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To ignore work emails while signed off sick?

(32 Posts)
Crazycatlady123 Wed 28-Sep-16 17:56:23

I'm pregnant and I've been signed off sick with pelvic pain (can barely walk) which was diagnosed while I was on annual leave.

I find it hard to forget about work and the timing of being off isn't great, I work in a busy office for a large company - but AIBU to expect not to be bombarded with emails and texts from another member of the team when she knows full well I'm signed off sick from work?

I made sure my house was in order so to speak before my hols, It's just making me stressed having demands on me when I'm not there.

Or should I be expected to respond in order to get the work that needs to be done, done while I'm out?

chewingawasp Wed 28-Sep-16 17:59:15

Do you have an out of office message in place? If you're signed off they shouldn't be pestering you with work issues. Hope you feel better soon.

LimpidPools Wed 28-Sep-16 18:01:13

Is your input required? Or just easier for the other member of the team?

I do not think they should be contacting you.

PageStillNotFound404 Wed 28-Sep-16 18:01:43

YANBU. If you haven't already and are able to do so remotely, set an out of office reply that directs enquirers elsewhere - a team group mailbox, your line manager, whoever is most appropriate. Then try to mentally switch off and focus on keeping as comfortable as you can.

ghostyslovesheep Wed 28-Sep-16 18:04:45

how are they bombarding you?

do NOT turn on your works laptop and DO NOT turn on your work phone

job done

(I know it's hard - I reply to stuff every day despite being part time! but try)

Crazycatlady123 Wed 28-Sep-16 18:08:38

Thanks ladies.

Yes I've had my out of office on since going off with my line manager's contact info, just added a line about not monitoring emails while out.

Hope they support I've already given to colleague will suffice.

ChuckBiscuits Wed 28-Sep-16 18:09:05

Can you get IT to put an out of work reply that directs people to contact that team member, the one who is bombarding you?

napmeistergeneral Wed 28-Sep-16 18:11:50

YANBU. You're off sick. Write one email to her copying in your line manager, clarifying that (1) you will not respond to emails or texts while you're on sick leave and (2) you're only logging on to write this email and you won't log on to your work email again until you return to work. Then don't check/read/reply and make no apology for that.

Unless people are told specifically they will always think, "ooh I'll just email/text. As long as I'm not calling it's not too intrusive". But getting emails and texts is intrusive as it can be 24-7 and hard to ignore. As you say.

Try to forget about it being a busy time. You're entitled to sick leave. Concentrate on getting well. And remember they will have to cope without you when you're on mat leave. In the nicest possible way,your office can cope without you. They just have to realise that they can.

mum2Bomg Wed 28-Sep-16 18:13:40

My work take away your laptop and phone when you go on mat leave so maybe ask about giving them back (also a large company)? But definitely don't reply. Get well soon X

Fluffyears Wed 28-Sep-16 18:17:29

I got a text whilst I was off st 9.25 asking where I was up to on a case. I deal with loads of different things do I ignored. They can find out what is happening without my input and I was on annual leave. If I mentioned to my boss that a workmates had texted me on holiday about work she would go nuclear.

Iliketeaagain Wed 28-Sep-16 18:19:12

How do you know they are bombarding you with emails - you must be accessing them (assuming you don't use personal email address for work).

Just don't look at them. If you are off sick, why are you even reading your emails?

YelloDraw Wed 28-Sep-16 18:33:52

I dunno... if it is something like "where is [x] on the shared drive, can't find it" or "do you have meeting notes from the call we did last week"I think you should reply.
If it is "can you do [x] analysis" then no, don't do it.

dybil Wed 28-Sep-16 19:10:40

Agree with YellowDraw, although I think it will vary depending on your job and how debilitating your illness is. I'm almost always contacted on sick leave, but it's usually just cold or flu.

ForalltheSaints Wed 28-Sep-16 19:14:54

Of course you should ignore any work emails. Hope your health improves.

crispandcheesesanwichplease Wed 28-Sep-16 20:18:14

Isn't it the case that if you are signed off sick by a doctor you are not covered by professional liability insurance? That's my understanding, and if so and you make any mistakes with your work whilst off sick you may find yourself in a pretty tricky situation.

They should not be contacting you whilst you are off sick. Only in an urgent or emergency situation where you are the only person with the info should they even consider disturbing you. YOU ARE DEEMED UNFIT FOR WORK! If that is inconvenient to your employer then that's just tough for them.

potentialqualms Wed 28-Sep-16 20:36:02

That's not true at all crisp, if an employee wants to return to work while signed off sick it would be best practice for the employer to do a risk assessment to make sure it's safe for them to do so, but there's nothing to prevent it.

If I was signed off with something that was causing me physical pain but not making me ill in myself, I would expect to be picking up emails and keeping things ticking over from home, but it does depend what the job is. IMO if I can facebook I can answer an email. I wouldn't ask/expect a member of staff to do it for me but I would do it myself.

GogoGobo Wed 28-Sep-16 20:54:16

If it takes a few minutes to answer I'd answer them. It doesn't hurt to be helpful.

potentialqualms Wed 28-Sep-16 20:56:11

Is that a freudian slip re being on hols? grin

GogoGobo Wed 28-Sep-16 20:59:40

Also agree with PP. if you've got your head in a bucket because of a vomiting virus then no, you probably can't think about work but I'd welcome a bit of distraction from what you have and it's not like you can't use your fingers!

Chocolateteabag Wed 28-Sep-16 21:23:50

If you are signed off - do not respond. If they are calling your mobile - call your line manager and let her know. But don't respond.

It doesn't matter whether you are off with a stubbed toe/chipped nail or something worse, signed off is signed off.

In fact call your line manager and request they put a stop to this. If it's a life or death problem which only you in all the world can possible help with then ask that only your line manager contact you.

But seriously - is your company going to go under because you are off sick? No.

If you don't feel you can call your line manager, then call your HR. Follow up with an email - stress the point that your are in pain and the emails/calls/texts are adding to your stress. Bet you anything they will stop!

ChuckBiscuits Wed 28-Sep-16 21:38:01

Is that a freudian slip re being on hols?

She was on hols, and then signed off sick straight afterwards.

HaPPy8 Wed 28-Sep-16 21:41:17

Im not sure here. You are off with pelvic pain which whilst horrible for you isn't really something that would make answering a few questions that intolerable is it?

edwinbear Wed 28-Sep-16 21:47:21

I've always taken the view that if I can save a colleague several hours of re-doing or hunting for work I've already done, by replying to an e mail that takes me 5 mins to type it's the decent thing to do and reflects well on you when you return.

potentialqualms Wed 28-Sep-16 21:47:22

That's it HaPPy8. Whilst Op is "right" and the employer shouldn't be bothering her,insisting on your rights isn't always the best place to be.

You can refuse to answer with a clear conscience if you want to but you may want a favour from these people in the future. I find it's always best to have helped out a few people who might be able to help me later, especially if it hasn't really cost me anything to do so. So, no you shouldn't be answering, but you might find it's in your interests more than theirs if you do.

SandyY2K Wed 28-Sep-16 22:21:06

Why are you looking at work emails when you're off sick?

I have staff complain to me about this and I ask why they logged in to check in the first place.

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