Redundancy while off sick

(63 Posts)
KatieMcFlightly Wed 05-Sep-12 21:03:56

I've been off sick with work related stress for 6 months and have had a letter telling me that there are going to be redundancies at work. There are 20 of us and the council are cutting us down to 14. We have all got to apply for our jobs and 14 of us will be appointed. I've been given a skills matching form to fill in. I'm off sick, can they make me redundant? What happens if I'm not well enough to go back to work if I'm appointed? Can I stay off sick? Thanks

TellyBug Wed 05-Sep-12 21:20:11

Yes they can make you redundant but it can't be the reason why.

But you're not going to be much use to them if you're not in for six months...

flowery Wed 05-Sep-12 21:24:11

Yes you can be made redundant, and unless your condition is a disability, your attendance can be used as a criteria for selection.

However you should have been (or will be shortly) told what selection criteria they will use.

If you work for a council is there a union?

TellyBug Wed 05-Sep-12 21:26:50

Agree with flowery, attendance levels can be taken into account.

KatieMcFlightly Wed 05-Sep-12 21:31:09

My union is UNISON. I think from the selection criteria that I am pretty certain of a job. I'm highly skilled. My problem is that I don't think I'll be well enough to go back. I don't know when I will- if at all but I don't want to lose my job.

TellyBug Wed 05-Sep-12 21:36:46

You're not sure you can go back but you want a job?

I think you need to figure out how you can get well enough if you want to work. You should at least be working with your employer to figure out what they can do to support you back into work and also what you're doing.

Your skills are pretty useless to them if you're not there, therefore they're irrelevant.

KatieMcFlightly Wed 05-Sep-12 22:03:42

But I'll probably be appointed on points. I need to know if there's any way they can get rid of me because I'm not there. It's not my fault I'm ill. It was work related stress. My boss tried to change my job after I'd been ill for 3 months and I went back to less responsibility and the same money. She said she was taking pressure off but I wanted the same job I had. It's her fault I'm off sick cos she changed my responsibility and took some jobs off me . She says its not her fault as Id been off work for 3 months and she carried on doing some of my work when I returned. I stayed one day to the changed role but the same salary and then went off sick and have gone off sick again. I want the old respononsility that I had but she says it made me ill. I cant go back unless im going back to the old job that doesnt exist anymore due to the cuts. My salary wil be the same but the old job doesn't exit any more. I have filled the skills form in to the old job an surely I can force the council to let me bakc to my old job

TellyBug Wed 05-Sep-12 22:09:47

No, Katie you can't force them to give you back your old job. You say you couldn't cope with it. They then took some work off your plate (for the same money) and then you went off sick again...

I do appreciate that stress is a real sickness but it sounds as though they've tried to help, you gave it a go for just one day and then went sick again.

They do not exist to give you a job. If you want to work you need to be open to change and flexible.

KatieMcFlightly Wed 05-Sep-12 22:14:09

I Will get appointed though won't I? I have more points than anyone? Or can they not appoint based on the fact I'm off sick?

KatieMcFlightly Wed 05-Sep-12 22:16:36

HR do the decisions though, not my boss which is ok. If he form looks good, my boss has no influence

TellyBug Wed 05-Sep-12 22:24:20

Why do you want to keep a job you don't want??

KatieMcFlightly Wed 05-Sep-12 22:28:42

cos i need the money and why should my boss get away with demotimng me

TellyBug Wed 05-Sep-12 22:35:17

Go and get another job Katie. There's no place for people with that attitude in councils anymore.

KatieMcFlightly Wed 05-Sep-12 22:42:32

But I can get awya with it all. I'm legal. I just want to know how long they can keep my job for me. 6 people will lose their jobs and I'm sad about that. But my boss shoulend have changed my role. She demoted me. I deserve paying

TellyBug Wed 05-Sep-12 22:43:29

You're a disgrace to the public sector.

KatieMcFlightly Wed 05-Sep-12 22:44:53

I'm not. My boss took away my responsibility. HR WILL give me my job back cos I have enough points. I also completed a degree while I was off sick and my boss has just found out which im worried about but she cant do anything about it

RubyrooUK Wed 05-Sep-12 22:49:41

Is this a reverse thing where you're the boss?


TellyBug Wed 05-Sep-12 22:51:20

ruby After that last one I was wondering if something is fishy about this...

KatieMcFlightly Wed 05-Sep-12 22:51:52

no. why would you say that?

