I'm not being provided with the proper facilities to do my job. What can I do?

If you are not provided with the facilities you need to do your job, both you and your company will suffer from poorer performance. It is important that you raise your concerns about this. If you fail to do your job as required, you could face disciplinary proceedings and even dismissal on grounds of capability. Lack of appropriate equipment or facilities could also give rise to health and safety concerns. If you are disabled, you have additional rights to be provided with equipment suited to your needs, under your employer’s statutory duty to make reasonable adjustments.

If you are a union member, talk to your union rep about what you need. Ask colleagues about the facilities they are provided with, and find out the company’s policy on providing facilities for your job. Raise the issue with your manager. If you do not get a satisfactory answer informally, you may have to go through your organisation's formal grievance procedure.

If you think you might be disciplined for poor performance, don’t just wait until your performance review before you raise this issue. Make sure you raise it at the time and keep a good record of the efforts you make to bring the issue to your employer’s attention and the response you get.

If you are one of a group of workers affected by inadequate facilities, you are likely to be better off trying to tackle the issue collectively. The use of punitive performance management procedures at work – where workers are unfairly penalised, with lost pay, disciplinary warnings and even dismissal – is unfortunately on the rise in many of Britain’s workplaces and this is a key campaigning issue for unions. A number of trade unions provide useful free-to-download guides and checklists on their websites to help you organise and prepare your case for the need for changes where you work.

Poor productivity is a very serious concern in the UK economy, and inadequate facilities are likely to contribute directly to poor productivity where you work. A 2016 report by the Smith Institute, Working harder not smarter: the employee contribution to making the UK more productive, based on a cross-sector survey of over 7,500 union members, showed that despite increased work intensity, most workers do not believe they have become more productive, and just 14% are confident that their suggestions for improvements are listened to.

If you are not a union member, you can find information on how to join on our Union Finder tool.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.