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To be annoyed at colleague who is constantly off sick?

(69 Posts)
sunshinefun Mon 25-Feb-19 18:15:02

I've name changed Incase I'm recognised.
I work with a lady who forever seems to be off sick.
I'm talking for weeks at a time.
We work in a large office for a multi national but our department is stretched and we all feel the pinch when it comes to sickness absence.

This woman is now off sick again and has been for about 6 weeks. As far as I'm aware no plans to come back in the near future.

The thing that is really getting to me and other colleagues is that she is running her own business via Instagram and is merry and cheery every day saying how busy she is, and is clearly working hard from home while she is off sick and we are all picking up he slack.
I've no idea why she is off. Her manager doesn't seem to be that bothered but every time I see another insta story it makes me and some of my other colleagues so mad.
We are literally breaking our backs to get things done and she's living it up, out for drinks and earning money on the side while she's getting sick pay!

randomchap Mon 25-Feb-19 18:22:05

There's a policy at my work that if you're off sick you are not allowed to do any paid or voluntary work. If she's running a side business while off sick does this not breach the policies at your work. And if so, would you feel comfortable telling HR/management?

PumpkinPie2016 Mon 25-Feb-19 18:30:51

YANBU - it's hard enough to cover when someone is off sick but if needs must then you rally round.

Your colleague however, sounds like she's taking the Mickey. If she wants to run her business she needs to resign and go and do that. Doing it while off sick isn't on.

I'd be screen shotting instagram and going to HR!

Boobiliboobiliboo Mon 25-Feb-19 18:32:20

I'd be screen shotting instagram and going to HR!

Who would probably send you to the individual’s manager.

BejamNostalgia Mon 25-Feb-19 18:32:49

It depends on what’s wrong with her. If she’s having multiple long periods surely it must be something pretty serious? She might not even be paid. I think my MIL was still selling her crafts online through Facebook until a few weeks before she died. It depends on a lot of things.

I think if you feel that your workload is unsustainable, you have to take that up with your line manager.

If you take it up with HR and it turns out that it’s something serious, you’re going to look a bit of a cunt. Or if she has assistance with her online business from a partner or even an employee.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Mon 25-Feb-19 18:33:25

Someone will be along soon enough to point out that her social media posts may be bollocks and/or you don’t know what her illness is so perhaps it means she’s not fit for her real job but can work on the side.

Fuck it though, I’d print them all out and give to HR anonymously.

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Mon 25-Feb-19 18:35:09

Tread carefully - it could be her daughter, sister, mother running the account in her behalf …. you could come out of this with an accusation of harassment and bullying

CantWaitForSpring1 Mon 25-Feb-19 18:35:46

I worked with someone like this once - only she was in the process of opening her own shop and was spending all of her ‘sickness’ decorating, planning and sourcing stock for it! She finally announced she was quitting the week her shop opened! She had convinced our manager that she had vertigo and couldn’t drive to work!

MiGi777 Mon 25-Feb-19 18:38:40

Your issue shouldn't be with her, it's none of your business why she's off sick and what she's doing, you should be more concerned about letting management that YOU can't cope with the extra work load and ask for some help. She's sick, leave her alone!

nocoolnamesleft Mon 25-Feb-19 18:42:26

I was online merry, and cheery, and writing rotas, and reviewing reports last December. I happened to be doing it from isolation where I was receiving radiotherapy.

You don't necessarily know what's going on...

Thesinisterdiagram Mon 25-Feb-19 18:44:45

I can see why you’d be annoyed, but the problem is you don’t know what’s actually wrong with her. I remember a while back I used to have a part time job in a supermarket and there was a young guy in his early/mid-20’s who was constantly off sick for weeks at a time. I didn’t think much of it as I was hired after he started being off, so was used to the pace of work. But a few were very unhappy about it and were very vocal about it. One day we were each called individually into the office and told that he’d died. Ever since then I’ve been extra careful never to comment on people’s illnesses and time off work, because you just don’t know the full story.

I’m sure HR and management are aware of the situation. It’s them you should be annoyed with if you’re finding yourself with an unmanageable workload.

macblank Mon 25-Feb-19 18:47:02

Are you friends with anyone in management or HR? If so, gently ask.

It could be something like Crohn's disease, which could stop her working, but ok to put a couple hrs at home on her Instagram.

I doubt ms/fibromyalgia/me, as these leave you so fatigued that you couldn't do work at home while off sick.

