Colleague signing off for 2 weeks at a time

(51 Posts)
stripystars Sun 30-Oct-16 14:54:17

How long can this go on for? So far it's been 10 weeks. There is no diagnosis and some 'general' sorts of symptoms. I do sympathise but wondered how long this can go on for 2 weeks at a time?

It's a public sector public-facing role, and the management aspect of this person's role is not being covered, which is causing quite a bit of difficulty for the rest of the team.

WorraLiberty Sun 30-Oct-16 14:58:35

I don't know but that bit isn't important.

The important bit is that their role isn't being covered.

Can you speak to a senior manager about this or HR?

Redglitter Sun 30-Oct-16 14:58:35

For as long as necessary until they're fit to return. The doctor isn't going to.issue lines for no reason.

SparklyLeprechaun Sun 30-Oct-16 15:00:46

It can take for as long as it takes. DH was signed off 2 weeks at a time for about 6 months. It took that long to get a diagnosis. Even now he's signed off 1 month at a time as it's not clear how long recovery is going to take.

LIZS Sun 30-Oct-16 15:00:48

Depends on your policy, if they get full or sick pay for 6 months , for example, then it probably won't be reviewed until then. GP can supply certificates ad infinitum. There may also be a specific timescale to refer to occupational health. However as it is a colleague not someone you manage you are not really entitled to further information about their absence.

WaxingNinja Sun 30-Oct-16 15:01:32

If there are any issues with their role not being covered that directly affect you, raise those issues with management.

But otherwise, their sickness, reasons for absence, and the amount of time they're signed off each time, are really none of your concern.

peri89 Sun 30-Oct-16 15:05:11

That will be between her and her manager. If the absence is impacting on you and other colleagues as a result then that is the issue you need to bring up with someone more senior, so that arrangements can be made.

NerrSnerr Sun 30-Oct-16 15:14:27

Oh god you're not talking about me are you? I have hg but have been off for about 10 weeks now. I'm not sure how many people in the office know I'm pregnant. If it is me believe me I'd be no use at work!

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sun 30-Oct-16 15:18:28

It can go on for quite a long time, so long as the doctor still supplies the sick notes and the management have to accept it. I remember when I was working in the NHS, we lost one person to back pain for months - couldn't do anything about it (we were annoyed because that person was told in advance that the role would involve some lifting - and they already had previous for the back problem - so really shouldn't have taken the job).

But if the role's not being covered, and it's affecting the rest of you, then that needs addressing - public sector or no, someone needs to be brought in or stepped up to cover the gap.

throwingpebbles Sun 30-Oct-16 15:20:55

Huge sympathies nerr , I had HG and it's horrendous. And my idiot cow of a boss went and told all my colleagues I was pregnant because they were "worried". angryangry

op there are two separate issues here - why your colleague is off (which is none of your business) and the lack of cover (which you are entitled to ask to be sorted!)

InTheDessert Sun 30-Oct-16 15:21:20

Colleague is signing themselves off??? Something strange is going on.
A doctor is signing off the person??? Could go on indefinitely. It's none of your business whybthey are off, but the additional workload should be discussed with management.

ScarletForYa Sun 30-Oct-16 15:30:58

You don't know what's going on OP.

It could be anything. You're being told of general symptoms which really is more than you need to know. It could be anything.

Your problem is with the management not covering the managing aspects of the persons job. Take that up with management.

Antifrank Sun 30-Oct-16 15:34:41

Presume they have a note from the GP? In that case they are almost certainly ill. Are you their line manager? If not, why are you party to any of the information?

a7mints Sun 30-Oct-16 15:36:04

what do you mean 'the colleague is signing off' surely it is doctor signing him off.How would you know about their symptoms, or what the nature of their illness is?

