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Book67
Hi,

This is my first post here but I've been browsing the site for some time and been active on other forums for many years.

Background is that my wife is disabled and does not have a Blue Badge. We noticed signs up at Sainsbury that said the disabled parking spaces were only for Blue Badge holders. I queried that with their Customer Services team based on my understanding that:
  • The Blue Badge scheme does not apply on private land
  • The shop is obliged under the equality act to make provisions for ALL disabled people

Sainsbury's own corporate website stated:

QUOTE
All car parks have designated disabled parking spaces. These are situated near the main store entrance for any of our customers with a mobility/access requirement.
(note use of the word "any").

I got a reply today which stated:

QUOTE
Dear Mr W~

Thank you for your email and your patience while we looked into your query about designated disability parking spaces.

We have received a reply from our internal team and they have advised us that we only allow disabled customers with blue badges to use our disabled spaces which is in line with DFT guidance. If you are registered disabled, you are entitled to a blue badge.

If you have walking difficulties and require wider bays to get in or out of your vehicle, you are welcome to use a parent and child bay. Our website will be updated to display the correct information.

We appreciate you taking the time to bring this matter to our attention.


Kind regards

Katrina Dick | Customer Manager
Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd | 33 Holborn, London | EC1N 2HT


So they ARE insisting on Blue Badges for the disabled spaces but it's fine for disabled people to use Parent and Child spaces. Is anybody aware of the DFT guidance mentioned or come across this policy before?
tapas600
QUOTE (Book67 @ Fri, 29 Mar 2013 - 11:38) *
I got a reply today which stated:

QUOTE
...

We have received a reply from our internal team and they have advised us that we only allow disabled customers with blue badges to use our disabled spaces which is in line with DFT guidance. If you are registered disabled, you are entitled to a blue badge ....
Katrina Dick


Hmm ... Katrina Dick .... no, I won't go there. laugh.gif

SchoolRunMum will be along shortly, she is the expert (CouponMad on MSE). As far as I know, there are no registered disabled nowadays. It's up to local authorities to decide conditions under which their residents qualify. Check Eligibility.

I would write back and ask them if they recognise provisions of the Equality Act 2000 (the law of the land?) or have a special Sainsbury's discounted legislation - Definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010. Then I would ask them politely to cancel the ticket (if you have got one) and reconsider how they treat people with disabilities, that is until somebody will take them to court one day.

Even the CAB (who are usually tame when it comes to dealing with PPCs) know that the Blue Badge is irrelevant on private land. Parking on private land.

DfT guidance is here - Blue Badge scheme. And here (see page 13) - The Blue Badge scheme: rights and responsibilities for organisations that have Blue Badges.

But I am sure SRM will have a better reference saying that blue badge is not applicable to private car parks.

-----------------------------
EDIT: After thinking this over I feel quite aggrieved for you. Yet again our biggest retailers are discriminating against some part of its customer group.

I prefer to tackle things head on, so this is only what I would do. You might feel uncomfortable writing back to them saying something like:

Dear Ms Dick

Thank you for your helpful reply. Before looking further into this matter I would ask you to pass this my inquiry to your "internal team" or legal team. I will need a reply from them within 14 days before I take any further action.

I need to know Sainsbury's position on the following:

i) Does Sainsbury recognise the Equality Act 2010?

ii) Does Sainsbury recognise disability as defined in the Equality Act 2010?

iii) Does Sainsbury operate a policy/policies that treat people who are defined as disabled accordingly to the Equality Act 2010 different to those who are members of the Blue Badge scheme?

Thanks...

Yours ...


That'll give them something to chew over.
DBC
If you park in a parent and child space without the requisite child , will they issue a fake ticket for that?
tapas600
QUOTE (DBC @ Fri, 29 Mar 2013 - 14:03) *
If you park in a parent and child space without the requisite child , will they issue a fake ticket for that?

Depends if they have money to spend on parking attendants. The progress of technology means more and more are using ANPR today and it's quite tricky to find a missing 'requisite' child by remote.