Once when off for 9 wks due to a nasty back spasm (I was already registered as disabled at work with HR and took more sick time because of it) when I got back I complained to.mynline manager I didn't get a card, but within 2 days of being back a collection n card was doing g the rounds for someone who'd been off (to my knowledge less than a week).... He said, well mate, she has cancer..... So be careful

sunshinefun Mon 25-Feb-19 18:48:15

I'm very aware that I don't know the full story. Which is why we have tried hard not to get annoyed by the whole thing.
I have a feeling she is off with stress. She's been off with stress before and she has actually coached other people on what they need to say to the doctor if they want the same thing.
I think she will leave, she makes no secret that she hates the job. The cynic in me thinks that she is using sick pay to put time into her business before she hands her notice in.
Where we work the sick pay is 6 months full pay which is amazing, and it really annoys me to think that people abuse it in this way.

sunshinefun Mon 25-Feb-19 18:50:00

@nocoolnamesleft I'm so sorry to hear that. Are you better now?

sparklefarts Mon 25-Feb-19 19:03:00

Mac you genuinely complained you didn't get sent a get well card ?!?!???? shockconfused

Jaxhog Mon 25-Feb-19 19:05:15

I would work on the assumption that everyone knows about her side business i.e. discuss it openly in your office. Not with snidey remarks, but with admiration that she can still do this while off sick. That way, if your manager doesn't know, than he'll find out. If it's above board, you don't look nasty.

I would also let your manager know that the extra work is too much, and suggest they get a temp or contractor in to take the slack while your colleague is sick. Remind him, in detail, of how much extra work there is. In the meantime, focus on your own work first.

UtterlyDesperate Mon 25-Feb-19 19:08:29

I think Mac`s point is that it's very noticeable, if you are in a team where the norm is a signed card and a fiver each for flowers etc when you are excluded. Happened to me recently for mh related illness - makes you feel doubly shit about things to be honest, though I felt I couldn't raise it with my line manager as it seemed petty. I even sent a fiver in for a colleague's collection with my first sicknote confused

It's not the flowers or the card, it's what it represents, especially after umpteen years cheerfully contributing for people with "real" illnesses.

Bamchic Mon 25-Feb-19 19:12:44

I’ve been on medication that means I can’t drive for the last 5 weeks, I work in a Camhs community team in Devon one of the biggest geographic areas with the shortest transport
I cannot physically do my job, but I’m doing as much as I can and getting out and doing things I enjoy including volunteering a short walk from my house.

Wheretheresawill1 Mon 25-Feb-19 19:24:25

It’s a real issue in the nhs. I would love to know the secret medical cure that means people are miraculously back in work after 6 months I.e when half pay begins. It’s always the same people

OnlyTheWelshCanCwtch Mon 25-Feb-19 19:39:05

Her sickness is none of your business. There are a lot of invisible illnesses which mean that people may not necessarily "look" ill

I have Fibromyalgia and its hell trying to get through each day while trying to remain composure when every part of you body is battling against you
I have had one days sickness due to it, but as time goes on Im sure that will increase.
I hope my colleagues wont get pissed off about something I have no control over.
I'm currently having a flare up, am in week 8 of it now, and coupled with severe anxiety and depression its basically pants.
I cry most days leaving work as the pain is horrendous

Please don't judge your colleague- you never know when it may be you that needs that time off

Vulpine Mon 25-Feb-19 19:41:31

That would really annoy me too. I'm pretty much never sick because I won't get paid and I'm just really healthy

HollowTalk Mon 25-Feb-19 19:46:14

She must have convinced a doctor, though. I would be very careful before accusing her of doing anything. I'd focus on getting help to do her job.

Decormad38 Mon 25-Feb-19 19:57:43

Your very judgmental aren’t you? I hope no illness befalls you because what’s good for the goose is good for the gander as they say!

StrongerThanIThought76 Mon 25-Feb-19 20:02:50

A colleague of mine was told categorically by occupational health that doing her 2nd job (completely different from her main role) would be beneficial to her recovery so by all means get on with it whilst dealing with the issues keeping her off sick from her main job.

