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Boss employing disabled person.

(64 Posts)
Flowersonethewall Tue 21-Jan-14 12:55:45

I can't even believe i am writing this but her goes.

It has come to my bosses attention that he may get grants for employing a disabled worker. Fair enough.
The person she has picked though is completely wrong for the job.
We do a lot of heavy lifting and manual work. We also cut glass, wood etc..
The gentleman she has employed cannot do this jobs due to his disability. Their is literally nothing the poor man can do.
He can't be left alone either because its a dangerous place and he likes to touch things!
How the hell do i approach my boss without sounding like i'm discriminating which i'm not. I'm just concerned for his safety and my own.

DollyHouse Tue 21-Jan-14 12:57:53

I like to touch things.

Welcome to mumsnet.

Flowersonethewall Tue 21-Jan-14 13:00:30

I name changed. I'm on here all the time.

I need advice on how the proceed before one of us ends up injured.

coppertop Tue 21-Jan-14 13:01:13

Shouldn't the boss have carried out a risk assessment?

DollyHouse Tue 21-Jan-14 13:01:56

I don't doubt you are wink

JenBehavingBadly Tue 21-Jan-14 13:03:22

Why are you so sure he can't lift things?

Also, it's the employers responsibility to make the reasonable adjustments for someone with a disability to work, so there's a cost associated, not just grants.

Oh and as someone with a disability who is employed with reasonable adjustments in a job that some people would think I couldn't do, YABU and woefully misinformed.

motherinferior Tue 21-Jan-14 13:03:38

I think perhaps you, and/or your boss, should investigate these mythical 'grants'. They won't be cash. They will be to make reasonable adjustments and/or support for the disabled employee.

manicinsomniac Brazil Tue 21-Jan-14 13:03:38

I'm sure appropriate measures and a job description have been put in place. The gentleman wouldn't have been employed otherwise. They just won't have explained it to you.

Flowersonethewall Tue 21-Jan-14 13:04:49

Risk assessment was done. She thought he would be able to use the till. He can't.

His support worker will be popping in on friday so i will peak to her then. He's only been here a couple of weeks so i suppose i should give it time.

DontmindifIdo Tue 21-Jan-14 13:05:03

At the risk of sounding harsh, why is it your concern? If he's unable to do the job safely, isn't that his and her concern? If he's unable to do the work he's been given to do, are you expected to do it?

Or is it your boss has hired someone and you are now supposed to manage them and don't know how to?

If they are unable to do the job, even with allowances made for their disability, then I guess you will have to report that back to your boss. If you don't manage them and it's not your job to look out for their safety or make sure they are able to do their work, then just do nothing and see what happens.

DipDabDabDip Tue 21-Jan-14 13:05:23

Are you responsible for him or just a co worker?

Flowersonethewall Tue 21-Jan-14 13:07:00

I'm responsible for him DIP. I don't know how or what to do.
I've just been thrown in at the deep end.

Flowersonethewall Tue 21-Jan-14 13:08:09

He struggles to lift things so he can't do that.

5Foot5 Tue 21-Jan-14 13:09:05

At the risk of sounding harsh, why is it your concern?

Well it might be the OP's concern if this makes her own job more difficult. If, for example, she is having to cover large parts of this other person's job as well as her own. Or maybe she is being made to feel responsible for this other person's safety without appropriate training.

5Foot5 Tue 21-Jan-14 13:09:39


what do you mean he "touches things" is there mental as well as physical disability?

Why wouldn't his support worker realised there would be a problem?

Flowersonethewall Tue 21-Jan-14 13:11:01

He's a great bloke.I feel like a right bitch even writing this but we're surrounded by machinery and the slightest mistake causes injury.

My boss assigned me to be his supervisor as well as doing my job. He's here 4 hours a day while i do 8 hours. So for 4 hours i have to keep my eye on him which is setting me back doing my own jobs. Then the boss has a go.

Flowersonethewall Tue 21-Jan-14 13:13:35

Yesplease. I don't know his ins and out of his disability but he picks things up when i tell him to be careful and he doesn't quite grasp that a chisel or a hacksaw could hurt hurt him.
I suppose i'm just treating him with kid gloves as i have had no training or experience with disabled people.

DelightedIAm Tue 21-Jan-14 13:13:44

I don't understand these "grants" your boss thinks he can get. I suspect when he doesn't get them this guy will be out on his ear. Do you think your boss employed him as a scapegoat to bully?

