Hybrid working & Equipment

(29 Posts)
6789Advice Thu 14-Oct-21 10:00:13

I work for a very large company.

The current company policy is that we need be on the premises a few days a week and can be called to come in for business reasons including at short notice Etc.

My divisional policy is that we must work a minimum of 20% of contract in the office, additional time is voluntary and we are formally trialing hybrid working and it means the office is hotdesking.

I need specialist equipment on health grounds including a chair because their standard office chairs do not fit me as per DSE requirements. So obviously I have my chair at home.

As we are formally trialing hybrid working and that working more than 20% in the office is voluntary (and their isn't a business case for me to go in such as meetings etc I'm just back office staff) would it be discriminatory for them to refuse to provide a 2nd chair?

As an aside I am registered disabled and I cannot genuinely use the standard chairs as they cause me pain but that isn't related to my disability more to the fact they don't fit me at all.

OP’s posts: |
redpandaalert Thu 14-Oct-21 10:08:24

I have a similar issue but I think work are going to try and use it to justify me being full time in the office when actually I would physically be much better working mainly at home. Do you have Occupational Health, can you ask for an assessment. WFH trend really helps of us who are disabled.

EBearhug Thu 14-Oct-21 10:09:17

I don't know the answer, but we have had a similar question. They have to provide seating to accommodate people with particular conditions - how will that work, now we're all meant to be hybrid workers and every desk is now a hot desk? Haven't heard the answer yet.

6789Advice Thu 14-Oct-21 10:10:58

Is it not discrimination for disabled people to HAVE to work from the office when no one else does?

For disability reasons it's better for me to WFH.

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Thu 14-Oct-21 10:16:23

Who provided the home chair? If the chair is unrelated to disability then they would not need to provide one as an adjustment. You could be allocated a work station rather than hot desk. Did you work in the office and attend meetings previously?

6789Advice Thu 14-Oct-21 10:23:15

They provided the chair I have at home, it was my office chair especially provided due to DSE assessment. We took all our equipment home. As have been 100% WFH.

I have occasional meetings, the same amount as pre Covid. Don't have an issue traveling in to attend them in person as and when required.

They want us to do hybrid working to free up the space. They have provided laptops instead of desktops for everyone to enable this.

Is not being adult height a disability??

From a disability point of view I am completely more suited to WFH. Standard office chairs aggravate a long standing back and neck problem. I am in agony for several days after being in the office.

OP’s posts: |
thereinmadnesslies Thu 14-Oct-21 10:40:58

Where I work they are taking the view that staff who require special equipment will have to work in the office full time, because the employer has fulfilled their responsibility by providing one set of kit. We are all supposed to be individually evaluating what combination of remote and on site working is best; kit is one of the factors to be included in the evaluation.
I have no idea if that approach will stand up to legal scrutiny though.

Advertisement

6789Advice Thu 14-Oct-21 10:49:41

That sounds like a recipe for discrimination if specialist equipment is for disability reasons.

Disabled people not permitted to WFH whereas others are?

OP’s posts: |
thereinmadnesslies Thu 14-Oct-21 10:52:13

They are taking the view that they can control the environment in the workplace but they cannot at someone home basically.

EBearhug Thu 14-Oct-21 13:34:38

They are taking the view that they can control the environment in the workplace but they cannot at someone home basically.

Hmm. We are meant to have workstation assessments at home (over video) though I'm not aware of it actually having happened with anyone yet. We can claim up to $1000 (in local equivalent) on expenses for any equipment at home - some people have ordered a new chair and/or new desk for home because of this.

6789Advice Thu 14-Oct-21 13:47:23

No expenses allowed here unfortunately!

There isn't actually enough room everyone goes in the got rid of so much space.

