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Counselling during work time

(21 Posts)
cjt110 Mon 17-Oct-16 15:34:15

Hi all, posting here for traffic. Wondering if anyone can help?

I have recently started counselling. This is done via a voluntary organisation of qualified counsellors. My appointment last week was at 11.30 on Friday. I came into work at 9am and left at 11. I got back to office at around 1pm and ate my lunch at my desk rather than taking a formal lunchbreak.

The appointments will be weekly. I have managed to move it earlier to 10.15. If I come into the office it would mean working from 9 to 9.45, leaving to get to my appointment and likely not getting back until 11.45

I have emailed my line manager about the next appointment telling him the time and frequency and proposing I can either come in to the office and leave as above or work from home before the appointment.

I dont know why but I am worrying that I will be told I cannot have the time off to attend the appointments. Work are usually great with medical appointments so there's no basis to feel this way.

Does anyone have any advice they can offer me?

ZoeTurtle Mon 17-Oct-16 15:37:00

Are you making up the lost time, i.e. staying two hours late when you're out for a two hour appointment? If so, I'd think that'd be fine.

GreenHen Mon 17-Oct-16 15:42:45

I'm not really sure what advice you are after?

I've had counselling (still am) but always arrange the appointments during non-work times (private though).

If your counsellor only works office hours and your FT then that, obviously won't be possible for you. Do they only work regular office hours?

I wouldn't have thought that regular counselling would be covered under medical appointments but really I have no idea (sorry).

Idea of making up the lost time is good - is that possible?

GreenHen Mon 17-Oct-16 15:43:23

sorry you're

mouldycheesefan Mon 17-Oct-16 15:43:49

Just make up the time e.g you start later but finish later on that day.

MaureenMLove Mon 17-Oct-16 15:46:26

I think you're just adding worry, where you don't need to. You clearly have a good reason to be going to counselling and any company worth their salts will respect that and be fine with it. You've said other medical appointments are fine, so don't add to your worries.

Your company have a duty of care to you through staff wellbeing and if your reasons for going are going to effect your work, then there's no reason to suggest they'll be anything but supportive. smile

pasturesgreen Mon 17-Oct-16 15:47:10

Surely you'll need to put in place a plan to make up for lost time?

Is it absolutely impossible to move the appointments outside office hours?

PaperdollCartoon Mon 17-Oct-16 15:48:11

My company would be happy to be flexible around this, but due to the nature of my work the time would get made up elsewhere (wouldn't necessarily involve staying later that day though) only you know how your work is likely to be affected, you should be fine taking the time out as long as it doesn't cause a problem for you work.

ZoeTurtle Mon 17-Oct-16 15:50:37

pasturesgreen It should be, but wasn't when I was referred to counselling. They could only offer telephone counselling (Great, since I was referred for anxiety and phone calls were one of my biggest issues...) and only from 9-4pm (Great, since I work 8-4:30)!

It was not a success.

Akire Mon 17-Oct-16 15:51:20

Most medical appointments are not weekly nor take 2h out of the day so I woulnt assume work would be all ok without checking. Unless it was say 4 weeks course then all done, sounds like it could be long term.

Hopefully work will be supportive and let you make up time (ESP if you are working through lunch). All you can do is ask and try fix it on best day fits work needs.

PaperdollCartoon Mon 17-Oct-16 15:56:09

Unfortunately most counsellors work office hours too, some might do one or two evenings a week but they'll often be booked up first, so it's generally difficult to get appointments outside office hours

LagunaBubbles Mon 17-Oct-16 16:02:50

I wouldn't have thought that regular counselling would be covered under medical appointments but really I have no idea (sorry)

I work as a Nurse therapist in the NHS and I frequently write a standard letter for various employers stating their employee is attending weekly appointments and stating when, so Im glad a lot of companies do allow it as we work Monday-Friday 9-5 only.

cjt110 Mon 17-Oct-16 16:05:24


Thanks all.

pointythings Mon 17-Oct-16 17:09:31

I think it probably varies between employers. I had counselling (but organised through work, I work for the NHS) and didn't have to make up the time. I don't think all employers would be that understanding though.

Thatwaslulu Mon 17-Oct-16 17:13:21

I have weekly CBT and my employer is happy for me to have the time off work to attend without making the time up. However, I try to minimise the time out of the office by working from home, as the counsellor is closer to home than work, and I travel a lot with work so if anything they owe me time back so it's swings and roundabouts.

Starrystarrynight456 Mon 17-Oct-16 17:24:55

Agree it will depend on the employer. I was given time off to attend counselling following a difficult personal event but at the time I worked in a supportive team in a public sector org and the counselling was via the orgs employee assistance programme. I was also fortunate to work for a manager who was concerned with output rather than hours and trusted me to manage my work load accordingly.

TheSconeOfStone Mon 17-Oct-16 18:05:09

I work for the NHS and had to attend counselling (on site due to work stress) in my own time. i guess it depends on your manager. Can you just what the expectation is to put your mind at rest?

poppyrock Mon 17-Oct-16 21:09:19

I had weekly psychotherapy sessions for two years. They were at 8:30 on a Monday so with travel time I used to get into the office for 10:30.

My work never had a problem with me taking the time for them and never asked me to make the time up (although I work enough hours in the evenings that it will have all balanced out).

They have a duty of care to you, as long as you're willing to make the time up if they ask you to then I wouldn't worry.

Best of luck with the counselling.

CarShare Mon 17-Oct-16 21:42:52

They might be very happy to accommodate or might ask you to make the time up but you won't know until you ask your line manager and explain its a weekly event for x number of weeks. Either way I'm sure it'll work out if you make it clear you can manage your workload. Having the conversation won't be as difficult as you think and then it'll be done with and you'll know where you stand.

mirime Mon 17-Oct-16 23:07:19

My work would be happy for an employee to have an agreed amount of paid time off for this, but they are very good about anything like this.

3boys3dogshelp Mon 17-Oct-16 23:11:33

Could you try to get the first appointment of the day, so you only have travelling time at one end of the appointment?

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