Sick leave in the public sector? (title amended by MNHQ)

(286 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

Cutecat78 Tue 23-Feb-16 20:38:37

Not really an AIBU but wonder what happens in other workplaces as I feel like I'm in the twilight zone.

I work for the LA. Loads of redundancies and loads of people going on "long term sick".

Call me cynical but the people who do this (there are two repeat offenders - oh and our manager who was moved to our team and didn't want to be then went on 6 months sick leave on full pay) do not seem stressed they just go off with it or a bad back when they don't like their job (they couldn't possibly leave and work somewhere else as then they might miss out on redundancy in the next wave of cuts - which have been every year for the last 5/6).

Offender one has been suspended for 4 months on a disciplinary - but is now "on long term sick leave" as his GP doesn't seem impartial to handing him out sick notes like smarties. Last year he had 3 months off with a bad back and the year before had about 4 months off with said back but has also had time off being suspended too - he's utterly incompetent and anywhere other than the LA he would have been sacked years ago.

Offender 2 has been off for 7/8 months (1st 6 months full pay, next 6 1/2 pay). Also utterly incompetent (moans constantly about being over worked whilst swanning out of office for 2 hour nail appt etc).

She had been told to come back or she will be dismissed. Although when we questioned where she was our manager informed us "well she has so much leave to take".

Our LA's are going bankrupt yet this is allowed to carry on because of some overly PC policies on acid.

It's so frustrating.

UndramaticPause Tue 23-Feb-16 20:51:41

You can't be off sick for longer than a week without a doctors note so at a guess I'd say they're unwell

rosebiggs Tue 23-Feb-16 20:53:15

Let's hope that you are always well then.

Cutecat78 Tue 23-Feb-16 20:54:33

They get signed off a month at a time on long term

Am FB friends with one who had been on four holidays - photos of her laughing getting pissed and dancing but this can all be deemed part of her recovery.

Last time she came back she had had a face lift - I kid you not.

UndramaticPause Tue 23-Feb-16 20:55:27

If she's off with stress then she'll have been told to get out and about and go on holiday by the doctor

Cutecat78 Tue 23-Feb-16 20:55:30

I genuinely feel for people who are sick long term believe me I do.

I am talking about people who everyone knows are swinging the lead and getting away with it.

UndramaticPause Tue 23-Feb-16 20:56:18

LA'S have sickness policies and you can be competencied out of the job if you're off sick too much

VoldysGoneMouldy Tue 23-Feb-16 20:59:32

You sound like a total twat.

And your title is disablist. Then again, that's not too surprising given your attitude.

Cutecat78 Tue 23-Feb-16 20:59:46

Yeah - our LA never sacks anyone - they just move them or pay them off.

We are on a team with printing restrictions etc and we have two members off on full pay and everyone is sick of it - they are not ill.

One of them banged on and on about "going off sick" or making a grievance before he was suspended he is now off sick (for the fourth time) as he can still accrue leave.

The other is being moved and doesn't want to be.

It just seems accepted and indemic in the LA sad

jacks11 Tue 23-Feb-16 21:01:12

I can understand the frustration, especially when it means you and/or others have to pick up the slack. It is obviously a significant possibility from what you have said that your colleagues are playing the system and claiming to be unwell (physically or mentally) when they are in fact perfectly fit to work.

The system is open to abuse, as it relies on the individual to tell the truth about their fitness to work (up to a certain point, then occupation health should be involved for a fitness to work in their current job and so on). If they present to their GP with a convincing set of symptoms, the GP is more than likely going to believe them unless they have pretty solid evidence to the contrary. And yes, some GP's are no doubt more rigorous than others when it comes to such assessments.

That said, you have no idea as to whether your colleagues are actually suffering from stress, back pain and so on (unless they have told you they made it all up or something along those lines). Just because it is not obvious to you, doesn't mean it can't be true.