I do understand how people who aren't aware of the seriousness of her situation might view this. Tough shit. None of their business.

sunshinefun Mon 25-Feb-19 20:29:15

@Decormad38 I'm definitely not usually a judgy person and I'll always give people the benefit of the doubt.
But she is making it so hard not to be on this occasion.
Her business isn't too far removed from our job. It requires creative thinking, hard work, stamina, resilience and engagement with people.
She's too sick to do it in work but not sick enough to do it at home.
She has posted herself engaging at public events and talking about the massive success she has had.
It's just very deflating to see.
Especially when she has been so vocal about going off sick in the past when she isn't actually sick. I've heard her first had boasting about what she said to her doctor and to the company doctor. It just feels very wrong

MiGi777 Mon 25-Feb-19 22:30:17

BUT ITS STILL NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Leave the poor woman alone. I feel bad for saying it because you're probably a nice person but you're being really horrible here and its not nice to see to be honest.

Mintychoc1 Mon 25-Feb-19 22:35:54

YANBU
I’d be pissed off too

kabanner Mon 25-Feb-19 22:47:33

Just let the management/HR deal with it under the policies in your workplace.

If it is impacting on your workload raise this in a non emotive way.

There will be things going on ref LTS medical capability you won't be aware of.

sunshinefun Mon 25-Feb-19 22:51:01

@MiGi777 but that's the thing, it is my business as I am picking up her slack!

I'm going to speak to the manager tomorrow, then it's out of my hands

Supersoaker10 Mon 25-Feb-19 22:53:42

YANBU at all.

I would also be annoyed.

NigellaAwesome Mon 25-Feb-19 23:09:13

I would be bringing printouts of her social media posts about her business with you when you speak to your manager.

If it's absolutely fine, and not a conflict with her being off sick, then that is for line management / HR to determine in full receipt of the facts.

Which is obviously different to her working elsewhere but them not knowing she is doing it.

It's common in my place, and a disciplinary matter, and in our place, regardless of how much OHW may say it is fine, it's not their call.

MiGi777 Tue 26-Feb-19 01:25:37

We will have to agree to disagree. Its only a debate. We are just completely different people.

shpoot Tue 26-Feb-19 01:32:01

YABU. It might be annoying but it's not your business why She's off

HistoriaTrixie Tue 26-Feb-19 01:35:31

There have been a HUGE lot of threads about coworkers off with stress lately, OP. Maybe you guys can commiserate! It definitely seems like something's been going on if so many people are having trouble.

WarpedGalaxy Tue 26-Feb-19 02:15:11

Haven’t we had this thread about 3 times now? Don’t you get tired of posting this same old petty, spiteful shit against your colleague? Why do you think the answers will be any different this time? It’s none of your business. If you really thought she was swinging the lead and if you really had concrete evidence you’d report her to hr, because of course you fucking would, but you don’t, do you?
F
It’s probably judgmental busybodies like you who caused her stress in the first place. If you don’t have cover for illness then you take that up with your employers you don’t take it out on your colleagues who are entitled to time off sick. Stop being a nasty noseyhole and get the fuck over whatever grievance you’ve got.

Justagirlwholovesaboy Tue 26-Feb-19 02:15:39

I had a member of staff off with stress and claimed bullying in the workplace as a reason. The accused bullies stalked her social media while off and came to me with complaints that she was “sick” but somehow was still able to visit family and have outings. I could not prove the bullying but could draw a line against bringing me info which has been gained fore the sole purpose to get another person into trouble. This persons manager will be in regular contact with her and will know the full story, you don’t need to know. If doing a craft or keeping an online presence helps her through each day then it only helps. My advice, stop following her on social media, you clearly aren’t friends

Coyoacan Tue 26-Feb-19 02:16:00

Personally I would just insist that you need someone to stand in for her while she is off sick.

LostInTheColonies Tue 26-Feb-19 03:36:52

We had a cracker - the colleague on sick leave was moonlighting at her previous workplace - as a TV reporter. Yes, on national TV while allegedly sick. Blatant doesn't even come close, and the most amazing thing is that she didn't lose her job as a result.

SubparOwl Tue 26-Feb-19 06:25:01

I have had a much larger than average time off sick over the last two years with two ongoing health issues plus a bout of d&v.
I am sure my colleagues roll their eyes at me.
That didn't stop me doubting one of my colleagues really needed the long term leave she was on...as she has a years long habit of being off for things not many people would think necessary.
However, I'm glad I said nothing, as it then turned out she was off because something truly terrible had happened to her.
It's really difficult because some people obviously take the mick, some have hidden issues and everything in between.
I'd stick with ranting in private outside work, pushing for cover where possible, and remaining tight-lipped on the situation while at work.