Book67
QUOTE (DBC @ Fri, 29 Mar 2013 - 14:03) *
If you park in a parent and child space without the requisite child , will they issue a fake ticket for that?


We were just down there. There is clear signage which says that the Parent and Child bays are only gor use by those with children under 12. Parked in one anyway as I had a copy of Katrina's letter on me. However, that didn't stop us getting the odd "look" from other customers - and why should it?
tapas600
QUOTE (Book67 @ Fri, 29 Mar 2013 - 14:42) *
QUOTE (DBC @ Fri, 29 Mar 2013 - 14:03) *
If you park in a parent and child space without the requisite child , will they issue a fake ticket for that?


We were just down there. There is clear signage which says that the Parent and Child bays are only gor use by those with children under 12. Parked in one anyway as I had a copy of Katrina's letter on me. However, that didn't stop us getting the odd "look" from other customers - and why should it?

You can put a notice on your dashboard saying - I have parked in this space because other people took all the disabled spaces. Also see an additional edit to my first response to you.

bama
QUOTE
We have received a reply from our internal team and they have advised us that we only allow disabled customers with blue badges to use our disabled spaces which is in line with DFT guidance


unleash SRM on this - she will educate them in a forthright manner smile.gif
jagger
QUOTE (Book67 @ Fri, 29 Mar 2013 - 14:42) *
QUOTE (DBC @ Fri, 29 Mar 2013 - 14:03) *
If you park in a parent and child space without the requisite child , will they issue a fake ticket for that?


We were just down there. There is clear signage which says that the Parent and Child bays are only gor use by those with children under 12. Parked in one anyway as I had a copy of Katrina's letter on me. However, that didn't stop us getting the odd "look" from other customers - and why should it?


Do they ask for a birth certificate of the child under 12 then ? They don't ask for proof of that as these child bays are a gimmick nothing more. Disabled bays on private land is for all disabled people whether they have a blue badge or not, asking to display one when they are not relevant to private land is a breach of the Equality Act. On that do retailers ask for a blue badge or to prove that someone is disabled to use one of their powered trolleys ?
SchoolRunMum
QUOTE (jagger @ Fri, 29 Mar 2013 - 17:55) *
Do they ask for a birth certificate of the child under 12 then ? They don't ask for proof of that as these child bays are a gimmick nothing more. Disabled bays on private land is for all disabled people whether they have a blue badge or not, asking to display one when they are not relevant to private land is a breach of the Equality Act. On that do retailers ask for a blue badge or to prove that someone is disabled to use one of their powered trolleys ?



That's kind of the point I made in my reply earlier on the MSE thread:

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4515127

It's direct discrimination to treat a disabled person less favourably than an able-bodied person (and the example of not requiring 'proof' to park in the - fairly comparable - P&C bays is a good one).
Book67
Thank you all for your replies to date. I will be respofing to Sainsburys in polite but strong terms and will take on board the really useful points made here and over in MSE.
I realise that a favourable outcome will benefit only a minority of people here. However, it will be a definite kick in the balls for PPCs who feel they can make up the law as they go along. Worse are seemingly "respectable" companies like J Sainsbury who will thake the word of a PPC over the law just to get an easy life.
bama
send a PM to SRM and point her at this thread
or
just look up her posts on this matter
DBC
Sainsbury's have form over this.They were the ones that had a leaflet in their shops which said "Blue Badge and Parent & Child Parking Bays - Fine if you qualify, £50 fine if you don't'.

A MSE poster also sent them this email when they used the "f" word on some of their signs:-

"Dear Sirs,

I recently visited your newly-opened High Wycombe store, and very nice it is too.

However, I feel I must have missed some news bulletins recently, because when I drove into the car park there, I noticed signs saying that if drivers parked in the disabled bays without a blue badge, they would be "fined" £50. The same condition applied to parent & child bays.

Now as any clued up person knows, fines can only be issued by the Courts, Police, or local Councils. For a private company to claim to be able to fine someone, would be a contravention of Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006.