OP’s posts: |
redpandaalert Thu 14-Oct-21 13:57:30

Nearly everybody back to the office full time only three people hybrid working. So I’m going to struggle to make WFH case, they will get far fewer sick days from me if I do. I need to find a WFH job but of course it’s much harder once you are disabled to find a new role.

flowery Thu 14-Oct-21 15:06:30

It doesn’t sound like they are forcing you to work from the office when no one else does? It sounds like you are allowed to work at home same as anyone else? It sounds like the only issue is how you manage on the days you do work in the office regarding your chair?

6789Advice Thu 14-Oct-21 15:27:04

Well if they won't provide another chair my only option would be to stand all day on office days 🤷🏽‍♀️

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Thu 14-Oct-21 16:03:30

Have they actually said they won't accommodate your needs with seat, desk etc?

6789Advice Thu 14-Oct-21 16:08:58

Health and safety are doing the "she already has a chair" but I wonder if they don't know/believe we have been moved to a trial of official hybrid model. I want to be prepared!

Have provided my own desk at home.

OP’s posts: |
flowery Thu 14-Oct-21 16:58:16

6789Advice

Well if they won't provide another chair my only option would be to stand all day on office days 🤷🏽‍♀️

But you’re talking about not being allowed to WFH which doesn’t seem to be the case at all?

Have you actually talked to your manager about the logistics of ensuring you have access to an appropriate chair when you’re in the office?

6789Advice Thu 14-Oct-21 17:04:38

If they won't buy a 2nd chair and I have to work in the office one day per week then the chair will have to go to the office and I will have to work full time from the office. Personally I can't stand for 7.5 hours per day neither my knees or lower back would take it.

I am trying to find out the legal position as to whether they have to buy a 2nd chair seeing as though they are the ones that have introduced hybrid working and hot desking. If I have to work in the office to use the one chair then I can no longer WFH like everyone else can unless I go out and buy myself an expensive chair.

OP’s posts: |
AlexaShutUp Thu 14-Oct-21 17:06:26

I'm confused as to why you're talking about disability discrimination. I understand that you're disabled but is the chair issue linked to your disability or not?

6789Advice Thu 14-Oct-21 17:08:57

No but for disability reasons it's better for me to WFH and just do 1 day in office.

DSE requirements alone say I should be provided (or is it just use) a suitable chair.

Honestly using an unsuitable chair for one day has left me in agony. I've never got to the bottom of what is wrong with my back but I do suffer a lot of back pain.

OP’s posts: |
CorrBlimeyGG Thu 14-Oct-21 17:13:29

You say it's not related to your disability, can I ask what the problem is with the office chairs? Could you/ they make any adaptations to the existing chairs, for instance a back support or foot rest?

6789Advice Thu 14-Oct-21 17:15:50

Chairs are too deep and arms aren't removable so I can't have them high enough.

I previously asked and yes apparently all chairs everywhere are the same!

OP’s posts: |
flowery Thu 14-Oct-21 17:59:59

”If they won't buy a 2nd chair and I have to work in the office one day per week then the chair will have to go to the office and I will have to work full time from the office.”

That’s an awful lot of assumptions! You’re assuming they won’t get another chair, and you’re then assuming that if they won’t, they’ll take your home chair away and make you come into the office full time rather than saying you may as well stay at home.

Don’t make negative assumptions, talk to your manager about it.

Itsanewdah Thu 14-Oct-21 18:23:49

I’m buying all my specialists equipment for hime myself. In the office, it gets provided by my employer. Working from home is not a right, and they onl6 have to provide you with one set of specialist equipment except if they expect you to work at different places (i worked in 2 different offices at one time, so had 2 chairs, mice etc). But wfh is my choice, not required, so my responsibility.

6789Advice Thu 14-Oct-21 18:45:13

There is resistance and what my manager supports isn't necessarily going to be supported by HR etc. Hence wanting to know the legal position when they change things from being working from one location to it being working in 2 locations.

Cab they say everyone else has the choice but I don't.

I haven't requested hybrid working that is the policy with everyone else getting to choose the split.

It has been rushed through and ill thought out and the chair debacle going on for months. Sure if I had £600 plus vat hanging around perhaps I would just buy my own.

OP’s posts: |

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in