MoviesT Tue 26-Feb-19 06:34:55

Only her manager will know her situation and they won’t share it with you, even if they also have the opinion that her illness is fabricated there isn’t much they can do if they are getting fit notes through.

Your complaint should be with them if this is causing a workload issue - other peoples illness and how they are managed are something that you are best advised to keep out of.

Tennesseewhiskey Tue 26-Feb-19 06:36:48

The thing is. Whether it's the ops business or not, it can really grate.

I have a colleague off at the moment. 4th time in 6 months. I have to pick up all her work as we are the only people in the business who do that role. It pushes me off especially when she says that the days she works from home, where doesnt do anything and has a nap.

But I am choosing to keep out of it. I have been in this situation before. In another job i was due to go on mat leave. We got six months full pay. A woman came back from mat leave. She took me to one side and said I should take 6 months, come back and then go on sick, as we also got 6 months full sick pay.

I returned from mat leave and she was on sick leave, saying she had cancer, but her Facebook said otherwise. Anyway, I kept out of it then. Someone eventually reported her and she ended up getting sacked. Keeping out of it, no matter how annoying seems to be the best thing

HaudYerWheeshtYaWeeBellend Tue 26-Feb-19 06:39:26

Yabu you have no idea why she’s off, if your short staffed at work and you feel under pressure then that’s a HR issue not that of your colleague.

maddiemookins16mum Tue 26-Feb-19 06:51:11

I have a colleague who since Jan 1st is on her 5th different ‘off sick’ period, 2 or 3 days a time. I even mentioned to my DP yesterday ‘I wonder if Carmel* will be in today’. Lo and behold no Carmel yesterday. The annoying thing is she’s got two lates this week and only me, her and one other do those shifts and the other lass is off with her wains because it’s half term (no issue with that, she did them last week and me the week before). So I’m guessing by the end of today I’ll be told I’m covering Carmel’s lates on Wed/Thursday as she’ll be possibly be off still and I had plans for tomorrow night. They’ll need to make sure the cover is arranged by close of play today as I’ll start later in the morning.
Funny how she was out at a 30th on Saturday night though.
Her Bradford score was mega last year and nothing gets done.
Very poor management handling of the situation.
* Carmel is not her real name.

StealthPolarBear Tue 26-Feb-19 06:53:47

Yanbu

MaybeitsMaybelline Tue 26-Feb-19 06:57:26

I had a colleague that took a four month block every year for ten years. Yes ten! It was only when she was brought in and asked whether this “condition” would ever improve and had to start providing medical evidence of all appointments that it stopped. She knew the company was tightening up on abuse and also knew it was likely she would be let go.

Not a single absence since. Not one in four years. Go figure.

Babygrey7 Tue 26-Feb-19 06:58:34

I had a boss like this

She worked the system like a pro and was full of her "rights"

I had to cover for her

It was a real eye opener for me

Not sure what you can do though

Monty27 Tue 26-Feb-19 06:58:39

@Thesinisterdiagram
Your post got me welling up.
Some people are beyond looking outside of their own little world. sad

Boobiliboobiliboo Tue 26-Feb-19 07:03:05

At least half of the fault in most of these stories is with weak managers who are afraid of tackling/discussing/managing problem staff absence.

Siriismyonlyfriend Tue 26-Feb-19 07:14:59

I understand how frustrating it must be for you op. It’s hard on members of staff to have to pick up the extra work , usually with no extra pay or even a thanks from their boss/management.

Yabbers Tue 26-Feb-19 07:34:09

I would love to know the secret medical cure that means people are miraculously back in work after 6 months
For many it means returning to work before they are actually well enough or not being able to afford to live. Until you are in that situation you have no idea.

but that's the thing, it is my business as I am picking up her slack!
That still doesn’t make it your business. Your company needs to ensure workloads are covered when people are off sick. Instead of indulging in petty envy at her perceived advantages, speak to your boss only about your concerns over workload. To approach it with the intent of getting the colleague in to trouble, telling tales, is spiteful and childish.

havingtochangeusernameagain Tue 26-Feb-19 07:43:10

The lesson from this thread seems to be not to be "friends" with work colleagues on social media...

zingally Tue 26-Feb-19 07:43:22

Tread carefully with this.
Without knowing the whole story, from her, I'd stay far away from doing anything.