KatieMcFlightly Wed 05-Sep-12 22:53:41

I went off sick in march and while off sick i finished my degree. I have heard through the grapevine that my boss has found out about this. I CAN of course deny that i took the time off to do the work as I compleeted it befpre I went off sick. My boss is a bitch

EdithWeston Wed 05-Sep-12 22:59:39

It is possible that others applying for the remaining roles will also meet the basic criteria, and the view on how well you and they fit will be made by your managers, and there surely can be no guarantee from HR at this point what those decisions will be.

If the job is making you ill, then is it the right job for you? A redundancy could give you the financial cushion you need whilst you look for something that would not cause you health problems. This might be a better situation for you than the one you might find yourself in when your sick pay period runs out.

RubyrooUK Wed 05-Sep-12 23:02:33

OP, I guess I just suggested this was a reverse post because it's totally fair enough to post and ask for advice on whether you can be made redundant when you are long term sick.....

...but you then said your job was too stressful. Your boss then tried to remove some stress. You wanted back your original role and only tried it for one day. You then went on to talk quite casually about how people would lose their jobs but show no enthusiasm for ever returning to the job, only the money. You also revealed you'd been busy working on your degree and had concealed this from your employer.

I guess I just found your case presented in quite an unsympathetic way. But if it's not a reverse post, apologies.

KatieMcFlightly Wed 05-Sep-12 23:07:14

ruby. It;'s what happened. Ive just foudn my boss has found out all this. MY compleeting my degree was therapeutic to me. Surely I cant be judged for that/ Honestly, my boss really is a bitch

Londonista1975 Wed 05-Sep-12 23:07:42

Sick enough not to go to work but not sick enough to finish a degree? How does that work, then?

KatieMcFlightly Wed 05-Sep-12 23:08:35

Edith- no one will have as many points as me. I am more qualified and more experienced than any of the others

KatieMcFlightly Wed 05-Sep-12 23:09:07

Finiching my degrree was therapeutic. They cant prove any of that though.

RubyrooUK Wed 05-Sep-12 23:17:37

Fair enough. I think it's hard for a bunch of people online to really appreciate if your boss is a bitch. It just hasn't read like that.

But obviously if you are best qualified for the job (and keen to go back when you are no longer ill so you don't want to take redundancy), I guess you have a very good chance of avoiding being laid off.

Virgil Wed 05-Sep-12 23:17:46

So how do you know what others will score. The selection criteria may include things such as attitude and team working. It seems unlikely that you would know that you would score more highly.

And I'm afraid that most employers will ensure that the selection matrix is designed to ensure their problem
Employees come out at the bottom. This is just the way it is.

It doesn't sound like your condition will amount to a disability and as a result you may score badly on attendance.

Virgil Wed 05-Sep-12 23:19:15

In addition people often think that qualifications are everything. They are not. If an employee has a masters degree and another only has A levels, but the job actually only requires A levels then the employee with the masters degree should not score any more highly.

Floggingmolly Wed 05-Sep-12 23:20:35

Unless legislation has changed recently, inability to do your job; whether due to lack of appropriate skills, or chronic illness which prevents you actually being in the workplace is grounds for dismissal. This being the case I'd imagine it would certainly impact negatively on your application.
What value to the company are your qualifications and experience if you are not actually there?
Six months (with no end is sight) is a long time. Who is expected to fill in for you? Why would they not be favoured over you, given that they can work and you can't?

Virgil Wed 05-Sep-12 23:22:07

Similarly experience works in the same way. If I work on a production line for 30 years but actually it only take a month for someone to be fully trained on that production line then my 30 years experience does not mean that I will score more highly than someone who has been there for a year. On the other handing I do a job where I get better and better and better the longer I do it and that improvement is of benefit to my employer then my experience may help me in a selection process. Most jobs however only have this effect up to a certain point (generally a few years).

KatieMcFlightly Wed 05-Sep-12 23:24:00

The council cover my sickness. I know for a fact that I am most qualified

Virgil Wed 05-Sep-12 23:26:54

If I was advising your employer I would be telling them to look to dismiss you for capability as a result of the fact that you have been off since march. This is a fair Reason for dismissal.

How do you think you can insist on your job back if the job has disappeared?

Floggingmolly Wed 05-Sep-12 23:27:18

Actually, Tellybug, I agree with you. This one stinks to high heaven...

