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Shall I tell my colleagues I’m disabled?

(29 Posts)
Kukumbr Mon 07-Oct-19 09:57:30

I’ll apologise in advance for the ramble here as I’m not sure this will be coherent.

Recent development. They know I’ve been unwell as I’ve had multiple instances of sickness this year. It’s now officially a ‘disability’, I have a blue badge, the lot. I’m not ashamed or proud, it just is what it is. A certain colleague often parks in the one disabled bay in the office, using someone else’s blue badge. I shared on fb a post about people who abuse blue badge spaces. Another colleague came to me and spoke about it, jokingly saying ‘I hope you’re not in a disabled space!’ I look able bodied, I’m only young (ish) so people see that I’m absent through sick but don’t know I’m disabled. I don’t know if I should share this info or not. I’m not close with any of my colleagues.

Queenoftheashes Mon 07-Oct-19 10:01:00

Report the colleague and park there yourself. If anyone asks confirm you are using the space correctly.

Kukumbr Mon 07-Oct-19 10:08:00

I should’ve said: my line manager is aware of it

Kukumbr Mon 07-Oct-19 10:08:42

I would love to report the colleague but everyone in my office knows she does it and says nothing.

SunshineAngel Mon 07-Oct-19 10:13:05

You don't need to tell anyone anything, but I would mention it to a manager if somebody is using the space incorrectly, if you need it yourself.

yetanothernane Mon 07-Oct-19 10:24:27

On the basis it's not HER badge you can technically report her to the blue badge people for missuse of a blue badge.

Maybe mention to her you now have a blue badge and you need to use the space legitimately and can refrain from using it going forward.

If you don't want to speak to her directly, you can perhaps speak to HR and ask if they can do something generic about people parking in the correct spaces and include something about invisible illnesses. However, people will notice your using the spot so are likely going to find out you have a disability of some sort.

Coffeeandchocolate9 Mon 07-Oct-19 10:32:43

Do you know for absolute certain that her blue badge isn't hers? (I don't ke if they carry a name or something that is identifiable on them that would prove it?)

Kukumbr Mon 07-Oct-19 10:38:14

We don’t get on, we had a big falling out last year and have barely said 2 words to each other since even though it was ‘resolved’, I don’t want to seem as though I’m being petty by reporting her to whoever, but it is making my life a bit harder. I can’t tell her/trust her with the info. She’d tell the entire office and the depts outside ours and also probably tell everyone I don’t really need it, it’s just her personality

Kukumbr Mon 07-Oct-19 10:39:23

Yes it’s not hers, I haven’t seen it although they do have a name and photo on the back, she told me when I first started she uses her relatives badge to park while he’s at work, so she doesn’t have to park a bit further away and risk someone damaging her car

Kaddm Mon 07-Oct-19 10:49:14

Have your line manager send out an email saying the disabled space is going to be checked daily for blue badge. If she sees you parking in it, you don’t need to explain anything to her, just say it’s appropriate and for her to take it up with your line manager.

Kukumbr Mon 07-Oct-19 10:50:04

In hindsight I should’ve mentioned it to the colleague who I had that small chat with about the fb post, it would’ve filtered down to the person who uses someone else’s badge that way

beingchampion Mon 07-Oct-19 10:57:49

Is getting there a bit earlier and parking before her a possibility?

Kukumbr Mon 07-Oct-19 10:59:33

Unfortunately I can’t. She comes first thing and I have to drop young DC at school before I come up to the office. There is a dedicated parking team in the company I work for, I could always contact them for advice.

CallMeRachel Mon 07-Oct-19 11:06:00

Report the abuse of the blue badge.

This is partly why disabled spaces are abused so much, it's becoming a joke.

Who governs the car park at work?

I wouldn't announce your disability to all and sundry but perhaps have your line manager arrange with receptionist to put out parking instructions to the effect that the space is reserved for a staff member with a disability and legitimate blue badge.

BreastedBoobilyToTheStairs Mon 07-Oct-19 11:14:46

Report her for misuse of a Blue Badge, and while your waiting for them to follow up, raise the issue with your workplace so they can remind people not to park where they shouldn't be.

A colleague was doing this (for free on-street parking) and got hit with a fine. It's unacceptable to misuse a blue badge and take spaces away from those that actually need it.

If she's actually using it legitimately then nothing will come of it so don't feel guilty for reporting it.

