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AIBU to be annoyed by this work policy

(44 Posts)
NeedACleverNN Sat 30-Jul-16 09:02:21

My dh works at a factory that have recently changed their policies

He was rushed to hospital on Tuesday with viral meningitis. Got released weds and told to take painkillers and rest.

He insisted on going back on Friday despite not feeling 100% because of his work policy.

He has received a notice of improvement because he was absent. This means that if he is absent in the next 3 months, he will get a written warning. If he is absent in thr next 6 months after that, it's another warning. Absent in that year you're sacked.

Even a bloke who is in dialysis waiting for a kidney transplant has had a record of improvement because he is taking absence.

Ridiculous. You can't help being sick.

I understand that some people take the piss but seriously? This is nuts

elodie2000 Sat 30-Jul-16 09:09:27

Don't worry, it's a standard 'Staged' sick policy.
Your DH's employer is BU calling each stage 'notice for improvement'. It implies that serious illness is within the employee's control.

MrsJoeyMaynard Sat 30-Jul-16 09:12:21

Don't they have any scope for discretion?

I mean, I know some people take the piss.

But penalising employees for things like viral meningitis or kidney dialysis that can presumably be confirmed with doctors letters? That seems unnecessarily harsh.

NeedACleverNN Sat 30-Jul-16 09:13:40

Nope. No discretion at all. That's what has annoyed me.

His boss didn't want to do it, but his hands were tied

ArgyMargy Sat 30-Jul-16 09:15:09

If they follow this through they will have no employees left pretty soon.

iamjellybean Sat 30-Jul-16 09:18:35

How is the even legal? Are you in the UK? Horrifies me in this day and age an employer can sack people for being ill. Just awful. Good luck to you and DH.

insancerre Sat 30-Jul-16 09:21:28

So, he gained nothing by going into work before he was fully recovered
It would still be counted as one period of sickness if it was 2 days or 2 months
In fact employers are more likely to popoenaliuse people who have lots of short absences than someone who has a long spell off once r twice a year

ilovesooty Sat 30-Jul-16 09:22:10

Of course people can be dismissed through ill health capability. It's perfectly legal and staged absence policies are standard. Disability related absence covered by the Equality Act allows for some discretion.

NeedACleverNN Sat 30-Jul-16 09:22:26

Yeah it's the uk.

I don't know how they get away with it. They do have a high turnover of staff though. They employ a lot of agency staff who inevitably walk out because it's a job that requires a lot of heavy lifting (goes past the safe anount if I am totally honest)

Dh was employed via agency and now is employed direct by the company

Northernlurker Sat 30-Jul-16 09:22:28

No that's not a staged sickness policy. The op seems to be saying any sickness absence at all is being punished with warnings leading to dismissal. I think your dh needs a new job!

insancerre Sat 30-Jul-16 09:22:29

Of course its legal!
You have a contract to attend work
If you don't then you can be sacked

EdithBouvierBeale Sat 30-Jul-16 09:23:28

They need a strong Union rep to table this. Crazy.

CurbsideProphet Sat 30-Jul-16 09:24:18

Sports Direct?

How awful. I hope your DH recovers soon.

ilovesooty Sat 30-Jul-16 09:24:23

I agree that your husband gained nothing by rushing back. I hope he feels better soon.

elodie2000 Sat 30-Jul-16 09:25:13

Good luck to the employer at the resulting work tribunal!
If they do take it all the way to the final stage and try to dismiss their employees based on serious illness/ long term absence they will find that they are in hot water!

HermioneWeasley Sat 30-Jul-16 09:26:10

It is perfectly lawful to dismiss individuals who can't do the job. There is an obligation on the employer to make reasonable adjustments in the case of disability.

Your husband's employer do sound heavy handed - policies do need to be applied consistently, but there is always rooms for discretion in the tone of the conversation or outcome.

NeedACleverNN Sat 30-Jul-16 09:27:12

No not sports direct

Just means that he will force himself to work even if he's feeling ill now. Luckily he has this weekend and two more days of holiday off. He had it booked ages ago.

Icantstopeatinglol Sat 30-Jul-16 09:29:59

Most work places have this sort of thing in place but it's not as rigid as you're suggesting op. It's a guideline, it shouldn't be used as a strict policy. So if someone has a car accident and ends up off over a number of occasions due to something they can't help they shouldn't loose their job aswell! Think if I was your dh I would be looking for another job. This doesn't sound like a good company to work for.

NeedACleverNN Sat 30-Jul-16 09:30:52

He's already said he is going to look at another job now.

He used to love his job but he doesn't want to be worried about being ill anymore

Longlost10 Sat 30-Jul-16 09:31:37

Its completely standard. You have a contract to work, if you are not capable of working because of your health, they are under no obligation to continue to employ you.

It is normally incidence of sickness, rather than duration, up to a certain number of days, so returning Monday rather than Friday might not have made a difference.

In my work 6 incidence of sickness in a year is sackable

LunaLoveg00d Sat 30-Jul-16 09:32:26

It's true that you can't help being sick, especially when you are seriously ill and need to be in hospital.

It's also true though that employers need people there to do the jobs they are recruited to do - and someone who is off a lot with different things, or who has a serious illness needing regular hospital appointments can have an impact on the business. If it gets to the stage that the person is off so much that they can't do their job, the employer has the right to dismiss them. Most employers don't want to do this though unless as a last resort, it's expensive and a hassle to go through the recruitment process and better to keep the staff you have. Most will also come to agreements with staff over flexible working or reduced hours. Not all businesses can though.

Longlost10 Sat 30-Jul-16 09:38:30

He's already said he is going to look at another job now. well, it will be the same anywhere else. No one can afford to pay people who are not actually there to work. It is a very strange misconception that you can't lose your job for taking time off sick. Yes you can.

HeddaGarbled Sat 30-Jul-16 09:42:55

It's not that uncommon, I'm afraid. Your H should read the full details though, as often the absence is counted as a single absence, whether it's one day or 2 weeks. So someone who has 2 single separate days off with a cold will trigger the process but someone who has 6 weeks off for an operation won't. Therefore, he didn't need to rush back until he was genuinely fit. In fact, if he went back too soon and as a result of that had to take more time off later, he's actually shot himself in the foot.

NeedACleverNN Sat 30-Jul-16 09:45:19

I did actually say if he made himself worse by going back too early he would get no sympathy from me and that one more day in the grand scheme of things wouldn't matter but he is very stubborn.

Luckily apart from being tired, he was ok. He has 4 days to rest now

RandomMess Sat 30-Jul-16 09:45:20

Similar to the policy I worked under in the civil service and now in education, although I think you automatically didn't get the sack under certain circumstances but you would also be expected to take on reduced hours etc if ill health meant you were talking time off eg for dialysis.

Yep very much no work = no pay.... people really do need to look at building savings and taking out insurance policies.

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