You may have read last week that, following a threatened application for interim injunctive relief Tesco’s legal team agreed to make reasonable adjustments for Fry Law client Joanne Baskett.
Joanne is single parent to a 17 year old child who is shielding. Joanne is on the Government’s list of extremely clinically vulnerable (ecv) people and is therefore required to shield (she is in any event unable to leave the house to obtain shopping as she is recovering at present from her 38th surgery which she underwent on 27 March 2020).
Joanne has been unable to mobilise for the past decade and leaves the house primarily to attend the hospital, by ambulance. She has been a regular user of Tesco’s online delivery service for the last 4-6 years. Her delivery was always previously every Saturday between 1-2pm or 2-3pm.
It follows that Joanne, together with 80% of our clients used online services because she cannot easily attend at the store in person. Even if she were to do so she would be unable to navigate the store.
So despite being on the ECV list she was given only an 8 hour delivery slot for her shopping. Joanne needed her shopping delivering at a time when her care assistants would be available to take receipt of the delivery, clean it down and put it away otherwise she would not be able to. She sent emails to Customer Services but was told by someone from the Executive’s Office that the priority slots were available on a first come first served basis and that there was nothing to be done about the 8 hour window.
Within 24 hours of sending that letter, we had a constructive conversation with Tesco’s lawyers which resulted in an agreement that if we uploaded our clients details to a secure, our clients would be given priority access. If particular slots were necessary to fit within care needs, those would also be taken into account.
Our legal argument that these adjustments should have been made at the outset in line with the Equality Act remain in force, as does our campaign to ensure that priority access is provided at each Supermarket, but clearly this is a very positive step.
We have been asked if you have to be a client of Fry Law to achieve priority access with Tesco. The answer is that we hope Tesco are providing priority access to all disabled customers who need it, but that without a Court Order compelling Tesco to do that, we can only guarantee that Fry Law clients will have that protection.
We are very worried that a ‘Second Spike’ and further lock down will come around over the next couple of months and that now is not the time to be complacent.
In addition, we need the Supermarkets to address the distress, anxiety and worse experienced for the first months of being inaccessible on-line. In addition to obtaining the non financial remedy, we remain committed to securing compensation to reflect that. These awards could run to thousands of Pounds. We are not claiming success fees.
If you have a claim for being unable to access supermarkets or delivery slots like Joanne, please complete this form and we will add you to the priority list and register your claim: https://forms.gle/yVSyJ51vnr1UayBs5