Guavaf1sh Sun 30-Oct-16 15:40:20

The public sector is awful at this. Sickness is not covered unless it's for an extended period of time. In the NHS for example two week stretches would induce management to get people to simply 'cope' till the person returns. Pointless saying it's management's issue and they should simply sort it - most of the time they can't and even if they could they're not bothered. It is frustrating. Sometimes the only way of getting the situation sorted is refusing to do the extra work. Let a crisis happen and it will be sorted sometimes really quickly like in less than four months

bluebeck Sun 30-Oct-16 15:47:27

There is no diagnosis and some 'general' sorts of symptoms.

OP can you explain how you know this? It is extremely unprofessional of your employer to be sharing that kind of information with colleagues of the person who is presumably signed off by a medically qualified professional
How would you feel if it was your medical details that were the talk of the office?

If there are issues about workloads then raise that with your manager rather than focusing on your colleagues illness and what is wrong with them/when they will be back. It's really not your business. It's your employers job to ensure absences for any reason are covered and work is done.

YuckYuckEwwww Sun 30-Oct-16 15:51:42

If you have a skill mix/staffing issue that is what you should be asking about, speak to line managers if your workload is too much and cover needs to be approved, and keep your nose out of the details of your colleagues sickness

People like you make workplaces an unpleasant place to be!

FerretFred Sun 30-Oct-16 15:59:35

I worked in the public sector. I had an illness that took ten months to diagnose and was signed off two weeks at a time.

People gossiped about me and assumed I was a malingerer (in spite of not being off I'll ever before). Some said I was 'letting the team down'. Eventually I was retired.

Still. Now I'm diagnosed everyone can stop gossiping and I can carry on fighting for my life..

BowieFan Sun 30-Oct-16 16:01:07

OP, you have no right to know what illness your colleague has and to suggest you've only heard "general symptoms" is actually pissing me off.

Your colleague isn't being signed off work for no reason - her doctor will have taken the choice to do it because they are ill. It's none of your business why they're ill, or how long it takes to recover, or the length of their sicknote. If they don't want to tell you why they're signed off, then they don't have to.

The problem is their work isn't being covered, which I suggest you take up with your manager.

As for "how long can this go on?" - it's none of your fucking business! Your colleague is ill, have some bloody compassion.

HandbagCrazy Sun 30-Oct-16 16:05:17

OP you have no right to your colleagues medical info so you actually gave no idea why he/she is off work. I am currently signed off completely unexpectedly- my colleagues know nothing as I seemed fine before going to the gp.

Are you annoyed that they're off (nothing to do with you ) or that their job isn't being covered (something to rake up with management / hr)?

happypoobum Sun 30-Oct-16 16:07:18

Interesting first post OP........................

harderandharder2breathe Sun 30-Oct-16 16:31:46

My doctor has been signing me off for between 2 and 4 weeks at a time for the last few months, usually 2. It's pretty common as nobody knows how an illness will progress. My doctor sees me every time I get a sick note, to assess me and consider treatment and potential changes, it's not like I just demand sick notes.

Your issue is down to management at your work place. You need to raise the lack of cover and the issues this is causing for you directly.

greenfolder Sun 30-Oct-16 16:35:46

Where I work, after anyone has been off for 6 weeks it is deemed long term sick. If I were you I would go to the boss and ask what the plan is to cover the work. Presumably your issue is the unknown nature of how long they will be off, rather than that they are off or indeed Ill

ElornaElephant Sun 30-Oct-16 18:17:45

Oh I really hope it's not Herr, that would not be good at all. You have no idea what is wrong with this person - it could very easily be something such as HG where it could go on for months but the person is not comfortable sharing their pregnancy with others yet.

The issue is that your company is not providing adequate cover for this person - that is something that needs to be taken up with them, and is no way the fault of the person who has been signed off.

You're public facing in the public sector - have some compassion!

BarbaraofSeville Sun 30-Oct-16 18:29:10

This sort of thing is hard on colleagues in the public sector because that person won't be replaced even if it's known or suspected to be a long term condition.

It's nice that we keep people's jobs open, but it's hard to do the same work with fewer people, especially if you were short staffed before.

We've had someone off sick for over 2 years and it's only in the last few months that we've been allowed to use temps to replace him.

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