Asthma UK community forum

Please advise!

my employers have recently brought in a new rule that if you live within 3 miles (crow flies distance, which works out to actually be 4.5 miles for me by road), then you have to get into work without driving. This is due to come into force in january. I have asthma that gets aggressive with a drop in temperature. I have an expensive mortgage and cannot afford to bus it in every day.

I know that when i get ill by virtue of having to walk in every day in the freezing winter months, that i will be at a disadvantage to others because it will force me to taint my sick record.

They have already vetoed any idea of giving you money towards public transport.

Is there anything i can do to stop them making me walk in when it will inevitably affect my health?

11 Replies

Hi Sarah

That clearly can't be legal for your boss to tell everyone to do that. Get a doctors note that will soon sort things out xxx


Hi, this sounds rather big brother! What would be the penalty if you did drive - how will they police it? I would talk to HR about your condition and if you are still fortunate to have trade unions in your workplace talk to them. I'm not sure legally that they have a right to dictate how you travel in essentially what is your own time.


That is a ridiculous rule >:-( and if they are going to do that then they should have some kind of corporate assisted public transport scheme (I get my bus pass at a reduced rate and it is taken out of my salary, about £40 a month). Far cheaper than paying for petrol and parking in my case.

In terms of what you can do, get as much help from your GP, occ health and your union as you can.

Employers really seem to get away with all sorts of corporate bullying don't they?


Speak to your occupational health department. Under the disability discrimination act / equality act you should not be put at a disadvantage because of health problems. This is an absolutely ridiculous rule and hopefully the rest of the workforce will make it plain how difficult this is for people without health issues and for those with issues it is just impossible. You might find it useful to look up the wording of the acts for yourself.

Best of luck


Never heard of anything so utterly stupid, what are they going to do if you do drive, report you to the police? If you have home insurance (some bank accounts offer this service) offer free legal advice speak to them. Otherwise to speak to CAB they usually have employment rights personnel who can answer your questions.

Let us know the outcome will be interested to know!

Cheers katina


you wouldnt think they could get away with it, but they do. they are colour coding car passes - if you live within 3 miles you wont get one that gives you access to the car park - simple as. all entrances to the car park are manned. :o( i'll let you all know how it turns out. i'm definitely going to plead asthma and if they refuse me a pass i'll claim discrimination!


Is there any other car parking vicinity around ur work. Some private firms do weekly or all day rates. Where others just park on the street with a small walk to work. Not ideal but may be worth a look into...


Hi Sarah1984,

This seems a silly new rule to me that your employers have introduced.

Have you thought of getting your GP or consultant to send a letter or report to your employers explaining how bad your asthma is, maybe that might work in your favour.


Definitely speak to your occupational health department. Where I work, I used to have to use the park and ride - the extra walking and standing outside in freezing weather wasn't great for my asthma. My manager wrote to the car parking department and explained that I was much more likely to be off work sick because of this, and I was given a permit to park on-site.

I only needed a letter from my manager, but if that's not sufficient for you, you could get your Occ Health department to back you up, your GP and if you're seen in hospital your consultant/respiratory nurse will be able to write you a letter.


i dont understand this. i mean yep its great that firms are encouraging green living but to actually make this a rule.....surely if an employee had limited mobility say with only one leg then the firm would be agreeing that they need transport regardless of how close it is, so whats the difference with a person who suffers from asthma that affects mobility. surely the disability act should cover this?


If the cost of traveling in by public transport is more than driving in (and for a short journey, it inevitably will be) then this also sounds like a ruling that discriminates financially against *anyone* who lives within 3 miles of the workplace - and that also wouldn't be allowed.


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