A couple of years ago now, I had a colleague who did this. Constantly off with one thing or another. It didn't matter so much to me, because she wasn't on my immediate team, but her colleagues were getting so fed up of her not pulling her weight.

Anyway, eventually she did hand in her notice, and the story slowly came out... Her dad was very ill, then died. Her mother, who lived far away, struggled to cope and had a break-down, so colleague went to look after her. Then colleague got pneumonia. Then colleague's marriage started to break down, causing her bad anxiety and depression. All of this was in just under a year.
To be honest, when I heard her endless cycle of bad luck, I felt bad for her.
Sometimes the universe really throws some horrible stuff around.

I'd say, just give your colleague the benefit of the doubt, until you know the facts. And even if she's pulling a fast one, the universe will catch her up eventually.

UniversalAunt Tue 26-Feb-19 07:53:51

The only issue for you is dealing with the need for extra resource as cover or reconfiguring priorities while your colleague is on sick leave. This is what you should flag up to your line manager.

Desist from browsing her social media accounts- 100% truthful as we all know - & stoking your sense of grievance. This is a pointless distraction from the fact that your dept is too tightly stretched & this needs to be dealt with.

Be a leader, quit the bitching & talk constructively with management about how to improve things.

Deal with what you know & with what is right in front of you.

ScurfnNerf Tue 26-Feb-19 08:01:52

MiGi777

Your issue shouldn't be with her, it's none of your business why she's off sick and what she's doing, you should be more concerned about letting management that YOU can't cope with the extra work load and ask for some help. She's sick, leave her alone!

Bang on. Concentrate on doing your own job. If absence in the team is negatively affecting that, your issue is with how management/the organisation support YOU. Leave this woman alone. She might be swinging the lead, she might be seriously ill, but it really is none of your business.

adaline Tue 26-Feb-19 08:04:23

I have a member of staff who's regularly off sick at the moment.

To colleagues who don't know the whole story it would appear as though he's taking the piss - but as his manager I do know what's going on and I know he's trying his best and doing what he can to get into work and participate.

I can't tell any of them that though because his health issues are absolutely none of their business. His shifts are covered and nobody is doing any extra work because of his absences and that's what's important.

Thecabbageassasin Tue 26-Feb-19 08:07:14

She sounds like she’s taking the mick, but stalking her on social media and bitching about her with your co workers is not exactly showering you with glory.
Address your work load with your mgr and stop winding yourself up by checking up on her. If she’s as blatant as she sounds then surely your manager will pick up on the side business, perhaps they might bump into her at a networking event, but it’s not really your problem to address.

Jebuschristchocolatebar Tue 26-Feb-19 08:08:25

I’m with you op. I work with someone we call - the sickie- she is off for huge periods of time and has openly told us all before she is playing the system. Every time she gets approached by hr to go into an absence management program she claims they are stressing her out and goes out again. She is now on no pay after a year of messing but in Ireland, illness benefit is over 200e a week from the state so she is getting pocket money to be off sick while her oh pays the bills. She is Spanish and goes to Spain every summer with her kids for six weeks and told my manager if he didn’t give her the leave she would just call in sick. I hate her so much, I am doing two jobs becuase of her

ScurfnNerf Tue 26-Feb-19 08:18:48

I am doing two jobs becuase of her
No. you are doing two jobs because your organisation is not managing her/her absences effectively.

adaline Tue 26-Feb-19 08:42:41

* I hate her so much, I am doing two jobs becuase of her*

No you're not. You're doing two jobs because your manager hasn't covered her work/hours effectively. Not her fault.

Bluetrews25 Tue 26-Feb-19 08:50:33

Totally agree that the reasons why someone is off sick are between them and the manager, and that people are allowed to do things, even 'nice' things when off.
But did you say she was doing something very similar to her main job while she is off sick??
This could be seen as conflict of interests if she is setting something up that could be seen as in competition, and she could be risking disciplinary or sacking.
Please tread carefully OP, as you could be seen as bullying or at very least non-supportive here. Management should be ensuring that her time is being covered by someone. Whistleblowing often does not go down well, in spite of what they tell you and policies stating the opposite. I'd advise you to ask for support for you, and leave it there.