Flowersonethewall Tue 21-Jan-14 13:14:19

His support worker meets him in the office and not on the work floor.

DelightedIAm Tue 21-Jan-14 13:15:31

Who is the support worker? Which organisation do they work for?

badtime Tue 21-Jan-14 13:15:41

Have you been a supervisor before? Have you had any training (in respect of supervising or disability)? Does this come with any more money for you?

If no, your problem is with your boss. You need support in this situation too, and it sounds like you are just being left to get on with things without any guidance on how.

Flowersonethewall Tue 21-Jan-14 13:15:59

Delighted the boss wouldn't bully him. She assumes she would get some sort of grant? or thats what i was told by other workers.

He's doing an nvq in retail at our place too.

motherinferior Tue 21-Jan-14 13:16:15

Right. This isn't fair on him, or on you if he can't do the job. I think you have to talk to the support worker, explaining the job and demonstrating what it involves.

motherinferior Tue 21-Jan-14 13:16:59

Employers do get grants but that is to support the disabled person.

Flowersonethewall Tue 21-Jan-14 13:18:57

No Badtime. I haven't done any of those.
I don't know delighted, i haven't even met her! The boss deals with everything. I have met his dad though because i walk him to his dads car after his shift.

I just want him to be safe, that's it. I would be gutted if he hurt himself on my watch.

Flowersonethewall Tue 21-Jan-14 13:20:44

I'm on my break at the moment, so i'll probably go off line soon so don't thinking i'm ignoring any replies smile

Pigsmummy Tue 21-Jan-14 13:22:18

I would have a word with your boss, ask him what role he has employed the man to do, how he is expecting him to do the work and voice your concerns, follow up in writing. From a health and safety point of view this job doesn't sound like a good fit and as his supervisor it does sit with you to raise the concern.

Offer to show the support worker the working environment and duties expected to be carried out?

Flowersonethewall Tue 21-Jan-14 13:22:20

He's doing a retail NVQ, English and Maths.

I don't even know how much he gets paid or anything. He just appeared one day and my boss told me i was his supervisor. That was it.
No training nothing.

poopooheadwillyfatface Tue 21-Jan-14 13:22:27

are you actually in a supervisory role in your job, or just a worker who has been picked to supervise him?
The reason I ask is, if you are a supervisor then arrange a meeting with his support worker and him to discuss his role and what tasks are suitable.
And as everyone who has done as many health and safety courses as me knows, it is everyone's responsibility and if the op gas identified a hazard she is duty bound to flag it up.

ouryve Tue 21-Jan-14 13:22:33

You need to request a meeting between you, your boss, the new worker and their support person that addresses the training that the worker needs and the help that you need to support them with this training. It's no more fair on the worker than it is on you for them to be thrown in at the deep end and left to get on with it, here. It may simply be that you need some straightforward adjustments to the shop floor, such as simple visual safety reminders regarding health and safety, who operates certain equipment and when. Or it may be that your boss is taking the piss and the support person thinks the new worker is mostly office based. You need to thrash this out and make sure that no one is left unsupported, though.

Flowersonethewall Tue 21-Jan-14 13:24:16

Thanks Pigsmummy.
He's basically supposed to lump big lots of wood about etc.. onto the shop floor. He can't as he really struggles.
He can't work the till either which won't help his NVQ.

badtime Tue 21-Jan-14 13:24:40

So basically, your boss has just given you supervisory responsibility, and moreover this responsibility is for a person who has physical and other disabilities which make it difficult and unsafe for him to do his job, has given you no support or training AND expects you to still do your job as if nothing had changed?

I don't know what you need to do here, but your boss is being very unreasonable.

Flowersonethewall Tue 21-Jan-14 13:25:33

Poopoo i only supervise his, nobody else. I have no clue what i'm doing.

bellasuewow Tue 21-Jan-14 13:25:39

Make sure you report it as a health and safety concern op, your boss may not be being vigilant, how would you feel if you had not reported it and he hurt himself or came to some serious harm you Ross may say she was unaware and blame it on you health and safety is everyone's concern and responsibility and you all have a duty of care to each other forget about disability or office politics if health and safety is concerned and preferably put your concerns in a email so you are covered if anything happens. She should carry out a full risk assessment and have an oh assessment as well before his start date so that the necessary adjustments if reasonable can be made.

ouryve Tue 21-Jan-14 13:26:13

You need to find out if physical adjustments could be made, as well, then. Is he able to put a lump of wood onto a trolley, then move it on the trolley, for example?

