My chair was taken, should I complain? — Scope | Disability forum
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My chair was taken, should I complain?

crushedvelvet Community member Posts: 2 Listener
I have a disability that affects my mobility and causes alot of pain
 I work in an office and I had to repeatedly ask for a chair with arm rests to support my upper back and offer stability when sitting and getting up.  After a few months a chair was found, nothing special just an office chair with arms. One day a week a new starter in the office is in before me and has started to take that chair.. do I have a right to ask for it back without sounding petty??

Today when I came into work they had my chair and I was left with a choice of a broken chair or 2 without arm rests. My back and shoulders are now killing me, my usual chair is alot better and more secure getting up. I asked for it back and was told by my manager to just get another one. I said I need one with arm rests but they refused to give me the chair back saying their back hurts too.

I didn't feel like I could insist, it does not belong to me personally. I was upset that a person who only comes in one day a week can take what was found for me after months of asking. I felt embarrassed like I was being entitled like a spoilt kid. I'm dreading going into work when they are in as I know they will take my chair and I will suffer through the day in pain.


  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 11,642 Disability Gamechanger
    Can you get in before them on the day they work ?
    2024 The year of the general election...the time for change is coming 💡

  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 4,081 Scope online community team
    Hi @crushedvelvet and welcome!

    If the chair was given to you due to your disabilities, you're well within your rights to ask for it back, I'm sure they'd understand. Have you spoken to your boss about reasonable adjustments? Legally they need to be addressing your disabilities to help you in your work. 
    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • Cressida
    Cressida Community member Posts: 1,016 Pioneering
    edited March 12
    If you had an OH assessment who recommended a certain type of chair you can certainly complain. If you haven't had one yet speak to a line manager who should be able to arrange for OH to see you. Don't feel bad about speaking up. The new person would not be aware of your health problem. Sometimes a short conversation is all it takes. 
  • MW123
    MW123 Scope Member Posts: 469 Pioneering

    Given that your manager has already acknowledged your need for a chair with armrests by providing you with one initially, it's reasonable for you to request that chair back.
    Regarding the issue of broken unsuitable chairs in the office, it's indeed concerning and unusual for employees to be using broken chairs. This further emphasises the importance of having suitable seating options for all employees, regardless of disability status. Broken or unsuitable chairs can pose risks to health and safety, and it's essential for your employer to address this matter promptly.

    Employers have a duty of care to provide a safe and comfortable working environment for their employees. This includes providing chairs that support good posture and reduce the risk of musculoskeletal issues for all  employees.  In addition to meeting legal obligations under health and safety regulations, providing suitable chairs can also  reduce absenteeism due to discomfort or pain.

    It might be a good idea if you can rally together with your colleagues to collectively address the chair situation, with your HR department or a director of the company. I am certain it's unpleasant  for everyone to have to scramble for a comfortable chair each morning just to begin their workday.

  • honestjon
    honestjon Community member Posts: 172 Pioneering
    woodbine said:
    Can you get in before them on the day they work ?
    I don't think this would help it would just turn into a battle when it doesn't need to.
    The simple solution is to ask the employer to provide another chair.
    Personally I would ask the employer if I could buy my own chair and be reimbursed by the company.
    Then you could choose your own chair that gives you support and no one else could take it.
    Appalling lack of manners being shown by someone taking the chair and refusing to return it.


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