Return to work after sick leave?

(18 Posts)
alp Sun 17-Mar-13 19:22:50

What is the reasoning behind not allowing an employee to return to work?

dh has had a fit note since end of jan. his work have a medical report from a psychiatrist they appointed which incorporated advice from his gp and psychotherapist. All supported a phased return.

His work are dragging their heels and keep saying don't come back we need more time to work out how we are to support you. Apart from phased return no other adjustments need to be made.

What's going on!!!

Sorry need to rant confused

nextphase Sun 17-Mar-13 20:31:12

Sounds like there is something else going on??? I opened this expecting you to say Dr had signed him off til the end of the month, and he wanted to go in.

Is he still on full pay? Or SSP?

If the GP and Occ Health have signed him fit to work, I'd have expected him at work. What would happen if he just turned up on Monday?

alp Sun 17-Mar-13 20:48:39

He hadn't heard for two weeks after the psychiatrists report had been sent saying a phased return would be ideal so he emailed on Friday saying he would be in on Monday to start the phased return.

Email received this evening says not to.

He is on no pay having come to the end of both company and ssp.

There is something else going on but all the "noise" is around supporting his return but they are being so obstructive

nextphase Sun 17-Mar-13 21:00:16

Well, if he's fit to work, I'd be asking for full pay to start again??

He is prepared to work, is fit to work, so should be paid???? Not sure about that.

Sorry, think you need the experts on this on. Hope someone will be in soon. I've spent my last week getting someone who came into work having persuaded they GP they were fit following surgery sent home, as they clearly weren't fit to do the job! OH have decided they can do half days, desk based only. At least i was right.

But back on track, not sure. Something is going on. Is he up to phoning and asking?

I'd start keeping a record of dates / conversations / e-mails, as it sounds really dodgy to me. Having a record may help at a later date.

alp Sun 17-Mar-13 21:14:27

Thanks for the advice.

Yes my thought is if they are stopping him coming in they should pay him!

All this doesn't help his confidence after having time off.

Gorja Mon 18-Mar-13 14:18:16

I had a similar experience. Gp said fit for work but work wouldn't let me. I refused to be off sick so they were forced to put me on special leave with full pay.

Is he in a union? They were really helpful in my situation.

alp Mon 18-Mar-13 14:46:27

No union. No decent HR either.

We are keeping records of everything and I can only think that their heel dragging will go against them eventually.

Gorja Mon 18-Mar-13 16:32:26

I would be tempted to turn up, with my fit note in hand and report for work. If they tried to send me home I would ask for their reasons in writing and insist on being paid. Make sure you have a copy of the fit note so they cannot claim it has been lost.

alp Mon 18-Mar-13 17:15:34

That is sort of what happened. Heard nothing so emailed saying I'll be in on Monday, then we received an email Sunday PM saying not to.

It's sooooo annoying

Gorja Mon 18-Mar-13 17:35:26

Perhaps turning up in person and explaining the benefits agency stated he had to work as he has a fit note and a job. Will be harder for them to get out of if he is there in person.

flowery Mon 18-Mar-13 18:13:05

It's difficult for anyone here to speculate what your DH's employer's reasoning is.

However there does seem to be a misunderstanding about what a fit note is for. A doctor can make recommendations for adjustments to a role on a fit note, including for reduced hours/ a phased return. But there is no obligation for an employer to accommodate those recommendations, they can refuse to allow someone to return until they are 100% fit if they want to.

I would agree that a refusal for a phased return doesn't sound reasonable though on the face of it.

I think it needs bringing to a head a bit. I would suggest he emails saying that as they have had x weeks to consider whether they can accommodate his psychiatrist's recommendation of a phased return he has no option but to assume they are refusing to implement a reasonable adjustment to enable him to return to work.

How long has he been off? Any chance this could be a disability? If so, that wording ought to scare the bejeezers out of them.

alp Mon 18-Mar-13 18:20:18

Yes I agree. We are all guessing.

He has been off since Aug. signed back by GP Jan.

It is classed as a disability. He has been off with depression

He has emailed this morning asking for daily updates but that wording will help for tomorrow. Thanks.

flowery Mon 18-Mar-13 20:02:15

I'm not sure asking for daily updates is going to help anything, unless it's updates about a regularly changing work situation he needs to keep on top of. What is he expecting them to say every day?

If it's a disability he needs to say this at the beginning:

As you may be aware, my condition is classed as a disability and you are therefore required under the Equality Act to make reasonable adjustments to allow me to return to work.

alp Mon 18-Mar-13 20:20:03

Flowery to be honest I don't know either but I really feel that the situation needs to taken control of and by adding some sort of deadline, we thought, may start really forcing some movement.

Your wise words are invaluable and so helpful - I feel like I am going to explode with frustration!

flowery Mon 18-Mar-13 22:02:21

A deadline needs to be meaningful though. You need an 'or what'. Daily updates isn't a meaningful request, because there's no realistic 'or what' if they don't update one day.

If you really want to force some movement, put what I said above, but then add at the end 'unless you reconsider and are prepared to make the reasonable adjustments recommended to allow me to return to work by x date, I will feel forced to raise a grievance for disability discrimination.

Claiming discrimination openly is a big step though, and it's not a threat you can really make without being prepared to follow through imo. If your DH is not sure about that, I'd send the wording without that bit first, then give it another week or two, then raise a grievance if he feels he needs to then.

Saying stuff about they are required to make reasonable adjustments and are failing to do so really ought to prompt some reaction on its own anyway, and he doesn't lose the right to raise a grievance for discrimination by not specifically threatening it or not setting a deadline.

alp Tue 19-Mar-13 19:58:45

Thanks so much flowery.

No word from them today so we will compile something to send to them tomorrow.

You are a star and a real real help - there is so much information available, it's so wonderful to hear it all explained so well!

alp Wed 20-Mar-13 22:10:29

Quick update! Email sent this AM after no word yesterday. Within 2 hours a reply and a meeting is set up for next week. grin

flowery Wed 20-Mar-13 22:13:41

Huzzah! Thought that might get things moving...

grin

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