I can only assume, therefore, that since these signs must have been approved by some legal top bananas in Sainsbury's, and they clearly wouldn't want to be committing fraudulent acts, that J Sainsbury has recently passed into public ownership and is now a sub-division of the Ministry of Agriculture or some such government organisation.

Please could you confirm this?"
StuartBu
QUOTE (bama @ Sat, 30 Mar 2013 - 13:18) *
send a PM to SRM and point her at this thread
or
just look up her posts on this matter


Post No 9
tapas600
QUOTE (DBC @ Sat, 30 Mar 2013 - 13:29) *
"Dear Sirs,

I recently visited your newly-opened High Wycombe store, and very nice it is too.

However, I feel I must have missed some news bulletins recently, because when I drove into the car park there, I noticed signs saying that if drivers parked in the disabled bays without a blue badge, they would be "fined" £50. The same condition applied to parent & child bays.

Now as any clued up person knows, fines can only be issued by the Courts, Police, or local Councils. For a private company to claim to be able to fine someone, would be a contravention of Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006.

I can only assume, therefore, that since these signs must have been approved by some legal top bananas in Sainsbury's, and they clearly wouldn't want to be committing fraudulent acts, that J Sainsbury has recently passed into public ownership and is now a sub-division of the Ministry of Agriculture or some such government organisation.

Please could you confirm this?"

Hilarious! ! ! laugh.gif

Breach of of Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006, Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and Equality Act 2010 by Sainsbury's is a new high for UK retail sector. Methinks a class action is long overdue.

bama
a class action ?
how ?
tapas600
QUOTE (bama @ Sat, 30 Mar 2013 - 14:00) *
a class action ?
how ?

There must be a few thousands of Sainsbury's customers who lost their money through these fake tickets. I know the term is outdated but the notion still exists, no?
bama
IIRC its extremely rare and only in very limited circumstances.
There has never been a generally applicable "class action" in English Law (again IIRC, last line of my sig is not a joke)
tapas600
QUOTE (bama @ Sat, 30 Mar 2013 - 16:22) *
IIRC its extremely rare and only in very limited circumstances.
There has never been a generally applicable "class action" in English Law (again IIRC, last line of my sig is not a joke)

OK. That bucket of cold water steadied me on. But then again, there's always a first.

Love your knowledge, Bama. wub.gif

Book67
Thanks for your help on this, both here and on MSE. To bring people here up to date with what happened next I used the information gratefully received to write the following letter to Sainsburys:

QUOTE
Dear Katrina,

Many thanks for your note. Apologies for the delay in replying - we've been on holiday and I also needed to double-check some facts, being somewhat surprised by your response. Please can you ensure that this correspondence is copied to your legal department and anybody who deals with risk management in your organisation? Reasons for that will become apparent later on.

Taking your responses in turn:

"We have received a reply from our internal team"
Was this a team with legal knowledge or one that just creates policies? Unfortunately Sainsburys has run into trouble in the past with this. A prime example was when the High Wycombe store opened and Sainsburys put up notices saying that they would "fine" anybody using a disabled or parent/child bay without meeting the requirements £50. As fines can only be issued by courts, police or local councils this policy was a clear breach of the 2006 Fraud Act (Section 2).

"...which is in line with DFT guidance"
The DFT is quite specific on how the Blue Badge schem operates on private land. It does not apply at all. Refer to Page 6 of the Blue Badge Handbook at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/syste...nsibilities.pdf which states "However, the badge is intended for on-street parking only. Off-street car parks, such as those provided in local authority, hospital or supermarket car parks are governed by separate rules."
There is no DFT guidance whatsoever which applies here.


" If you are registered disabled, you are entitled to a blue badge."

Firstly, what do you mean by "registered disabled"? There is no "register" of disabled people. What applies here is teh definition of disability under the 2010 Equality Act. Fortunately this is quite simple and is stated at https://www.gov.uk/definition-of-disability...uality-act-2010. This bears no relationship at all to Blue Badge entitlement (not that that should apply anyway).

You are effectively saying that people with cancer, ME, learning difficulties, visual impairment etc. are 'not as disabled' as those with a Blue Badge. The Equality Act 2010 does not discriminate like that and a retailer breaks the law if they do.



