NHS sickness policy for stress etc

(14 Posts)
Catchuptv Sun 21-Aug-16 19:33:55

Hi there,

My friend has been off sick 5 times this year - 3 with stress (which she says is work related) - 2 with a bad back. Altogether she's been off

3 stress - 1 week each time
2 back - 1 week and 2 week

So totals 6 weeks in this year alone.

She says she's scared of going back to work now as she's under some sort of management follow up. I think she'd be better staying off a bit longer so it looks more genuine (I mean if you have stress you don't usually recover after a week!). Anyway - anyone got any advice for her?

TheGruffaloMother Sun 21-Aug-16 19:36:44

So she's had 6 weeks off and only one of them isn't self certified? Has she been to the doctor about both the stress and the bad back?

Stopyourhavering Sun 21-Aug-16 19:40:27

If she's only been off for a week at a time, likelihood is she's only self certified....she needs to get a sick note from her GP if this is a stress related illness . Has occupational health been involved, is she in a union?... Need to get them involved
NHS is getting pretty strict with sickness record now and she will be under regular review....I'd certainly advise her to see GP otherwise if she has any more episodes she could be heading for a written warning

Catchuptv Sun 21-Aug-16 19:40:47

She's under the doctor for 'mental health' problems already. I hadn't thought about sick lines - but that does look a bit bad doesn't it.

Catchuptv Sun 21-Aug-16 19:42:40

I work for a private company so don't get paid when off sick it sounds like the NHS is really bad if you're off sick (apart from getting paid! - always a bonus). She has to go to her boss when she gets back and then she gets monitored or something.

TheGruffaloMother Sun 21-Aug-16 19:44:08

It does look bad, yes. Has her boss had any sick notes from the doctor confirming her MH issues and back issues? Because her having sought help from the doctor doesn't translate to her employer knowing she has without those notes.

Catchuptv Sun 21-Aug-16 19:48:11

I don't know actually - but I know she's told her boss she can't cope with her job it's too much. It is a heavy workload from what she says.

No-one thinks she will get into trouble though eh? I'm worried about her because if she's worried about going back she might be better just taking longer to calm down and then go back once she's better.

Mov1ngOn Sun 21-Aug-16 19:52:37

I got the impression they'd pay 6 months sick full pay but it's the lots of separate incidences which make it look more problematic. I dont k ow though. I always thought the NHS looked incredibly generous compared to a private employer where you'd be out.

Changeasgoodasis Sun 21-Aug-16 19:58:31

Staying off longer won't help if every time you return you return into the same circumstances. She'll have triggered the sickness policy with this time off. The "back to work" meeting after illness is standard in many large companies and public sector which is what I presume you are referring to with the manager meeting.

She will now go on sickness monitoring and likely referred to occ health so that they can be sure they have put everything in place to prevent their liability in stress or back issues (probably workplace assessment for correct chair, desk position etc).

Etak15 Sun 21-Aug-16 20:00:36

In the nhs if you have more than 3 episodes of sickness in 5 months you trigger 'sickness monitoring' I would say most of the people I work with are on sickness monitoring! The use a points based system, Bradford scale? I think, don't fully understand it myself but not really anything for her to worry about! Although worth her bearing in mind that 1 episode is the same if it's a day or 6 months so she shouldn't go back before she's ready when she's Ill, it's all the different episodes that make you trigger the sickness monitoring rather than the length of time you've had off.

Thelastegg Sun 21-Aug-16 20:01:35

You always get a back to work "interview" when you return from sickness. IME it's not been anything to worry about, the managers are really supportive. They need to know that she is capable of doing the job safely, hasnt returned too soon and would want to look at what in the job is causing stress and ways of managing that. I have found the NHS is excellent when it comes to sick leave.

TheGruffaloMother Sun 21-Aug-16 20:08:11

No-one thinks she will get into trouble though eh?

Quite the contrary. If she keeps going off with short sicknesses and not presenting doctor's notes for them she's likely to get in quite some bother. 6 weeks is a really big chunk without a doctor's note. If she's on monitoring then she really must make sure future illnesses have a note and that she discusses work related stress with her manager at her back to work interview (which is pretty standard nowadays).

longdays Sun 21-Aug-16 20:42:57

She needs to self refer to occupational health if her manager hadn't already done so. Occupational health are in my experience very helpful in this situation. How long has she worked for the NHS? What kind of work is she doing? Is she looking for other employment if her job is too stressful?

Catchuptv Sun 21-Aug-16 21:28:00

She's been there 15 years and is an audio typist. No she's too stressed to look for something else.

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