Being incompetent at your job does not imbue an individual with complete immunity from stress, it may even be that they are stressed because they are incompetent/out of their depth or be incompetent due to stress and the effects that can have on concentration/motivation and so on. Likewise, with conditions likes stress and back pain (and lots of other pain) it is hard to disprove- if someone attends their GP reporting low mood, stress for example, it is pretty hard to categorically say "nope, you are fine" and refuse to sign them off. Obviously, the GP should be looking into ways to address the problem rather than simply signing them off and forgetting about it.

ilovesooty Tue 23-Feb-16 21:02:19

they are not ill

Where did you get your medical qualifications then?

Cutecat78 Tue 23-Feb-16 21:03:44

My frustration I guess is with the LA not getting rid of these two people who have both openly said they will go off sick.

It's not being bloody disablest and that is the attitude which makes the LA two bloody scared to get rid of shit people who are just taking the piss .

Wolfiefan Tue 23-Feb-16 21:04:02

How does "everyone know they are swinging the lead"?!

I get it OP.

I used to work in the public sector and it was rife.

People who'd used all their holiday going off with 'stress' or similar, full pay, literally laughing as they leave knowing they won't be back for months.

It's a joke.

The mangers know she's lying.
HR know she's lying.
Occ Health know she's lying.

But no-one does a thing about it.

Wouldn't happen in the private sector.

wtfisgoingonhere Tue 23-Feb-16 21:06:14

I'm sorry but do you actually know or like either of these people?

I was signed off for a prolonged period last year with depression. It was precisely because I maintained my 'everything is fine' face at work that I broke down

I am no doubt frowned upon as a repeat offender by those who have never had a day off sick instead coming in unwell and spreading whatever they have and they aren't shy about making this known. Thankfully I have a good relationship with my manager.

I had prearranged a trip for my sister's hen do (abroad) and got signed back on just so I could go away without people like you judging me

I struggled when I was away and struggled returning to work before I was ready.

I'm sorry if I sound harsh, and yes maybe the people you work with are full of crap, but please don't make assumptions

Mental illness is still so poorly understood. Unless it's happened to you I don't think anyone can truly understand what it's like

If you have experienced it then I apologise - and can see why you are frustrated with them

Cutecat78 Tue 23-Feb-16 21:06:21

Because their staple answer to being pissed off at work it "I'll just go off sick" to everyone - which the whole team have reported to our manager.

Cutecat78 Tue 23-Feb-16 21:07:51

boobs yes - thank you.

ilovesooty Tue 23-Feb-16 21:08:16

Why are you friends on Facebook with someone you so obviously despise?

AgentProvocateur Tue 23-Feb-16 21:10:37

Yes, when I worked for a local authority, this behaviour was endemic. And people would come back for a fortnight after six months off, then go off again for six months.

Now I'm in the private sector, in a company with so sick pay - only SSP - and I think only two people in the department have had even a day off sick in the past year.

VoldysGoneMouldy Tue 23-Feb-16 21:12:01

"It's not being bloody disablest and that is the attitude which makes the LA two bloody scared to get rid of shit people who are just taking the piss ."

Congratulations, OP, you just proved your complete lack of knowledge surrounding mental illness.

Cutecat78 Tue 23-Feb-16 21:13:00

I have come from 3rd sector and it just bewilders me how immoral it is.

This is nothing to do with a lack of knowledge of mental health. It's something completely different.

ghostyslovesheep Tue 23-Feb-16 21:13:02

well why not report it then hmm send screen shots of FB with all your evidence to HR

I work in a LA - no one goes off on 'the sick' without medical evidence - and regular reviews and referrals to occupational help etc

Stress is a very real illness - no one I know would guess how close I am to cracking up at work right now - but who cares - people like you will always finger wag and make ill people feel shitty

Misknit Tue 23-Feb-16 21:14:51

Is your LA a south London borough by any chance Cutecat78?

ilovesooty Tue 23-Feb-16 21:14:54

I work in the third sector and sickness is fairly robustly managed. No one gossips about people who are sick though.

Cutecat78 Tue 23-Feb-16 21:14:56

I have reported it.

Nothing happens.

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