Flowersonethewall Tue 21-Jan-14 13:26:20

Our we do have an office so that has made me think!

Flowersonethewall Tue 21-Jan-14 13:27:44

I'm going to speak to my boss when i get back. I'm not happy at all but i don't want the bloke to think the complaint is about him.

Lilicat1013 Tue 21-Jan-14 13:28:30

Could you ask your boss if you could have a meeting with the new employee and the new employee's support person to help you make the appropriate adjustments?

You could then outline what your day to day work is like and ask if there is any adjustments they think would be helpful. Then you could politely mention things you have noticed and ask what you think would be help in those situations in the future.

At this point the new employee's support person might realise their current placement is inappropriate and take action. If they don't hopefully they should help you with a plan to ensure safety in the workplace.

PeterParkerSays Tue 21-Jan-14 13:30:11

I've only recruited disabled people who have applied for a post as part of an open recruitment field, been interviewed as they met the essential criteria and interviewed better than anyone else. I get the impression that this wasn't the case for your new staff member. What job has he been appointed to do? Do he have a job description? If he doesn't, ask your boss for one. You can't supervise anyone's work or assess anyone's performance, disabled or otherwise, unless you have a job description to compare their work to.

Your boss does know that Access to Work grants are to pay for assistive equipment for the person, doesn't she? Large monitor screen, wheelchair ramps etc to help make the workplace or job more accessible.

I'm not aware of any grants that an employer gets just for being nice and employing a disabled person.

ParsingFancy Tue 21-Jan-14 13:31:29

Ohhh, is this the Work Programme? Mandatory Work Activity for disabled people who've already been found not fit to work?

I think the boss might indeed get paid just for taking part, not for making adaptations.

Things might have changed, but certainly when first planned these had huge grey areas round Health & Safety. The person assigning them to the firm has no medical knowledge or ability to properly assess risk; the worker isn't an employee so no one knows what legislation covers them or who is actually responsible for them.

ouryve Tue 21-Jan-14 13:34:58

That's really is rather frightening, isn't it, Parsing? Let's take a bunch of the most vulnerable people in society and put them in a position where they will be even more vulnerable. Grand sad

motherinferior Tue 21-Jan-14 13:36:24

Ah, that makes sense, PF. But stresses, again, the need for the poor bloke to get support and for the poor OP not to be plunged into something like this!

motherinferior Tue 21-Jan-14 13:36:52

Also suggests his support worker may not be all that hot too.


ParsingFancy Tue 21-Jan-14 13:43:28

I don't know current details, so might be wrong.

But this is absolutely the scenario that's been on the cards for disabled people under the Work Programme (or whatever it's called this week) since the start.

Dromedary Tue 21-Jan-14 13:49:48

If you're in charge of supervising him and there is a genuine health and safety risk because of his disability, then I would report it to your boss in writing. Worst case scenario someone could get seriously injured (and you would probably then be blamed). You should just make a brief factual report. It is then up to your boss to see whether adjustments can be made to enable your colleague to work safely.

DelightedIAm Tue 21-Jan-14 13:56:10

OP, can you talk to his Father and explain what is going on?

UriGeller Tue 21-Jan-14 13:56:13

If he needs help then I'd have assumed his support staff would accompany him to work to assist and keep him safe.

(although this isn't likely to actually happen given that the care company would have to fund the extra hours of course)

Inertia Tue 21-Jan-14 14:29:04

I think you absolutely need to report (to your boss, in writing) your concerns about the health and safety of this gentleman , and any possible health and safety concerns for co-workers or customers. I would emphasise that he has not had adequate training to guarantee that he can do XYZ parts of the job safely, and that you have not had the training to supervise him- and as he requires constant supervision for his safety, for half your working day you are not able to complete your own work.

I would ask that if you are expected to supervise him then you would like to see the details of the risk assessment that your boss has had carried out , and any details of adaptations made or Occupational Health advice which you need to know about to do your job. You also need to be trained to act as a supervisor.

Are you in a union? If so I would contact them for advice.

I'd also consider making an enquiry with the HSE or whichever body is relevant to your workplace- they have this list on their website.

You seem to have acquired a responsibility to keep this man safe in a dangerous workplace- getting that right needs to be the first priority, and you need to have that in writing. I'd also have a quiet word with his dad. It would concern me that someone whose additional needs are so great that he needs to be escorted to his dad's car is working in a dangerous environment .

