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My 17 yr old DD is being asked for a sick note.(57 Posts)
She has a little P-T job at a well known retailer working weekends. She hasn't been there long and is still in her probationary period. In the 3 months she has been there she has had 2 bouts of D&S which has unfortunately coincided with her working days(we both had it last time)and another episode which has been triggered by anxiety and stress as she was unable to find cover (she was returning to 6th form)She had agreed to work extra shifts. When she phoned in, HR said they knew she was lying and wanted a sick note. She has had severe social anxiety in the past and she was seeing a CAMHS counsellor for over a year.
She had a meeting with a senior manager to discuss her attendance and punctuality and they are extending her probationary period by 3 months.
She tells me HR are still asking for a sick note. How do I get one? I guess I will have to pay for one as her symptoms have now passed but will a Dr even agree to writing one? As you can imagine this is causing my DD a lot of worry. Has anyone experienced anything similar from their employer?
You can self certificate for one week so they shouldn't be asking for a sick note unless the period of sickness is longer than 7 days. If it is longer than 7 days then yes a sick note is needed.
GP can do sick note even if no intervention was needed. Ask for a telephone consultation. They may not do one in retrospect though.
Thanks mumitravels, that is what I thought/am thinking. This one woman won't let it go though so I will phone our GP surgery tomorrow and see what they say.
HR can't say that they know that she's lying
Was she off for more than 7 consecutive days (including her non-work days)? If she wasn't then she can self-certify, for any future absences that are more than 7 days then get her to see the doctor for a note right away. With this particular instance then the doctor can write a note saying that she's fit to return to normal duties.
Is there a Union in her workplace that she can join?
Please don't eat your GP if they refuse,firstly less that a week should be self certificate and secondly they can only say " this person tells me that ... And has recovered ".
Also they may not speak to you as mum of a 17yr old.
I doubt you'd get a GP to sign a sick note respectively
Jellyplum, yes they did say that. She tried to arrange cover for the days she said she would work but couldn't because of return to 6th form. She hadn't acknowledged the dates when she was 1st given them as we were still in the holidays. As soon as she realised she tried to do something about it but only managed to get cover for one day. The stress of not being able to go in gave her diarrhoea and she was wretching with stomach cramps (she also had her period). She was crying in work with the stress of it all.
The woman in HR said she knew she was lying and wasn't really sick as she had heard she was trying to arrange cover!
She does need to join a union. I just want her to get through this probationary period and get a decent reference so she can move on. They really are a mickey mouse operation to work for. The fact that she is even working and facing the public given how bad and crippling her anxiety was before amazes me.I am so proud of her and fuming with this HR woman.
Helenluvsrob, I agree. I can't see them doing it.
Get it all in writing. The dates/periods of sickness and copies of self-certificates. If no period is longer than 7 days (including days off in that rota week) then they cant say anything.
For most employers there is a sickness procedure and after two episodes there is a warning and you're on a 'watch list'.
It looks worse on your records to have periods of self certificates for a day or two at a time than say to have two weeks off with the same thing.
Bakingaddict, I thought the same.
I don't know what we can do though. I didn't think you should even go to a Drs with D&S, I know you can't go to the hospital if you have sickness and diarrhoea and unless it's something more, they can't give you anything that you can't get over the counter anyway.We can't even get an appointment at our GP, it's either engaged or all the appointments on the day have gone.
They cant ask for a suck note unless she is absent for a week
She has had three sick days or periods within the 3 months she has been there. It's unfortunate but it is totally appropriate for the manager or hr to want to go down a disciplinary route or let a probationer go due to this.
I would be extremely surprised if she was kept on past her probation.
As a manager for a well known retailer, unless your daughter was off for more than 7 days she does not need to provide a sick note. If she was off for 7 days then she will need to provide a self certified fit note. HR should never have said she was lying! However - in some cases they may probe for details of dates, sickness type etc, as sadly absence management is a big deal in retail, and is managed very robustly in most retailers.
As Nap Queen said, 3 absences in a probationary period would be a massive red flag to me, it's unfortunate but I wouldn't keep someone on who had had 3 absences in their first 3 months, unless it was a known illness or was a serious medical problem.
Thanks mumitravels , that makes things clearer. She has filled in forms following her return to work and we are keeping a record of the days she has worked and been off sick. I guess she would be on a 'watch list'. This is her 1st experience of employment. I work through an agency so always try and make sure I can work on the days I am meant to as no work equals no money. Thanks for making things clearer.
How many days was she off for?
3 bouts of sickness in 3 months whilst on probation would have resulted in dismissal at my work. Lots of companies have really strict sick policies now.
Not saying I agree it's fair BTW.....
My understanding of sick leave was this. Your absence is counted from the first day you are off sick until you return to work even if the days in between are your non-working days. I did check this and it seems to be correct. And on the NHS website it does say that an employer can request a sick note if they think the sick leave is too high. Which really from the employer's point of view it is quite.
Three periods of sickness in 12 weeks is quite high for part-time work. So the extension of probation is quite reasonable. They'd be within their rights to dismiss her. I don't mean to be harsh but only stating facts of employment rights. Hopefully, she won't be sick again and the rest of the probation will be fine.
Also some employers (retail in particular) will look at an absence percentage an. Manage that accordingly. So for example, 5 days off out of 30 days would be a 6 % absence, and my employer would look to complete an absence management disciplinary for that much absence.
Thanks Orwellschild, this gives me a better perspective to talk to DD about.
Can I ask, if she passes this extended 3 months with no further periods of sickness and improved punctuality, what kind of reference might she get? Will the fact that she had her PP extended go on future references?
She is really good on the shop floor, is often complimented on her work ethic, is a quick learner and works really hard.
I know I'm coming at this from a different angle but I'd suggest one of two things:
Either a) Accept as NapQueen says that this isn't going to be a goer and get her to resign rather than be "let go" after her probationary period. She can then honestly say that she had the experience of working there in future, but that she resigned because of pressures of sixth form.
Or b) Push it as hard as you can. I'm assuming by well known retailer you mean M&S or Next or someone like that? Write to the Chairman along the lines you have here - say how proud you are of her for overcoming her anxiety and trying to do something positive and how appalled you are that she is being called a liar. Tell them you expect better from a big company etc etc and see what sort of response you get. Leave HR out of it completely. Obviously, the Chairman won't actually read it, but some flunky in his office will pick it up and, I would suspect on the basis of what is written here, your daughter will at least be guaranteed to finish her weekend job.
Depends how much hassle you want really. But poor girl - these kinds of things are pretty stressful as a seasoned adult, never mind as a teen and an anxious one at that.
SpagettiMeatballs,she was off for the weekend she was meant to be working (x2) and was ill on the morning she was meant to be working (x1).
I was a retail manager for a long time, I'm sorry to say that with this level of sickness I probably would have let your daughter go by now. Shops are usually run on a bare minimum of staff and someone calling in sick can leave you in real problems for the day. The HR person should never have said they don't believe her, that is awful. In your daughters position I think I would seriously considering leaving the job voluntarily and looking for something else, retail references are usually just how long did you work/ no of sick day & would you re employ, her ref even after the extended trial period is not going to look great to a future employer.
I had missed there were also punctuality issues, why was she late?
Thank you NataliaOsipova, I know for a fact that DD wouldn't want me to do that. I'm just sad that she might get a reference that doesn't reflect how hard she actually works but agree with the experts on here with what they have said.
When she mentioned her anxiety in her meeting yesterday , the manager was very sympathetic and said that he would always believe her.
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