Moominfan Tue 26-Feb-19 08:54:52

You have my sympathy op. I worked alongside someone who was off long term sick setting up their own business. Once established and sick pay ran out they would come back for short periods of time then go off again. Blatantly abused sick pay.

adaline Tue 26-Feb-19 08:57:17

* Blatantly abused sick pay.*

Of course some people do do this but they get away with it through poor management and poor HR policies.

Genuine sickness should be managed so that it has little to no impact on other colleagues - in other words if someone is off sick long-term or has a chronic illness which means they're often sick, then management need to sort appropriate cover so it doesn't affect other people.

If that isn't happening it's the fault of management not the colleague off sick.

justmyview Tue 26-Feb-19 09:00:25

I would work on the assumption that everyone knows about her side business i.e. discuss it openly in your office. Not with snidey remarks, but with admiration that she can still do this while off sick. That way, if your manager doesn't know, than he'll find out. If it's above board, you don't look nasty

I think this is quite good advice from @Jaxhog. There could be more to the story than you know, but if your colleague is taking the mickey, then it does no harm if employers find out about it, and they can deal with it as they wish

Rezie Tue 26-Feb-19 09:06:02

"Your issue shouldn't be with her, it's none of your business why she's off sick and what she's doing, you should be more concerned about letting management that YOU can't cope with the extra work load and ask for some help. She's sick, leave her alone!"

^Yes. This. It's a management problem. She might be taking the piss or there could be something serious going on. If she is off this much then she has the necessary paperwork. The manager should react to this and make sure you have more resources.

0rangeB0ttle Tue 26-Feb-19 09:16:31

I've worked with people who have had long term sickness for various reasons, so I know how frustrating it can be. However, I was given promotion over one of these people, so it worked out ok for me in the end. One of the people I worked with had a serious health condition which worsened to the point that they would never be able to work again. Therefore I am always grateful for good health. None of us knows what is going to happen in the future for our health or for our family and friends health.

DSHathawayGivesMeFannyGallops Tue 26-Feb-19 09:18:22

I had a colleague like this as part of a retail management team of three. She took the piss with sick AND holiday and by the time she left there was little good will left towards her. She would go off for a week with the merest hint of a sniffle but would roll her eyes and be exceptionally rude and imply disbelief in anyone else called in sick for a day, even if they were obviously ill. She didn't give a tinkers toss about how she impacted us but complained that other people being sick was inconvenient. I once messaged her the night before to say I'd be off ill having cleared it with our boss and messaged her again at 7am to confirm, saying I'd call in as per procedure but take this as confirmation I wasn't coming in. I called her at 9:15 once I knew she'd be in and set up ready for opening and the cheeky bitch said it was "very short notice".
When she demanded I drop what I was doing on a day off to cover her having knowingly gone into work with noro a few weeks later, I just ignored her messages. Similarly, after time off for something awful we left her alone but checked in a day or so before she was due back to check she was ok. She literally replied right at the last second to confirm she'd be in but would have been the first person to complain about being messed about if it had been one of us.

Since being fleeced by her though I've wised up considerably and whilst I don't copy her I definitely take a more proactive approach to time off and standing up for myself.

madcatladyforever Tue 26-Feb-19 09:18:27

I'm surprised that's allowed, in the NHS you are fired without much fanfare if you overdo the sickness and it is all very unpleasant.

PoshPenny Tue 26-Feb-19 09:28:59

OP the way you describe her social media posts, it sounds like it could just be classic MLM bullshit about "living the dream" and they're usually anything but...
It's hard with people who are always off sick, some are just less well than others, whilst others are clearly pisstakers. I'm not sure there's really anything you can do. You could always ask her outright what's wrong with her and why she needs all this time off sick when she eventually comes back. I know it's rude and none of your business but I'm guessing that doesn't bother you any more. I'd keep complaining to your line manager about your workload in the meantime.

C8H10N4O2 Tue 26-Feb-19 09:34:23

She's been off with stress before and she has actually coached other people on what they need to say to the doctor if they want the same thing.

Oh this old chestnut - faking mental health illness to skive. It seems to be one of our most recurrent threads at the moment. Most people working through chronic illnesses are accused of skiving at some point, its a great help to maintaining work and recovery hmm

Her situation is none of your business.

Your issue with workload is one to take up with management. If they don't address a shortfall your issue is still with management not the absent colleague.

Considering the Victorian attitudes most companies have to any kind of recurrent chronic or repeated illness I'm fascinated to know there are companies who allow unlimited absence without question on the basis that someone "knows what to say".

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