Company car and disability

Good morning all,
I have a mental health disability and have been employed with the same company for 8 years. I have a company car which is converted to +£6k per year for tax purposes.
I suffered a pretty bad deterioration in health last year – I have a condition called Cyclothymic Disorder – and work are fully aware of this. I have been very open and honest with and even went as far to share a full psychiatric report with them. I hallucinate regularly both visually and hearing voices, music, noises etc.
I have expressed to them how much I don’t think I should be driving but there are very insistent I keep driving and I keep my company car. I can demonstrate that I can do my job just as well without a car – to give you an indication of how much I hate driving – I have a company car because they say I ‘need to drive to do my job’, but last year I covered 3,800 business miles and 1,800 personal miles. This year that will reduce to around 3,000 business miles and 0 personal miles – I don’t drive it unless I have to.
I have been arguing with them for 4 months now, and I suspect when I get a call from Occupational Health this week (who have always been very understanding and helpful) I think they will advise my company that I shouldn’t be driving.
My salary is £28,560 p/a and the company car is valued at £6,000 which is added to my salary by HMRC.
My question is this – if I can no longer drive, should they give me the £6,000 in the form of a pay rise? I can do my job exactly the same, they will actually save money because the train is cheaper, and my boss has used the cars value as leverage to not give me a pay rise for years always saying “You’re not on £28.5k though, you’re on £34.5k because of the car”
I know for a fact now the tables will likely turn, he won’t then see it that he must give me the £6k because through disability, I shouldn’t be driving.
Apologies for the length, it’s gotten quite complicated.

Replies

  • cantcopecantcope Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker Debt-free and Proud!
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    A company car is treated as a benefit in kind so you likely pay tax on it.
    I cant see that they would give you the cash instead but you are within your rights to ask for a rise again and they would not have this as a reason to deny it.
    Be aware though that if they deem you must be a driver to complete the role they could possibly place you in a different role if you are no longer capable of fulfilling it. You'd have to prove that you can.
    Last bet : 26th Oct 2006:j Debt free 25th Feb 2008:j Living "my" dream:T
  • Have you checked if you need to inform the DVLA about your disability?

    https://www.gov.uk/health-conditions-and-driving
    Thanks to money saving tips and debt repayments/becoming debt free I have been able to work and travel for the last 4 years visiting 12 countries and working within 3 of them. Currently living and working in Canada :beer: :dance:
  • BoGoFBoGoF Forumite
    6.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    Should they? - No

    Could they? - Yes

    However it is unlikely to cost them £6000 a year to provide you with a car? That is the amount HMRC have decided you pay tax on based on list price and CO2 emissions. It has nothing to do with the actual physical cost.
  • easyeasy Forumite
    2.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Hmm, there are a couple of points here
    1. if you feel you are not safe driving, then you are probably not safe to drive - because you will be an anxious driver, and that affects your concentration. If your company insists on you driving when you are not fit to do so this opens a whole can of worms - including possibly invalidating the insurance.
    2. An employer MUST make reasonable adjustments for an employees disability. If you can't drive, but you are still able to fulfil the requirements of the job using public transport, then it seems unreasonable that they won't take back your company car and allow you to claim for travel fares instead.
    Of course if you need to make frequent long rail journeys then that could end up being more expensive for them (but the mileage you do at the moment suggests that wouldn't be the case).

    If they honestly believe you can't do the job without driving, then they may have to find you another role in the company - and it doesn't have to be a job you choose, so think this through.

    Do you have an HR department? If so you need to arrange a meeting with them and talk all this through with them. If you don't then you need to ask your manager for an occupational health assessment - They can buy that service in from a consultant. Possibly spending money on that may make them think again about helping you to do your job without driving.
    I try not to get too stressed out on the forum. I won't argue, i'll just leave a thread if you don't like what I say. :)
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