Selks Wed 05-Sep-12 23:33:19

I find this thread hard to believe to be honest. I've worked in public services for many years and nowhere have I seen it possible for someone io be off sick for six months and still be paid. Yes people sometimes do go off sick got many months eg if mentally ill or with a serious illness but after a couple of months pay is reduced then it goes to statutory sick pay only; the person cannot remain off sick indefinitely and still draw their salary - those days are long gone. And if someone is off long term sick they have regular meetings with their manager / H R to see if they can be assisted back into work.

TellyBug Wed 05-Sep-12 23:36:46

Katie was teaching secondary in 2010 according to old posts.

buttons33 Wed 05-Sep-12 23:54:40

Teacher sick pay is 6 months full and 6 months half pay. With a doctor's note. A teacher can come back for one day and then go off sick again. However capability procedures should be implemented if someone is off on the sick for such a long time.

I would think the OP's attitude stinks now matter what job she does but, being a teacher myself, I'm especially horrified!! By both the attitude to work/boss/'entitlement' and the bad spelling, grammar and punctuation...

I wouldn't be surprised if you find that you are made redundant. If not, expect capability procedures to begin as soon as you go back. I believe that being off sick does NOT protect you from capability leading to dismissal.

buttons33 Wed 05-Sep-12 23:55:22

not 'now'

hairytale Thu 06-Sep-12 04:34:57

This has to be a wind up.

NapaCab Thu 06-Sep-12 05:28:11

Unfortunately, for the skeptics on this thread, the OP being off for six months on full pay wouldn't be unusual at all in the public sector.

I worked in a university and staff were entitled to six months' sick leave on full pay and six months' half-pay, so effectively 9 months' full pay. There were an unusual number of people off sick with stress. A couple of them even came back for a few weeks to give a new arrangement a try and then went off sick again.

For the OP, you need to find out what the selection criteria for the redundancy process is. It's pretty common for employers, in both private and public sectors, to manage the selection criteria precisely so they can get rid of difficult employees. With your attitude, you shouldn't be too surprised if your employer takes this approach and uses attendance record as the basis for the selection.

Either way, if you hate your job and your boss that much, you'd be better off finding a new job rather than sulking over what happened in the past.

NapaCab Thu 06-Sep-12 05:32:25

Oh and just to confirm, from my own experience while being in a genuine situation of illegality by my former employer that I had to take legal action on, sickness doesn't protect you from redundancy. Being off sick won't help your situation and may complicate it in fact because if you are selected for redundancy, you won't be available for interviews regarding mitigation of the redundancy e.g. interviews for alternative roles.

Heartbeep Thu 06-Sep-12 05:48:19

Are you actually sick now OP or do you just not want to work with your boss anymore?

Virgil Thu 06-Sep-12 07:01:16

Well if it's teaching then your experience definitely won't save you on its own. More recently qualified teachers can be said to bring more up to date knowledge of methods and techniques.

EdithWeston Thu 06-Sep-12 07:10:27

Also, the additional degree won't add anything, as in a state school it is QTS that counts and you appear not to have been at work for long enough since acquiring it for you to be able to demonstrate that it has made any difference to your performance.

As it is reapplication for the posts, then you need to look at the form as a job application from scratch, your belief that you are in particular more experienced will be scrutinised. This is not a synonym for "longer in post", so it is type and extent of experience and how it is relevant to the current job description that counts. And indeed recent experience may well be the most valued.

SoupDragon Thu 06-Sep-12 07:14:17

So, you were off work with work related stress for 3 months because you couldn't cope with your job.
Your boss arranged it so you had less responsibility for the same money , you tied this for one day and went off sick again because you wanted the job and all the responsibility you couldn't cope with...?
You managed to complete your degree whilst off sick?

Basically, you may be the most "qualified" but if you can't do the job why should they pay you to do nothing and make someone else redundant?

No one wants to lose their job but you are the one least able to do their job so it doesn't look good.

Losingitall Thu 06-Sep-12 07:18:11

I would be dismissing you on grounds of capability. In my Co your sick pay would have expired and unless I had occ health advice saying you were fit to return soon you would be going.


Businesses are not a charity.

twofalls Thu 06-Sep-12 07:23:33

I can't believe this thread is real. The sense of entitlement astounds me. I am frankly gobsmacked. But the fact so many posters are answering sensibly indicates this type of situation is pretty common.

sherbetpips Thu 06-Sep-12 07:38:15

My ds teacher last year managed to be off sick for three years, she would come in for 2 weeks at the beginning of term then not be seen again for the next year. Really upset my ds at the time having stand in teachers. She finally resigned this year so can't screw up any more kids education.
Never understood being off with stress, if you can't cope with your job you leave and get a different job, well that what happens in the private sector. Is it easier to take the mickey in the public sector?

