the spaces will be "hot-desked" if you know what I mean as we are active 24/7. The building manager has advised that only people who have a Blue Badge can park in the Disabled spaces (bear in mind that this is a private car park owned by the building lease company), but that my company could allocate their end parking space for me as it has wide access on the driver's side door. My company are being very awkward about it, denying that there is anything they can do about it if I don't have a Blue badge.
So my questions are:
a) Do you think my company are being unreasonable or am I in the wrong in thinking that something like this would come under the term "reasonable adjustment" referred to in the DDA ?
b) Looking at the guidelines for Blue Badge application, I don't qualify, as I can walk and have not claimed DLA.....so is there anything else I can do?
Surely I cannot be unique in my difficulties.....i.e. getting in and out of my car, rather than walking? As it stands at the moment, I can foresee occasions when I arrive at work and can park, but not get out of my car and then would have no choice but to leave and go back home again.
Someone suggested asking a member of staff to park/unpark for me....but not sure if the Insurance implications would make this a viable option.
Sorry this is so long winded, but thank you for taking the time to read and for any help/support you can offer
Mxx

Comments

  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    I have Osteo arthritis so cant relate to yours sorry.
    Generally......apply for a blue badge...they can only say no but I know they make it sound that if you can walk at all you cant have it which isnt true.
    I cant claim DLA but I do have a blue badge so thats one of your questions answered :wink: I need the space {like you} only its to haul my walker out of the back
    I just applied to the local council {actually didnt have a walker then but still needed the space} and got it....its due for renewal towards the end of the year and I'm hoping its renewed OK.
    Councils are different.....can you get a letter from your doctor or your consultant to say that you would benefit from a blue badge?
    I know what hot desking is :wink: I used to do it but at the end of my shift always swiped the foam things from my headset and took them home and thought they can find their own :lol:
    Not sure about whether your company is being unreasonable or not.????
    In the legal sense I mean......sorry I've rambled ...its early but those are my thoughts if you can follow them
    Love
    Hileena
  • frogmella
    frogmella Member Posts: 1,115
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi,

    I have spinal problems and have to open my car door very wide to swing my legs around to be able to get out too. Also I need it wide to get back into the car. I often park in our disabled place at work, although it is not a wider space. I get really p'ed off when my ever understanding (not) head of dept nicks it! I also spend ages choosing my parking space when out and about so that I can leave enough room to open my door when I get back.

    What would happen if you took up two "normal" spaces instead of parking in the disabled space. Might be a good "protest" move. You could also try phoning work from the car park if there is no where suitable for you to park and explain the problems to whoever appears. I am sure that they will get fed up after a bit and sort things out for you.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Mohawk. Welcome to the forum from me too and don’t worry – most people’s first post is asking for help.

    This is a bit unusual but I do empathise. As cars get bigger parking spaces get smaller. I do have a BB but I need it for the extra space every bit as much as the walking thing so I can see where you’re coming from.

    I know that BBs are issued for use on roads and municipal parking areas and, although supermarkets (eg) routinely have Disabled Parking, as they are privately owned, it’s purely discretionary. So I’d guess it’s perfectly in order for the building’s owners, and your own company, to make up their own rules.

    However, I’m also fairly sure that they have to make reasonable provisions for any employee’s disabilities and this would seem to be a perfectly reasonable provision. They could issue you with a permit for that slot.

    Do you have someone you could ask at work? (Occupational Health? Personnel Manager?) If not try Citizens Advice. They’re usually pretty good.

    As for ‘valet parking’ – I believe you’d need to examine carefully the terms of your car insurance before asking anyone else to park it for you. I rather like frogmella’s ‘subversive’ idea :lol: Unfortunately, it would penalize the innocent workers rather than the intransigent management.

    You can always try for a BB. In the current climate you might struggle though.

