Off work due to stress - advice

(38 Posts)
Sylvana Mon 07-Apr-14 16:46:54

I asked my Manager could I go home today as I wasn't feeling well. The work load is horrific, I am under severe pressure and feeling very stressed about it all. She was very understanding and told me to go home, get well and when I come back we will sit down and will sort the work out.

I am planning to go to the doctor tomorrow to see if he will sign me off for a week or two. He already prescribed me AD's a couple of months ago. I wondering what he will put on my sick note - is it a bad idea to put "stress" as a reason to be off sick from work ? Is there anything else that would cover it but sounds better ?

Funnyfoot Mon 07-Apr-14 16:56:09

If stress is what it is then stress should go on the sick note.

OP if the stress is work related isn't it better your workplace know this?
That way they can work with you and support you to come back to work with a better working environment and smaller workload.

If you put for example 'back problems' your workload would be the same on your return and your managers would have no idea that there is a problem that you need support with.

Take care OP

Sylvana Mon 07-Apr-14 17:09:23

Thanks funny, yes my Manager knows the reason, everyone is under enormous pressure in work, including her. I do need my workload reduced and this is my chance to address it. I will tell doc everything tomorrow. Thanks for the reply.

Funnyfoot Mon 07-Apr-14 17:11:41

smile

Quckstart Mon 07-Apr-14 17:19:24

Funnyfoot, I agree that's how things should be but IME it isn't what happens in RL. It depends what kind of career you want after these current issues are resolved but IME having any time off for work related stress is as good as saying "I give up and I don't ever expect to be promoted within the organisation again"

Your boss knows about the pressure you're under and has acknowledged the fact that something needs to be done. I would be making every effort to ensure anything but stress went on that sicknote (sorry)

Funnyfoot Mon 07-Apr-14 17:23:56

Fair do's Quick. Sorry you have worked for a difficult employer.

But it will be a much worse situation for the OP if she says nothing at all about work related stress or how it is affecting her. It will never get better and it will never be resolved.

Not all companies treat employees as badly as yours and the OP surely should give her company the chance to improve working conditions for her and others.

Nothing was ever changed by silence Quick.

Quckstart Mon 07-Apr-14 17:29:14

Yes, but she hasn't said nothing. She's already had that conversation, informally with her boss who has agreed to take action to sort it out. Far better for OP if it can be resolved and remain informal. Even if her current boss is understanding, then next one might not be and the record will always be there.

Funnyfoot Mon 07-Apr-14 17:37:33

Sometimes health and wellbeing take president over promotions Quick.

Also in regards to stress I know many a manager even a CEO who had suffered from work related stress at some point in their career and it did not harm them.
There is not the stigma attached to stress/depression/anxiety as a few years ago and those that choose to keep it hidden like some dirty little secret do nothing in the way of changing how it is viewed.

You need to do what is right for you at the time because a big promotion with a higher wage is no use to somebody who is having a breakdown or chooses alcohol to cope with the stress.

Quckstart Mon 07-Apr-14 17:39:39

Of course funnyfoot but that's not the situation the Op finds herself in. She doesn't need to take the risk that it will harm her future because her boss has already committed to resolving things.

Funnyfoot Mon 07-Apr-14 17:39:40

Oh and just to add if it remains informal and at some point they sack OP for excessive sickness she has nothing to back her up should she decide to take it further.

Funnyfoot Mon 07-Apr-14 17:40:46

Saying and doing are two completely different things. Her boss is already overloaded and stressed herself. If she cannot manage her own workload how do you expect her to manage the OP's?

Quckstart Mon 07-Apr-14 17:44:01

LOL, how will that change if Op has a certificate?

Of course OP will have to take things further if her boss doesn't do as promised but IMO it would be best to give her the chance to be true to her word before assuming that she won't.

Funnyfoot Mon 07-Apr-14 17:49:49

Nobody is saying that the boss won't do it. The question was should I let stress be put on my sick note.

Answer yes.

Reasons:

Because it's the truth.
It will support her in securing a reduced workload and better working environment.
Should the OP come up against any problems regarding time off or productivity she has proof that workload was an issue and that her company were aware of it yet did nothing to support her.

