Phased return after surgery

(11 Posts)
TensionWheelsCoolHeels Mon 22-Feb-16 11:14:53

Hi, just looking for some clarification - I'm due to return to work tomorrow after 3 mths absence. Employer told me I couldn't have a phased return to work as that's only considered for maternity returners, but they'd allow me to reduce my hours to use up my holiday allowance (I've 3 weeks holiday to use as I get the booked holidays back I was supposed to have off, during my absence. My GP has given me a 'fit to work' note stating I should have a phased return on reduced hours for 2 weeks.

What I'm not clear on is whether this means I still have to use my holiday allowance to have the reduced hours, or if the GP 'fit to work' note means I don't use my holidays. The situation is further complicated by the fact GP hasn't specified what hours I should work for 2 weeks - I work longish hours usually (2 ten hr shifts & 2 8hr shifts over 4 days).

Can anyone help me clarify this before I go back to work tomorrow?

Thanks.

3kidsandacat Mon 22-Feb-16 12:46:01

No you should not have to use your holiday for a phased return to work, you need to go and see HR about this.

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Mon 22-Feb-16 12:52:08

Thanks, that's helpful.

imnottoofussed Mon 22-Feb-16 12:54:26

I thought you either classed them as sick days or holiday leave during a phased return? so you agree with your employer what is reasonable i.e coming in for the 2 8hr shifts but classing the 2 longer shifts as sick or holiday.

imnottoofussed Mon 22-Feb-16 13:04:22

the response on this page from Fit For Work on 19th Feb seems to say it is down to the employer

fitforwork.org/blog/phased-return-to-work-after-sickness-absence/

3kidsandacat Mon 22-Feb-16 13:19:01

i have a friend who has just done a phased return, this was advised by her doctor as well, it was neither holiday used or sick leave, it was what it said, a phased return, i think your employer is being very unfair on you as its not a choice made by you but recommended by your doc, speak to doc today and tell him that work wont agree to a phased return, i would bet my last ££££ he signs you off for another week

Loraline Mon 22-Feb-16 13:41:33

One of my team had to do a phased return recently, recovering from an illness. He started at 4 hours a day and built up over 3/4 weeks to full time (regular office hours). Wasn't recorded as holiday or sickness - just work days. We didn't need anyone to cover as such though.

marmaladegranny Mon 22-Feb-16 13:53:05

I had 2 lots of major surgery (joint replacement) in the last 5 years and had phased return both times, starting at 2 hour slots and building up over 4 - 6 weeks. But this was either unpaid or using annual leave or TOIL hours that I had banked. The company was very profit driven and my absence was having a negative effect on the income and a locum would have had financial implications.
My DD, however, works for a very philanthropic company and has just completed a 6 week phased return on full pay!

Lanchester Mon 22-Feb-16 14:58:08

Join a union and get free legal advice.
Disability discrimination is illegal and if you have a long term impairment to your health that may constitute disability. You do NOT need an official medical report defining you as being disabled for you to actually be legally disabled for the purpose of employment law.
If the company is found guilty of discriminating against you on the grounds of disability they may have to pay you considerable amounts of compensation.
The Equalities Act says that the company must make 'reasonable adjustments'.
I am not a lawyer. You should speak to the Union, or if you have household insurance then check your policy as many policies include a free legal advice line.
The Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to help.
Legal Aid is still available for some things and Disability Discrimination is one of those things - so you could ring a local solicitor who deals with employment law and ask if they do legal aid work...Even if they do not do legal aid work many firms of solicitors will give you a 30 minute initial appointment free.
Once agian I emphasise that I am not a lawyer and that I may be wrong about some or all of the above.
Get Proper Advice ...and soon.

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Mon 22-Feb-16 15:19:14

Thanks for the replies. I'm due in tomorrow with a late start so that's been agreed. I've been advised by an occupational health nurse to start off with about 4 hour days - late start, early exit, with lots of getting up and moving during the day (I've got a desk job) - problem is my GP hasn't said anything about that on the 'fit to work' certain so it's just me asking for what I was told by a nurse who was on my ward after my op I.e. Nothing written down as such.

I do have a lot of annual leave to use up and I think this is what's being pushed by my boss - I've asked for 2/3rds of the leave to be carried over into next year's leave, with the last week being used up some time in March (new holiday period starts in April). Just not sure if I'll need to keep that to cover the phased return period or not. I'll check with HR tomorrow too, and see what they say, depending on what my boss tells me I'll be working.

Framboisier Mon 22-Feb-16 15:26:30

It's going to depend on your sick pay policy.
If you've already used up all paid sick pay, then technically your employer can say that they are paying you for the hours you work and the fact that it's a phased return just means you have part of a day paid and part unpaid.

I think it's fair to suggest you can use up accrued holiday - then your pay won't be affected.

Without knowing all the details, I wouldn't get too hung up on making this a disability discrimination issue. Disability is basically defined as an impairment to your normal life/activities likely to last for 12 months or more. Recovery from surgery requires some flexibity, but IMO your employer is offering this.

Also not a lawyer, but a long standing HR professional...

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