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To make this offer or suggestions

(57 Posts)
TheInnerSea Fri 25-Jan-13 16:37:28

I am line manager to a woman with a broken ankle. There have been some complication and she's now been in plaster for ten Weeks and signed off work. We're in regular contact and she says she wants to be back at work and the only reason she isn't is that she can't drive. Her absence is causing

dissatisfaction among her work mates as they feel she's skiving and they're having to cover for her.

WIBU to offer to pay half of her taxi fayre so she can come to work? (approx 15 each way)

Also does anyone know the legal position?

MammaTJ Sat 26-Jan-13 13:06:09

there are people who would and have offered lifts

She has refused lifts. She does not want to be at work!

How long has she been off? I would say I would have struggled with any journey, or the thought of a day at a desk for the first three weeks after I broke mine, but after that I was climbing the walls and would have done anything to be able to work.

ll31 Sat 26-Jan-13 13:06:29

if she's signed off it has to be for medical reasons, so ask hr to refer her to company dr. if dr has said she's unfit to work, u encourage/make hercome back early and theres accident , what is ur responsibility? i wouldn't dream of doing that...

tiggytape Sat 26-Jan-13 13:23:01

If she has refused lifts then she does not feel up to returning and that is her right. As others have said, having a broken ankle is much more debilitating than not being able to walk. She may be on strong medication and she will not have use of her hands for all the time she is standing up If you've never been on crutches, it is impossible to imagine how limiting it is:

You cannot carry a handbag even on your shoulder as it falls off as you hobble along
You cannot go up steps without risking falling or stopping to huff and puff after each set - it is exhausting hauling youurself around on your arms all day and effectively jumping up and down stairs.
You cannot open any doors that pull inwards and get through them before they shut on you.
You cannot stay upright without leaning on something and having something to rest your foot on.
You need to keep the leg elevated a lot of the time.
Going to the loo is a nightmare especially if it is a small toilet cubicle as your leg is rigid and immobile.
You cannot carry your lunch back to a table or to your desk.
You cannot carry a drink or cup of tea over.
Getting in and out of a car is an undignified shuffle with one leg left behind until you drag it in after you (and wearing trousers is difficult because of the cast so its not very dignified to clamber in a car in a skirt)
You cannot get the cast wet so have to be careful near water or in the rain
You cannot move fast so things like fire escapes and that would have to be considered.

When you're hobbling around at home and have someone on hand to help you move stuff (or don't need to move anything for the day) and can leave the toilet door open to give your leg more room then it is fine but going anywhere with a leg in plaster is very difficult. I imagine this is why she is signed off.
If you do force her into coming back, she is going to need a lot of help with daily tasks (no doubt her colleagues will begrudge her not being able to carry her own drinks!) and you'd have to do a risk assessment which I am pretty sure would show it is not safe for her to be there.

Of course she says she wants to return because you're all on her case but unless she has a ground floor, sitting down job with ground floor toilets and a kindly collegaue to do all her carrying and fetching, it isn't going to work.

Pigsmummy Sat 26-Jan-13 14:11:31

Could she work from home?

Molehillmountain Sat 26-Jan-13 14:46:04

I don't know what you should do tbh, but bear in mind that whilst the jokes on Facebook are ill advised she may be covering up how she actually feels about the situation with a bit of gallows humour. I didn't do it on Facebook, but when I had a serious illness and effectively got signed off for the duration of my third pregnancy, I used to joke about how much help I was getting and I'd recommend it as a rest cure. No one who knew me would have thought it was anything other than a strategy to get through the toughest time I've ever had. I might have been unable to work but I still had a toddler to give some kind of life to. Hope it gets sorted.

TheInnerSea Thu 31-Jan-13 08:30:51

Thanks for all your input. A quick update-after further discussion with HR and my line manager, she was adv she will go on SSP WEF 1Feb. We have since had a letter from her GP confirming she is fit for all her normal duties,but unable to drive.

She will be back to work tomorrow and paying her own fares on the few days her DP can't drive her.

DontEvenThinkAboutIt Thu 31-Jan-13 09:48:22

Glad it worked out ok.

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