Does my employer HAVE to visit me at home while I'm off sick?

(40 Posts)
PavlovtheCat Wed 26-Jun-13 10:58:21

I had surgery last week, planned - well, one day's notice but I knew it was happening, as did my employers.

I have been given a Fit Note signing me off as unfit for 4wks, this might, or might not be extended depending on how I recover. Again this was expected and my employers were already aware I would be off for around this amount of time.

I had an email saying glad it all went well, from HR manager, who I copied in to update email sent to boss. She has said that she and my boss will need to do a home visit at some point during my time off.

Is this compulsory? My reasons for it are: the house is a mess, as I have had spinal surgery, DH is working like a dog to keep on top of it, care for the children, and me, while also working. Something has to give. I am aware that they are not coming here for that reason etc etc, and I shouldn't care, but I do. People DO judge, whether they should or not. I also like to keep my work and my home life private. I have had enough intrusions in my home life from work as it is over the years due to work grievances a long time ago, death of my mother, maternity leave and issues with me 'breastfeeding too long' (no kidding). I have kept them in the loop about my spinal condition, but they have wanted so much information from me, they know the ins and outs better than some of close friends! I feel exposed with them coming into my home. It feels like an intrusion that is unnecessary in the days of email and telephones.

I do get that there is an element of needing to look at how to manage my return to work, but that can be done at work? And, I tried to talk to them about this before I had surgery, as it was always going to result in a phased return with certain things in place to support my recovery while having me at work soonest. Those things are not unpredictable, they could have been anticipated, and OH involved before I went on leave, but they chose not to do anything at the time.

Anyway, ranting. I now feel anxious about them coming to visit and worrying about how we will clean the house. It's going to pray on my mind.

I just don't see what can be gained by having them come to my house - i can understand it if it was an unplanned absence where there needs to be things looked at about impact on work etc, but, it seems to be due to policy rather than any real reason given.

So can I say that I would prefer they didn't do a home visit and just let me get on with my recovery, but that an OH referral would be welcome to prepare for my return?

PavlovtheCat Wed 26-Jun-13 14:40:31

I sent an email to HR manager and my line manager, saying along the lines of 'thanks for asking after my health, i would prefer to meet in a coffee shop or somewhere near work, I will send me fit note into <managers name>'

I got this response from my HR manager:

'Glad you are getting lots of TLC. Of course you can have your 'home visit' in a coffee shop, where would suit you best? <managers name> and I were thinking of 00:00 on dd/mm/yy? would that be ok?' (two weeks time approx).

It's a bit odd. I have not yet had any email contact from my actual line manager at all, not 'get well soon' or any acknowledgement of the email sent re outcome of surgery, it's all being done via HR manager. But they have clearly spoken, as they have come up with a suitable date for them both.

PavlovtheCat Wed 26-Jun-13 14:42:56

I wouldn't have minded them just bloody leaving me alone for a week or two to recover and rest etc before thinking about where to meet, why we are meeting etc. FFS. Could she just not have said 'glad you are doing ok talk soon about return to work' or similar then contacted me next week or something.

I feel a little tense and anxious, like something is wrong.

PavlovtheCat Wed 26-Jun-13 14:45:26

solo meant to say, thanks for good wishes. I am doing pretty good actually, keep forgetting not to do too much!

mirry2 Wed 26-Jun-13 14:48:55

In the past my ex boss said he wanted to home visit me (I had been in hospital for a pregnancy related scare) and I really didnt want him to see my home, just because it's part of my privat life. However he didn't come because I told him it would be very dfficult to get here without a car (which he didn't have).

Solo Wed 26-Jun-13 14:56:39

smile You're welcome Pav

I know just where you are coming from with all of this!

PavlovtheCat Wed 26-Jun-13 15:19:12

I'm not going to reply today. I'm just going to forget about it for a couple of days. I will probably go, there is no real reason why I shouldn't go, other than I don't see the purpose and it feels like there is an agenda that I'm not aware of. Obviously there when the line manager can't even be bothered to reply himself.

flowery Wed 26-Jun-13 15:22:01

SO you emailed saying you would prefer to meet in a coffee shop and she replied saying that was fine, and proposing a date.

I can't see a problem with that tbh. If you'd replied saying I'd rather not arrange a meeting just yet, then a reply along the lines of the one you said you'd prefer might have been appropriate. But all you said was about a different venue...

PavlovtheCat Wed 26-Jun-13 15:26:52

I guess I was just surprised at the speed of the response, they have it all wrapped up already with dates etc, and it makes me wonder why. Like I said, I am a bit cynical when it comes to work related things.

I shall just tell her I will confirm nearer the time or something and then nearer the time I will ask for info about meeting purpose etc so I can know what to expect.

PavlovtheCat Wed 26-Jun-13 15:30:08

I don't actually want to meet at all. They have all the information they require to make plans around my return, including the OH referral that is needed. I just want to recover, then go back to work as guided by my GP and OH. I can't see what else they need to discuss that has to be in person, but, I also don't want to be seen as awkward, when there is no real reason for not wanting to meet, other than, it's not necessary. So I will meet to stop them thinking I am being deliberately unreasonable.

PavlovtheCat Wed 26-Jun-13 15:32:51

Although, there are some lovely coffee shops around my place of employment, and the weather has just turned out lovely. It wouldn't be terrible to chat in the sunshine about work stuff, instead of in a stuffy office. As long as they pay.

Crinkle77 Wed 26-Jun-13 15:59:10

I work for a large organisation and if you are on long term sick they will keep in contact every couple of weeks or so via phone or e-mail and after 6 weeks they will a arrange an absence review meeting between you, your line manager and HR. It does not say whether this has to be done at home although I am sure if you suggested an alternative venue that would be fine. I don't really understand your reasoning when you say they already know too much about your private life so that's why you don't want them in your home. If they did come to your home they are hardly going to start inspecting it. Just get one room tidy and close the doors to the rest of the house.

flowery Wed 26-Jun-13 16:11:57

It's not a case of being awkward, but if you feel it's too soon, would prefer to delay it a bit, or to touch base in a couple of weeks with a view to setting a date then, you need to actually say that.

From what you've said it doesn't sound like the HR manager has done anything other than be efficient and accommodating.

Believe me, there are plenty of people who would not react well to HR coming back with vague comments about talking soon about a return to work and would then complain that enough effort wasn't being made to stay in touch/support them.

My employer does home visits for people that are away LTS - and as a manager I've done them. It's meant to be a supportive hair strokery kind of HR thing tbh. In wouldn't be too worried.

BackforGood Wed 26-Jun-13 22:31:06

Am loving the term a supportive hair strokery kind of HR thing grin

but actually, that's what mine was, and, IM limited E, what they ever are, Presuming that is, the 'off sick' person isn't taking the mick.

PavlovtheCat Thu 27-Jun-13 15:39:29

supportive hair strokery type of thing love that image! Alas, I know the HR Manager well enough to know she is not a fluffy caring sharing woman! I get on well with her actually, she is honest with me most of the time, but no, she does not do virtual hair stroking grin

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