    Good luck with whatever course you take and please let us know the outcome.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Afterthought :oops: Our own Helplines might be able to help. Why not ring them?
  • Mohawk
    Mohawk Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks peeps....I really appreciate your advice. On your advice,Hileena, this morning I've filled in an online application for the Blue Badge scheme in our area, so we'll see how that goes....I've been as honest as I can in my needs, the variability of my sym ptoms from day to day and given examples of what I'm like on good and bad days....so can only hope and wait.
    The car parking on street/supermarkets etc isn't really a problem as mostly hubby goes....but when I have a good day and I go along too, he drops me at the door and then goes and parks in an ordinary bay....then I stay at door and wait for him to come and pick me up....so in that respect we cope.
    It's really the private car park at work that I'm having difficulty with...and yes, as you say Stickywicket....I too feel they could make up a permit for me....but as an organisation (healthcare would you believe), they have a poor track record for being "amenable" to helping employees !! Everything seems such a struggle with them.
    I have also asked the union for help....and will definitely try the telephoning from the car park thing....pester power may just help.
    The wicked side in me loves your 2 spaces suggestion Frogmella, but I fear I would just be ticketed and fined by the new parking management company :(
    Thank you all for your advice....I really appreciate it...and will difinitely let you know how I get on
    Mxx
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Mohawk
    Good for you trying for your BB....they can only say no and they might not so good luck with your application

    Love
    Hileena
  • creakyowl
    creakyowl Member Posts: 63
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I sympathise too with your plight. I had years of struggling with my NHS Trust about this issue. The head of parking actually used a BB space for his own convenience everyday!

    I too have seroneg RA, lupus, currently a heart arrhythmia but I got my badge despite a great deal of suspicion as to why I didn't claim DLA.

    If you are covered by the Equality Act and your disability is only going to deteriorate, you could mention to them their legal obligations to you. Worked a treat for me. :lol:

    My Union issued Tribunal proceeding papers covering several issues. I've had nothing to complain about since! :wink:

    Good luck with it anyway and let us know how you get on.

    Creaky
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Designated parking is there for a reason. Speaking as a BB holder it irks me greatly to see non-holders parked in spaces set aside for those who do need that extra room (in my case I have to lug a rollator in and out of the car) so I think it's entirely reasonable for this to be enforced. I now walk to my bank (even though it takes me an age) as I can guarantee the one disabled space that was recently created will be occupied by someone who's too lazy to take a few extra strides even though they can do so with ease.

    BBs are not only issued for those with mobility problems (as people who gaily trot into supermarkets prove) they are given for a range of conditions and are not related to DLA. Apply, base your ansers on a bad day and if you are granted one be prepared for BB rage as you find people who shouldn't be parked in your designated taking up a valuable space. DD
  • Btoony
    Btoony Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, sorry to hear of your problems.

    I had a blue badge until the 27th July 2012 when it expired. I reapplied but the system has changed and now Im waiting for an assessment appointment. I suppose by the letter of the rules I currently dont have a badge.

    I mentioned this situation to my employer and they advised that they would make a "reasonable adjustment" and allow me to continue to use disabled bays until the outcome of my assessment is known (reading the posts re blue badge assessments I'm slightly panicking but hey hoe). So perhaps worth asking.

    Hope you get sorted.
  • Rewter
    Rewter Member Posts: 77
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sorry to hear you are having these problems.

    You have a disability but you have not gone down the BB route. This does not change the fact that you have a disability. I would sit down with a line manager or HR memeber of staff and explain that you are in fact disabled but for reasons that are none of their business, you have not gone down the BB route. If required, advise that they can seek confirmation via your GP if they wish with your full consent. A GP letter might carry some weight as some initial leveridge.

    Ask them in a formal capacity for a reasonable adjustment as you find the parking situation is causing you significant problems with your disability and is resulting in unnecassary stress. Most employers of large companies will pretty worried that they have created a work related stress situation and may act quicker.

    My work place is very similar. You had to have a BB to get a space due to a shortage of places. At the time, I did have a BB but decided I did not wish to keep it due to personel reasons. I did keep my space for a fair few years after but only last year, due to me working at another site 1 or 2 days a week, I did the kind thing of giving up my space to someone who is on site every day. However, my employer now lets me parkwhere I choose which is normally the big wide spaces straight outside the reception, usually reserved for Directors and visitors :D

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