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Moving offices, limited parking

(9 Posts)
RedFraggle Wed 13-Aug-08 14:18:01

I posted this in Legal matters and was advised to post it here too. Any advice welcomed!

Our company is moving to new offices in a few months time. We currently have plenty of parking and have had for all the time we have been at this site. When we move buildings there will be only 45 spaces between 109 people shock Management are trying to persuade everyone that it will be fine if we all car share but it is not possible for many people (myself included) as we work different hours, have child drop-off / pick-up commitments etc.
Someone told me that if you have worked somewhere with unlimited parking then you are entitled to the same conditions when you move. Is this true? If so where is this written?! Would they have to buy additional land for parking?

Any help appreciated - I am getting very concerned about the fact that I am not going to be able to park and may have to give up my job.
Parking on the road is not viable and there is nowhere else close by either - closest place is a fifteen minute walk away (along unlit roads) so not practical.

catweazle Wed 13-Aug-08 18:22:17

I don't think you are ever "entitled" to parking. I am in a similar position in that our office (with parking) is closing and the possible alternatives don't have. You either have to have a rota, or decide who has the most entitlement (usually DDA first, then anyone who needs to travel on business during the day)

flowerybeanbag Wed 13-Aug-08 19:53:26

Redfraggle you would not automatically be entitled to a perk which happened to come with one office if you relocate to another office, no.

Office space with unlimited parking is a luxury indeed for an employer, so as catweazle illustrates, office moves that involve giving up this perk are commonplace.

How are employees and managers communicating about the move? Are there discussions in progress? If you have a union I am sure they are involved, if not is there some kind of staff association or other mechanism to represent concerns of the staff?

Obviously travel arrangments to a new office are always of prime concern to employees when relocating, so ideally as part of the move, your employer should be considering various options to make this easier, and employees/employee representatives should be helping propose and discuss those options.

Is any of that happening? Options often include car sharing, this can be very organised if done properly and can take into account people's different circumstances. Other options off the top of my head might be a shuttle bus from the nearest suitable car park or train station if buses are not good, more working from home on a rota basis, priority given to some groups of staff, or everyone being able to park some days each week.

Your best bet is to make sure that employees' concerns about the parking situation, and any other concerns about the move, are being heard and addressed properly, and all alternatives being explored.

RedFraggle Wed 13-Aug-08 20:17:14

No there is no real organisation to help which is why I am so concerned. They are organising a car share plan and allocating spaces for people who do this. This will leave about 20 places which will be on a first come basis. Unsurprisingly the managers will have allocated spaces hmm
I suggested a shuttle bus to and from the nearest car park (15 minutes walk away) but this was rejected. There is no public transport to the area, no on the road parking and not even any local paid parking. We don't have a union but there is employee elected consultation. But my rep said it was useless as at the first meeting they basically said no to all suggestions and said it will be all be fine if we all car share. But I work different hours (as do many others) and couldn't realistically car share due to childcare commitments even if I wasn't working funny hours.

Thanks for the replies but it does look as though I'm shafted really. sad

branflake81 Thu 14-Aug-08 11:20:30

well there is no parking at all where I work. You either have to get public transport, walk or pay ten pounds a day for pay and display in the multi storey. I don't think parking is a "right" per se.

drspouse Thu 14-Aug-08 15:36:25

We have big issues with parking where I work though not as bad as yours. There are actually buses to work, but people are reluctant to get them, or live in small villages not served by the buses, and don't want to move somewhere on a bus route. So there have been many grumblings at my work about this, though the unions have not got involved.

We have had an internet car share scheme set up between several local employers, so you can search for someone who does come from your area and does work the same hours as you - sometimes on a day-to-day basis, changing if your hours are different each day. There's a web page which seems to have all the local schemes on it here

Among 109 people, is there no-one who starts the same time as you, and no 2nd person who finishes the same time as you? You wouldn't have to get a lift with the same person both ends of the day or the same person each day.

Alternatively, are there no other firms nearby (it sounds like you are working in a business park or similar)?

RedFraggle Thu 14-Aug-08 17:43:18

I asked about the right to park as we have worked in a location where we have parking and I had been told by a friend that when they moved they were entitled to parking as they had had it at their previous location.

I work weird hours as they shuffled my hours when I went part time. No one else works the exact hours I do. There are other people in the same boat who work 9.30- 2, 10-3, etc.

It is a business park but most of the other offices are vacant or being constructed still.

Thanks for suggestions but I am job hunting, it is a farce and I can't believe I am going to have to leave my job over parking but I can't see any other way.

flowerybeanbag Thu 14-Aug-08 19:17:35

Lots of people might read this and be a bit hmm. Free parking at work for all is a luxury lots of people only dream of.

But it's a very valid question by the OP - effectively her terms and conditions are being changed. It's not true but it's not that outrageous for RedFraggle's friend to believe that an entitlement to parking (or presumably any perk) must be retained when moving location.

In practice obviously this can't be the case - there could not possibly be a restriction on any employer moving stating that they have to replicate exactly the circumstances of a previous location, that would be impossible.

In terms of best practice the company certainly ought to be doing everything it possibly can to help employees sort out reasonable travel arrangements, including considering the options mentioned above and probably others as well. Employee representatives should be involved in the discussions and can certainly kick up tremendous fuss if they want to. Perhaps those representing RedFraggle and her colleagues aren't actually protesting as strongly as they could, I don't know.

But ultimately, you can't force an employer to provide free parking for everyone where it doesn't exist. Red I hope you can either sort something out so you can carry on working or can find something else to suit you if you feel that's what you must do.

RedFraggle Thu 14-Aug-08 20:11:25

Thanks Flowerybeanbag - I do realise how lucky we have been to have parking all this time. Our company have picked an office location doubling most peoples journey time with very limited parking at the other end. I know I am not the only person worried about this. Everyone I speak to at work is in a panic about it!

Our consultation reps are being met with no help from the company. When I chatted to my rep she said that the company stock answer to every query and worry brought up in the meetings was "car share". I have worked for this company for many years and can't believe they have been so thoughtless as to pick a site without either adequate parking or strong transport links. It is literally in the middle of nowhere transport-wise!

I have just applied for an evening job elsewhere as this seems the best way to juggle my childcare and still keep some money coming in.
Thanks for all replies.

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