Spookydot Mon 07-Oct-19 11:15:22

Recently a colleague told me about her “invisible” disability and I was really glad she’d told me.
I think being open about these things stops the stigma surrounding disability. Also it has made me more excepting of some of the things she was doing. (Longer breaks, sitting down more than other people, frequently absent.)
Now I know more about this colleague, I am in awe of their work ethic, and their resilience to keep coming to work despite their difficulties.
Your workplace might not have the same culture as mine, but just thought I’d share!

Kukumbr Mon 07-Oct-19 12:26:41

The car parks have a car parking team. It’s a massive site with lots of different departments and carparks for staff and visitors, plus there’s a security dept who deal with car parking facilities. The problem for me is that she’s quite pally with them all and I’m not sure anything would come of a report as they’d probably just let her carry on

ajandjjmum Mon 07-Oct-19 12:33:40

If it's a massive site, surely there is more than one disabled space?

Redglitter Mon 07-Oct-19 12:35:58

Absolutely report her. Shes using a badge shes not entitled to and stopping you using yours. The parking people cant afford to turn a blind eye.

I had a similar problem at my work. The car park is restricted during office hours but out with that anyone can use it. People seemed to think that meant disabled bays too. I complained several times when I couldn't get parked and it was addressed. Now not only does noone use them unless they're entitled to but theyve added a few more.

Dont let her away with it. If she doesnt like it tough. You're not the one breaking the rules

INeedNewShoes Mon 07-Oct-19 12:41:27

Could you speak to HR and ask about the possibility of them creating another disabled space?

Aside from the parking issue, when I was unwell (I have ulcerative colitis) I think it made my life easier to tell my immediate team (20 people). It meant that if I needed to nip out of a meeting to the loo or if I was late to work or needed to work at home that day because I was wedded to the bathroom that I knew no one would be raising eyebrows about special treatment.

Mrsjayy Mon 07-Oct-19 12:45:54

You can just say I was recently diagnosed with Xyz if you want to tell them the blue badge misuse would piss me right off and I would say something. They clearly have no shame

AlunWynsKnee Mon 07-Oct-19 12:50:49

I'd go to the Parking Team to request another bay is created. They may investigate the current use but either way you'd be able to park.

BlankTimes Mon 07-Oct-19 13:17:25

The reverse of the big plastic Blue Badge, the bit that's not on display, has a photograph of the Blue Badge holder on it and their full name.

Without going and getting dd's from her handbag which is in her room, I can't remember if it also has her address on it too, I think it has.

I'd definitely report the colleague, I can't abide people abusing the Blue Badge scheme.

How to report Blue Badge Misuse contact your local council's Blue Badge dept, some ask you to complete a form, others will take details over the phone.
Each council is responsible for issuing blue badges for residents living in their area.
this is randomly googled and is Coventry City's policy for Blue Badge Misuse.
www.coventry.gov.uk/info/117/parking/590/disabled_blue_badge_scheme/6

"Your Blue Badge can be withdrawn if you misuse it or allow others to misuse it. If someone else uses your badge, they could be fined up to £1,000.

If you suspect that someone is abusing or misusing a Blue Badge, for example, using a badge that doesn't belong to them, please let us know by completing our report misuse form or by contacting the Blue Badge Team.

An individual Blue Badge is given to a person, not a vehicle. This means the badge holder can use it whenever he/she travels as a driver or passenger – it doesn’t matter who owns the vehicle. Only the person the badge has been issued to can use it and must be in the vehicle when it is used.

The only time that someone else can use the badge, without the holder being in the vehicle, is if they are dropping off or picking up the badge holder. The badge must be removed from display as soon as the vehicle leaves the blue badge area.

It is now a criminal offence for someone other than the badge holder to use the Blue Badge. If they do, they could be fined up to £1,000. The Blue Badge can be withdrawn if the holder misuses it or allows other to misuse it."

BB Info www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-blue-badge-scheme-rights-and-responsibilities-in-england/the-blue-badge-scheme-rights-and-responsibilities-in-england

OneHanded Mon 07-Oct-19 13:34:57

www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-blue-badge-scheme-rights-and-responsibilities-in-england You should 100% speak up!

Kukumbr Mon 07-Oct-19 13:42:23

Thanks all I have been in touch with facilities at work to request another disabled space by my office.

There are other disabled bays but no more by my particular office and I could do with parking outside my office as we are in an old building quite a way away from the main site.

I’m going to have a look on my local council website to see how to report it.

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