"...you are welcome to use a parent and child bay."

Unfortunately this is also not true. We tried. I had a copy of your previous note on me so felt able to ignore the big sign that said that anybody using one of the P/C bays without a child under the age of 12 would face a charge of £60. However, what we could not ignore was the abuse received from other shoppers who felt that we were "just being lazy" (and worse). My wife was almost in tears after that experience.

So "welcome"? Definitely not.It's also a clear case of one disabled person be treated less favourably than another.



On that point it could be argued therefore, that there is DIRECT DISCRIMINATION against disabled people because you are not treating them as favourably as other visitors allowed to use special bays. If you can leave family cars showing any sign of a 'child on board' alone in P/C bays then you can leave cars alone which are in (legally important) disabled bays, and displaying any sign of disability (such as an obviously disabled person struggling to get out of the car and exhibiting severe difficulty in walking).



In conclusion, I need a reply to the following questions within fourteen days from your "internal" or legal team:



i) Does Sainsbury recognise the Equality Act 2010?

ii) Does Sainsbury recognise disability as defined in the Equality Act 2010?

iii) Does Sainsbury operate a policy/policies that treat people who are defined as disabled accordingly to the Equality Act 2010 different to those who are members of the Blue Badge scheme?


Today I received the following reply:

QUOTE
Thank you for your email and for your patience while our team investigated your query. We appreciate your concerns regarding our response and we have passed your comments to our communications team.

Our team has investigated and can confirm that the signs at our Corey’s Mill store have not changed and have been in place for some time. In order to ensure that we make disabled spaces available for those who need them, we do apply the blue badge policy across all our car parks.

We enforce misuse of disabled bays by issuing anyone who parks in a disabled parking bay without displaying a valid blue badge with a £60 parking charge notice. We feel that that this approach is fair and consistent with other private car parks across the country.

If a customer does not qualify for a blue badge and needs a wider parking bay closer to the store they are welcome to use one of our parent and child bays. They should however notify the customer services desk so that we can inform our parking attendants.

We appreciate you taking the time to contact us. We hope this information has been helpful and we hope to see you in store again soon.


Kind regards

Christine Cruikshank | Customer Manager


So, that seems to be the end of it. You MUST have a Blue Badge and the Equality Act doesn't come in to it at all.
Jlc
QUOTE (Book67 @ Tue, 30 Apr 2013 - 12:23) *
we hope to see you in store again soon.

Not likely... wink.gif

No answer on the Equality Act then. Take it to the local papers!
dawmdt
It's only the end if you want it to be, I believe you are at liberty to take further action against Sainsbury's for what is pretty blatant discrimination... I'm sure SRM can advise better.

I'm stunned somebody on their legal team has approved this dry.gif
Touranman
I have numerous disabilities and my wife has a blue badge - I may drop a line myself to Ms Dick!
Umkomaas
Breathtaking arrogance fuelled by apparent ignorance on the part of Sansbury's. I suspect they might reap a maelstrom if their position is exposed to disability pressure groups.

Could be popcorn time?
bama
was that screed written by the PPC perhaps ? you have to wonder..
as for
QUOTE
We enforce misuse of disabled bays by issuing anyone who parks in a disabled parking bay without displaying a valid blue badge with a £60 parking charge notice

unleash the Kraken SRM !
trubster
Which sainsburys is this? I fancy some fun and games... biggrin.gif
Jlc
The BPA skirt around the issue. (Section 16 here)

They acknowledge the EA and 'reasonable adjustment' but effectively ignore those without BB that are covered under the legislation. wacko.gif

QUOTE
Although a Blue Badge is not issued to all disabled people
it is issued to those with mobility problems. So it is a
good way for parking operators to identify people who
need special parking provision.


