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Urgent - to be signed off work with 'stress' or another valid reason - consequences

(6 Posts)
Purpleorry Thu 20-Jun-13 09:16:24

My friend has been chronically stressed for the last 2 years due to restructuring at work whilst on maternity. This has resulted her being forced by HR from being an accountant to an admin assistant role - which specialises in companies products. She has been in the admin role for a while. I have seen her health really go down hill but she has so far still gone into work but I think she doesn't know what to do and is at breaking point and I think she is going to collapse.

Training has not been fully given and this has been another source of her stress as HR do not want to know.

I'm going to advise my friend to be signed of by her GP but not sure which is better- have stress declared on the form? If so what are the consequences in a company of that, what about future employment, does it have to be declared each time she looks for another job etc. Note: my friend feels that it is the way HR has played politics during restructure and currently for putting her in a new job and lack if help for training.

Or, do you think I should advise her to be signed off with ' fatigue/chronic fatigue' which is also true but really was caused by the stress of the above? What would be the consequences of this?

Is there even a case to put to employment tribunal?

flowery Thu 20-Jun-13 12:29:55

To be frank, I think it should be down to her GP to decide whether she needs to be signed off, and if so, what she should be signed off with - she shouldn't be going in having pre-diagnosed herself with either stress or chronic fatigue.

In terms of future employment, although other employers can ask in references how much time she's had off sick, they are not entitled to know what with. Of course if she has a significant amount of time off any future employer would want to ask her why, and their main concern would be whether it was likely to present a problem going forward.

I am interested you talk about HR forcing this and that, and HR "playing politics". Obviously I have no reason to think her HR are competent, but the chances of them having the power to force someone into another job if the person's manager is happy for them to stay are extremely slim. Similarly, her manager ought to have been sorting out training. Where has her manager been during all this?

In terms of whether there is a potential for a legal claim, impossible to say based on what you've given here. Has she raised a grievance/grievances about her treatment?

Purpleorry Thu 20-Jun-13 13:45:15

Thanks flowery

Apologies, think I missed a few details regarding my friend. Doctor has diagnosed her with both stress and fatigue .My friend is going to work to the detriment of her health as she is scared by Hr bullying her whilst being signed off as she had issues with them on maternity leave.

Ex managers wanted to get rid of her in former accountancy role which they did through restructure along with hr who forced her into admin role.

Her current manager has tried to sort out training issues according to what she had been told but her manager had not had success . manager has given up on taking this forward as hr don't want to do anything

She has not raised a grevience .

Sokmonsta Tue 25-Jun-13 20:24:46

She could get signed off with depression maybe. I was advised by my union to reiterate the pnd element of my sick note rather than stress (caused by work while pregnant and nearly resulting in preterm delivery).

Pnd may be too late for your friend but ultimately my work have to consider my pnd a disability as its a serious underlying medical condition and the union have advised there should be much less, likely no, comeback for depression rather than saying 'its all work's fault', which is when they start getting arsey.

NatashaBee Tue 25-Jun-13 20:32:39

I think your friend should speak to ACAS and get their advice. I'm not sure someone can be reassigned from an accountancy role to an admin role in the way you describe - if there is too wide a gap between the two roles then I believe she should have been offered redundancy.

virgil Wed 26-Jun-13 23:17:56

Its not redundancy NatashaBee if she accepted the admin role. And in any event if she accepted the role she can't then bring a claim of unfair dismissal months later since there will have been no dismissal and any constructive dismissal claim will have been undermined by her acceptance of the admin role.

She may well have other claims though which are current, particularly if she has a disability.

If she is thinking of leaving anyway she should be very careful about having any significant time off sick (unless she genuinely needs it) since this may well impact on her ability to get another role easily.

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