If it is kept informal it will be OP's word against her boss which I am afraid never works in the employees favour.

How will what change?

Funnyfoot Mon 07-Apr-14 17:56:35

Also when the OP returns she will conduct a back to work interview as this happens in most places where she will be asked questions about her sickness and if she is fit to return to work. It will do no favours if the OP lies on the sick note as she will have to lie at the back to work interview also.

wishinwaitinhopin Mon 07-Apr-14 17:58:07

I'm in the exact same position OP. There are two schools of thought. 1/ if you admit stress to employees you're screwed (this is my mother's view). 2/ if you put work related stress on sick note you have the employer by the goolies cause they have to tread very carefully in this case.
I'm at the point where I don't care cause I can't take it anymore. I would be honest, times are changing and it can only help your situation. Good luck OP. I feel your pain x

Funnyfoot Mon 07-Apr-14 18:01:50

Sorry to hear you are in the same boat wish sad

wishinwaitinhopin Mon 07-Apr-14 18:09:16

Thank you funny.
I have tried to keep it together for so long but to be honest I'm quitting tomorrow. I'm terrified of the fall out... But it was making me physically unwell as well as mentally anxious and depressed and life is just too short.

Funnyfoot Mon 07-Apr-14 18:16:05

It is wish.

I spent 6 months off work last year with stress and depression from a job I thought I loved and was my life.
Truth was I had been kidding myself.

As soon as I left my outlook on life was brighter.
I now work part time for a charity and I am doing a part time degree at 36 yo.
I am happy and stress free for the first time in years and apparently a lot more fun to be around grin

wishinwaitinhopin Mon 07-Apr-14 21:16:56

I'm so so glad to hear that funny. My desire to do this job is purely fueled by other people's expectations and opinions of what makes a good job / career. I'm doing it to please other people. 98% of my stress comes from having to leave my child every day to do this job which costs about 90% of what I earn. Enough is enough. I've been off for a week and I feel connected to my son again. I feel happy And content. I feel like a huge weight is off my shoulders.

I feel your pain. My dr wanted to sign me off in Feb... I resisted and told him I would manage and resolve situation at work. So I spoke to my bosses boss... He said all the right things; then proceeded to actively ignore me for 3 weeks! GP signed me off. I'm due back on Mon 14 and have heard nothing from management or HR or occ health regarding what will/might happen when I go back. Not sure if I am supposed to contact them? It's all very messy and tbh more worrying than when I wasn't off.... hmm I do think we need to stand up for ourselves though and I feel that I am being taken advantage of.

BillyBanter Mon 07-Apr-14 21:30:18

If someone is off with stress then there should be a 'managed return'. they should not just be presented with a massive backlog and told to get on with it now they are 'better'.

Do you have a stress policy at work, OP?

Is there a trade union at your work and/or are you a TU member?

If everyone is under stress then what is being done about it?

Sylvana Mon 07-Apr-14 21:30:34

Thanks everyone for your input. This debate is exactly the conflict going on in my head. I have no desire for promotion or to climb the career ladder any further - I've done all that. I used to love my job but it's a full time job which I have to do in 25 hours per week, so its impossible really, something has to give. We've had an employment embargo for the past 5 years so anyone who has left/retired has not been replaced.

I might go to the doctor, tell him I am feeling physically ill, run down, overworked and feeling stressed. I will let him decide what is wrong with me - he is the doctor after all. It's the truth - work can do what they like, I don't care anymore.

BillyBanter Mon 07-Apr-14 21:52:16

Can you not persuade the staff to join a union?

So many piss-taking companies just pile on the pressure.

Sylvana Mon 07-Apr-14 22:05:30

It is unionised but my Manager told me to go home, get well and we will sit down and go through the problems when I get back. I would prefer to give her the opportunity of trying to sort it out before going down the union route.

I agree with giving your boss the opportunity to resolve things before getting the Union involved, but you have nothing to lose by taking advice from the union... (Wishing I could take my own advice!) Wondering if we work for the same/similar company in the same/similar sector from what you have said.

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