...strangely silent on other ways or how to deal with genuine cases at 'appeal'.
Book67
QUOTE (trubster @ Tue, 30 Apr 2013 - 16:20) *
Which sainsburys is this? I fancy some fun and games... biggrin.gif


Corey's Mill in Stevenage. But I get the impression it's a national policy.
SchoolRunMum
It's discrimination if a person is disadvantaged or harassed. I would say that a person is disadvantaged and harassed by that alternative offered because:

- they would have to use a P&C bay without kids in the car which would expose them to verbal abuse = harassment

- they would have to then leave the car there whilst they went to the CS desk (chances are they'd get a fake PCN for their troubles = harassment)

- how are 'other disabled people' supposed to know they can even do this? No signs tell them they can use that concession = disadvantaged, it seems to me

- I wonder if CS Desk staff have a clue that it's allowed. Why doesn't someone with a disability (but no Blue Badge) try?! Park in a P&C spot and then trot in and explain your need. See what short shrift you get = harassment. Then whip out a copy of that email from Head Office, or report the store to Head Office for not complying with 'policy'.

TBH I think the idea of letting people use the P&C bays is quite a good one and could get around the whole issue. But only if the signs at a parent and child bay were changed to make it clear, summat like 'concessionary bays for parents with children under 12 (Sainsbury's age limit!) or for those with a disability need not covered by the Blue Badge scheme, or for Blue Badge holders when the disabled bays are full'.

That would be a better use for P&C bays IMHO if they made them more of catch-all 'overflow/exceptional concessions' bays.
Lynnzer
I'm trying to get a ticket in a certain town centre car park at present based on the disabled thingy.
The signs say Disabled Drivers only. Not Blue Badge holders. BUT we all know that if they see a car without a BB they'll slap a ticket on it anyway.
I intend to send a copy of my War Disability Pension notification as proof of disability and see what comes of it.
The biggest problem is in getting a ticket in the 1st place as the parking guy is only duty a few hours a week and can't be relied on.

I've already made representations to get exempted from the Congestion Charge for the same reason but they insist on a BB too. Same reason too. If you're having mobility problems you should have a BB.
jdh
If you have to display a blue badge to use the disabled bays, do you have to display the kids to use the parent & child bays? Might start sticking the 1 year old Garfield style in the window.
trubster
QUOTE (Book67 @ Tue, 30 Apr 2013 - 16:36) *
QUOTE (trubster @ Tue, 30 Apr 2013 - 16:20) *
Which sainsburys is this? I fancy some fun and games... biggrin.gif


Corey's Mill in Stevenage. But I get the impression it's a national policy.

Only 128 Miles each way... I'll Pass biggrin.gif
wewin
My wife suffers from epilepsy and is on medication for it. I believe that this is deemed as a disability under the Equlity Act?
If so,we live in Stevenage and can pop into the Sainsbury in question and park in a disabled bay while we do some shopping. She does not have a blue badge.
Any thoughts?-
wewin
SchoolRunMum
QUOTE (wewin @ Wed, 1 May 2013 - 22:22) *
My wife suffers from epilepsy and is on medication for it. I believe that this is deemed as a disability under the Equlity Act?
If so,we live in Stevenage and can pop into the Sainsbury in question and park in a disabled bay while we do some shopping. She does not have a blue badge.
Any thoughts?-
wewin




Yes it's a protected characteristic under the Act but she can use the bay only if the condition causes her to need that particular provision, of a bay nearest the store.

I also know someone on epilepsy meds and they could justify using such a provision because they get extremely fatigued and suffer from sudden onset headaches, quite severely, because of/in spite of(!) the medication. So they could probably justify their driver OH parking in a disabled bay closest to the shop.

But others with epilepsy may be well controlled (can even drive after 2 fit-free years) and with few symptoms there would be no reason to use that bay just because they have 'a condition' and are 'on medication'. It is about need and reasonableness.

For example, someone with a stammer is covered by the Equality Act (useful protection for employment situations) but in their case (in the absence of need) it would be unreasonable to expect to use a special bay!
nigelbb
QUOTE (SchoolRunMum @ Thu, 2 May 2013 - 01:26) *
QUOTE (wewin @ Wed, 1 May 2013 - 22:22) *
My wife suffers from epilepsy and is on medication for it. I believe that this is deemed as a disability under the Equlity Act?
If so,we live in Stevenage and can pop into the Sainsbury in question and park in a disabled bay while we do some shopping. She does not have a blue badge.
Any thoughts?-
wewin




Yes it's a protected characteristic under the Act but she can use the bay only if the condition causes her to need that particular provision, of a bay nearest the store.

