Here’s the 2nd in a new series of blog posts written by Ian Loynes, SCIL’s Chief Executive. In this instalment, Ian tackles his first barrier, how to get work and home again now he can’t drive. Will Access to Work help?
The first problem now I cannot drive is the simple issue of getting to and from work. SCIL is very experienced with Access To Work as many of our staff get support. So I decided to ask to pay my additional travel costs to and from work and whilst travelling to deliver the duties of my job.
To cut an inevitably long story short, Access To Work agreed to fund the costs of a taxi to and from work (less a notional fee for how much it used to cost me to drive to work myself). But they refused to fund any extra costs whilst executing my work duties. They argued that the PA they already fund could drive me in my car, which is fair enough except my PA cannot drive. Access To Work’s simple response was to employ someone who could drive! (Not sure sacking my PA on this basis would hold up in an employment tribunal!!)
So the Access To Work experience was actually good, and solved the immediate problem of getting to and from work.
The odd thing though, was that Access To Work insisted on a Doctor’s note to provide evidence that I was no longer able to drive, but they said they would not pay any fees the GP would charge. So even though they insisted on a GP letter, for their benefit, they refused to pay for it (Apparently, it is ‘Policy’ which always seems to me a word people use to avoid the need to justify their unfair rules).
Muggins had to pay £20
My equality Score: 4 Star
If you missed the first blog post of this series, you can find it here.