Here is another in our series of best practice case studies, this time from Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc. It’s a great example of retaining an existing employee who acquires a disability, or whose disability changes or worsens:
Angela commenced working for the Company at the Hunslet store in September 1994 as a Bakery Assistant doing 15 hours a week. Angela had Polio as a child, however at this time no adjustments were needed. In 1995, Angela applied for a position doing 13.5 hours a week in the Wines & Spirits department on the checkout and was successful in her application. As time went on, Angela’s mobility became reduced and in 2011 she was really starting to struggle.
At this point we started to make adjustments for Angela which included allowing her to use the Customer Café instead of the Staff Canteen as she was struggling to use the stairs to the Canteen and the store has no lift. She also uses the customer disabled toilet as this is near to her work station and easier for her. At this point Angela’s husband was bringing her to work putting her into her wheelchair from the car and wheeling her into store to her checkout, she then transferred to her checkout chair and commenced her shift. Her husband then did it all in reverse order at the end of her shift. Angela was not comfortable with this and so we looked into adapting the checkout in the Wines and Spirits department. Unfortunately due to space we were unable to do this but were able to agree with Angela for her to transfer to the main checkouts in the store.
We sought the assistance of Access to Work who helped fund a specialist electric wheelchair and the adaption of the checkout so that Angela could easily access the checkout and work comfortably from the wheelchair. Rainbow Mobility provided the chair and were very helpful and came out to see and assess Angela to ensure she got the correct chair and that she was comfortable using it around the store and carrying out her role comfortably.
Angela was very pleased with the chair. Now, when her husband brings her to work, he comes into store to get the wheelchair, Angela transfers from the car into the chair and then stays in the chair until she transfers back into the car at the end of her shift. The store also accommodates her weekly shift to coincide with her husband’s shifts so he is able to bring and pick her up from work and be at home with her. Angela is now a lot more comfortable in her role and feels a lot better in herself. She has not had any absence from work since 2009.
Angela says, “I can’t fault the Company for what it’s done for me, it’s really good what they have done and I really enjoy coming to work and feel a valued member of the team. They really can’t do enough for me. If I have any problems, I speak to either my Line Manager or Leanne my Store Personnel Manager and they are resolved straight away”.
Angela’s Line Manager adds that Angela is a credit to the Checkout Team and has many friends within the store who all look out for Angela, her Customer Service is wonderful and she always has a smile for everyone.
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