DelightedIAm Tue 21-Jan-14 14:43:49

OP I also learned from anther thread there is a safeguarding adults team, you could contact them with your concerns about this Man, to make sure he is safeguarded.

sashh Tue 21-Jan-14 18:12:45

Poopoo i only supervise his, nobody else. I have no clue what i'm doing.

Would have been a much better title.

This gentleman needs to have an access to work carried out by the jobcentre who will then say what needs to be in place for him to do his job.

Go to your boss, say you have not seen this so you are going to arrange it, then phone the job centre and ask for their disability officer.

ParsingFancy Tue 21-Jan-14 18:20:46

Does this bloke even have a job?

Did the business have a vacancy, with specific duties, which he has filled?

Or is he just supernumerary and wandering around occasionally being told to do things - that he can't really do?

If it is a Work Programme type thing, he will actually be on benefits not a wage from OP's boss. It's very murky.

KingRollo Tue 21-Jan-14 18:27:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

missymayhemsmum Tue 21-Jan-14 21:59:01

Yanbu, you're being safety conscious and trying to get the work done. You've been put in a rubbish situation. If you're being asked to supervise this new chap then it would be responsible of you to meet his support worker and understand on what basis he is employed/ what has been promised/ what his limitations are. Have you had a talk with your new colleague about his abilities as well as his disabilities? I work in an organisation where quite a few colleagues come in to do volunteering/ work experience, and it's a matter of finding the niche that suits what they can do which needs doing and doesn't stop anyone else getting on with their job. Then, once you've found one task they can do and feel confident on you can train them on the next. So maybe this chap starts with sweeping the floor, while keeping out of the way of anything dangerous, then perhaps learns to stack wood, work the photocopier in the office, stuff envelopes or whatever, make tea and progresses to learning the till in a few weeks?
Could you ask for your boss's support as you are worried about health and safety and want to be a good supervisor, and as you're new to a supervisory role?

Thatisall Tue 21-Jan-14 22:14:16

This isn't fair on the new employee or you. I'm all for inclusion but it sounds as though this mans challenges are being used by your employer and his needs and general abilities dismissed. That isn't inclusion, it's negligence. Have a word with his support. Hopefully they will be level headed enough to realise that you can question this decision without being discriminatory. As his supervisor you should have training on how to supervise this man ie. what his additional needs/abilities are, you know in order to do your job probably. This his a tricky situation OP

Darkesteyes Tue 21-Jan-14 22:17:10

Seems that Parsing has come up with the most likely scenario. Sounds like workfare to me too.

Darkesteyes Tue 21-Jan-14 22:21:10

And what of Employers Liability Insurance if this is workfare.

Thatisall Tue 21-Jan-14 22:27:25

This isn't fair on the new employee or you. I'm all for inclusion but it sounds as though this mans challenges are being used by your employer and his needs and general abilities dismissed. That isn't inclusion, it's negligence. Have a word with his support. Hopefully they will be level headed enough to realise that you can question this decision without being discriminatory. As his supervisor you should have training on how to supervise this man ie. what his additional needs/abilities are, you know in order to do your job probably. This his a tricky situation OP

Thatisall Tue 21-Jan-14 22:27:53

So good I posted twice eh? Sorry

pobblebop Tue 21-Jan-14 22:46:03

Report your boss to the HSE . It sounds like their actions have put you and your colleagues at risk.

safeguarding adults would only investigate if there was abuse or neglect of a vulnerable person DelightedIAm I think this would just be considered poor employment/ health and safety practice and not deliberate abuse of a disabled person.

JustGettingOnWithIt Wed 22-Jan-14 11:30:58

If this is the Mandatory Work Activity programme for disabled people, and he gets kicked out for inappropriately touching things, rather than they’ve messed up in taking him on without sorting proper supervision, then he’s on JSA, or ESA, not paid by your work.
According to the workshop I'm currently doing, he will at risk of being deemed to have lost his place through ‘misconduct’, in which case he will be sanctioned for 13 weeks loss of benefits, while having to continue to sign on and look for work. (If the same thing happens elsewhere within the next 12 months it's 26 weeks sanction)

So it would be a kindness to focus on his inability to follow instruction, rather than he doesn’t do as told, iyswim.

Nataleejah Wed 22-Jan-14 11:41:07

I think in this case an employer knows better.
In my workplace there is a guy with learning difficulties. He can do the job well enough, but as a part of a team he's quite a nuisance -- rude, agressive and really sick sense of humour. He has had several warning already, so only time will show...

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