I also know someone on epilepsy meds and they could justify using such a provision because they get extremely fatigued and suffer from sudden onset headaches, quite severely, because of/in spite of(!) the medication. So they could probably justify their driver OH parking in a disabled bay closest to the shop.

But others with epilepsy may be well controlled (can even drive after 2 fit-free years) and with few symptoms there would be no reason to use that bay just because they have 'a condition' and are 'on medication'. It is about need and reasonableness.

For example, someone with a stammer is covered by the Equality Act (useful protection for employment situations) but in their case (in the absence of need) it would be unreasonable to expect to use a special bay!

They could however overstay without penalty if because of their stammer it took them longer to order items in the store.
wewin
She doent have mobility problems and the condition is controlled so looks like no reason to use a disabled bay (understandably).
wewin
SchoolRunMum
QUOTE (nigelbb @ Thu, 2 May 2013 - 07:27) *
They could however overstay without penalty if because of their stammer it took them longer to order items in the store.



Good point! They actually could if that was the case, especially if they weren't confident and took their time due to fear of looking bad in front of others in the queue or being judged or hurried by the staff at the CS desk. But there's only an Equality Act breach if the harassers 'knew or should have known' about the condition. So PPC wouldn't know this...until a motorist replied to the fake PCN and told them...then they'd be acting with knowledge of the disability after that.



QUOTE (jdh @ Tue, 30 Apr 2013 - 21:03) *
If you have to display a blue badge to use the disabled bays, do you have to display the kids to use the parent & child bays? Might start sticking the 1 year old Garfield style in the window.



That's a good point, and one that a disabled person can certainly use to show double standards = discrimination, because they are disadvantaged and harassed compared to able-bodied shoppers using similar bays.

Love that Garfield image!
TheDJ
My partner and I frequent our local sainsburys several times a week and both are disabled.

Parked in a disabled bay today and wrote a note saying "Disabled" and popped it in the window.

There for 90 minutes and no ticket. Shall continue to see if I get a bite over the coming days/weeks.

I remember in another thread someone made a poster to print out to put in the window but I can't recall the thread..if anyone remembers please post/pm me with it - it will be useful for my endeavours!
Ming Rider
QUOTE (jdh @ Tue, 30 Apr 2013 - 21:03) *
If you have to display a blue badge to use the disabled bays, do you have to display the kids to use the parent & child bays? Might start sticking the 1 year old Garfield style in the window.


What a fantastic headline, "Sainsbury's forces parents to leave children in cars, shock horror".
SchoolRunMum
QUOTE (TheDJ @ Fri, 3 May 2013 - 22:12) *
My partner and I frequent our local sainsburys several times a week and both are disabled.

Parked in a disabled bay today and wrote a note saying "Disabled" and popped it in the window.

There for 90 minutes and no ticket. Shall continue to see if I get a bite over the coming days/weeks.

I remember in another thread someone made a poster to print out to put in the window but I can't recall the thread..if anyone remembers please post/pm me with it - it will be useful for my endeavours!



Haven't got time to read it again but I think it was on trubster's thread:

http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=75213



HTH
TheDJ
QUOTE (SchoolRunMum @ Fri, 3 May 2013 - 23:42) *
QUOTE (TheDJ @ Fri, 3 May 2013 - 22:12) *
My partner and I frequent our local sainsburys several times a week and both are disabled.

Parked in a disabled bay today and wrote a note saying "Disabled" and popped it in the window.

There for 90 minutes and no ticket. Shall continue to see if I get a bite over the coming days/weeks.

I remember in another thread someone made a poster to print out to put in the window but I can't recall the thread..if anyone remembers please post/pm me with it - it will be useful for my endeavours!



Haven't got time to read it again but I think it was on trubster's thread:

http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=75213



HTH


Correct, thanks lots!
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