In a recent round of redundancies at my work, absence was one of the criteria (criterion?) taken into account.

And as the parent of a child whose maths teacher was off for most of his Higher year, I agree with others who say that you should look for something more suitable.

hairytale Thu 06-Sep-12 08:40:00

"Never understood being off with stress, if you can't cope with your job you leave and get a different job, well that what happens in the private sector"

Hang on a sec. Not everyOne off with stress is taking the Mick. While the OP here does appear to have a very entitled stance, and this particular case seems far fetched, there are genuine cases! You can't just leave a job and get another when you suffer from stress!

booflebean Thu 06-Sep-12 09:01:17

Ffs - this is why it needs to be made easier to sack people. And WE are all paying your salary while you swan about and finish your degree? Christ almighty...

I cannot believe the OPs sense of entitlement - I work in HR in the private sector and her poor attitude would be strongly weighted in our redundancy criteria to ensure she stopped taking the mick.

If you can't cope with your job get a new one and if you really are a teacher imparting knowledge to a future generation I am flabbergasted that this was too stressful for yet you were able to complete studies for your own betterment. Really rather selfish.

I have 2 people off with long term stress in my business now and we are doing everything we can to support a return to work but they are showing a clear desire to make it work- you op are not.

In answer to you question though yes you can be made redundant and if you were in
my business you would be top of the list to go.

Selks Thu 06-Sep-12 12:01:14

The OP does not say that she is a teacher, just that she works in public services.
But her attitude still stinks of blatantly exploiting the situation.

flowery Thu 06-Sep-12 12:08:01

I would be surprised if the OP hasnt been told what criteria will be used to select people, if she's had to fill in a skills match form and has been told everyone will have to apply for their jobs.

OP if you genuinely haven't been told whether attendance will be used as a criteria, then get your union rep to ask. In answer to your question about can you stay off sick if you get appointed to one of the roles, then yes you can.

I agree with others that redundancy or no redundancy, you would have been dismissed for capability by now in many many organisations.

flowery Thu 06-Sep-12 12:08:31

as a criterion not as a criteria..

MainlyMaynie Thu 06-Sep-12 12:15:24

If this is real, you need to consider applying for voluntary redundancy. You have been off six months, so will be about to move down to half-pay. You will only get six-months on half-pay. Your employer will be moving to dismiss you on health grounds during this time. I would be very surprised if they haven't already considered this. I would also be surprised if there wasn't a weighting for sickness absence on the redundancy procedure. Having more experience and qualifications is not guaranteed to gain you the most points. There may well also be a weighting for performance appraisals. Given your attitude towards your boss and your job, it is fairly likely they will attempt to use redundancy to get rid of you.

What are your current plans for returning to work?

If the points are awarded for:

Excuse making
Skiving ability
and ego

then I'm sure you will have the most points and keep your job, if not I'd pray for a miraculous recovery and start job hunting. Or seek out a solicitor specialising in unfair dipmissial as I'm sure this is what you'll argue

twofalls Thu 06-Sep-12 13:36:51

From another thread which is know is bad form but couldn't help myself:
"why is he so late home. I teach secondary adn have a 20 minute drive plus 2 kids to pick up and I'm home for 4 "

So she is a teacher (and fwiw I don't know any teacher who is home before 5).

Floggingmolly Thu 06-Sep-12 13:56:18

I really hope my kids never have a teacher even marginally as crap as you sound, op sad

EdithWeston Thu 06-Sep-12 13:59:48

From this thread - she's in UNISON, so may be a teaching assistant (as teachers are normally in the various teachers' unions).

Rangirl Tue 18-Sep-12 13:28:39

Could only happen in the public sector Sorry if that sounds harsh.
And I know it's only a minority etc but still OP wouldn't last 5 mins in the private sectir

Rangirl Tue 18-Sep-12 13:29:16

Sector ( pest I phone)

shap123 Sat 20-Sep-14 15:15:47

can i be made redundant when sick even if i have a excellent work record until now.this is my 1st time i have been off sick for more than a day or 2 in my life, I have been off now for about 8 weeks and could be off for a couple more at most. I have been asked to attend a meeting as the company has resurrected since i have been off work.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now