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Wheelchair at work

Following on from the thread about the lady who was asking about getting a wheelchair due to chronic fatiguing illnesses she has now been referred for an assessment.

As part of the assessment she has a form to fill in about lifestyle and things, part of the questionnaire is about the work place.

It turns out that although her work places shop floor is wheelchair accessible her staff room isn't, nor is the office or things like the till and she wouldn't be able to reach stock (she works in a shop). She's really worried about this so I told her about how access to,work funded a big % of the adaption costs when I went into a chair but that isn't calming her down.

Apparently her boss (who owns the shop) is a cheapskate - doing things like firing the cleaner when he took over, not replacing staff when they left leaving the place really short staffed and the staff are all on min wage, min holiday time and even things like he bought bug spray instead of getting in rentokil when the shop got infested with beasties - and it's still infested!

He doesn't mind spending money on himself but not on anything shop related - they have damaged electricals from when a pipe burst that he refuses to replace because they still just about work!

Does anyone know where she would stand if boss refused to make the shop accessible for her wheelchair? She's worked there less than 2 years, boss knows she has a chronic illness and was aware she might end up in a wheelchair at some point when she was recruited. The extend of the work needed sounds a lot, the work place is on one level with 2 steps so that's not bad but the corridor through to the fire exit is too thin for a wheelchair, this is the same corridor used to get to the offices and staff area. To me (just going on her description) a wall would need removed, the toilets would need redone (at the moment it's just a single cubicle behind a locked door and from her description wouldn't fit a chair), the corridor to the fire exit would need widened which would probably require the office to be removed and I still can't work out how she would get to the staff room unless they took out a room in the middle entirely - not sure how that would work with supporting walls or anything - but obviously an architect would be able to work this out.

She is worried that the wheelchair will be refused at assessment if she does not have a supportive work place, worried that she might lose her job if she asks for adaptions and is convinced her boss will hit the roof if she explains that she needs a chair now, understands he won't want the expense and tells him she is looking for alternate work.

Any advice from someone who has been here?


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