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Doctors Note

(37 Posts)
SharkBaitOhAhAh Sun 10-Mar-19 10:46:49

Named changed because I suspect a colleague knows my normal name.

I'm currently signed off with work related stress and depression. I won't go into the reasons now.

My query is, I know my boss has told at least four members of our team the reason I'm off. I imagine he's told more but I've only heard from these four. Can he do this? Surely this information should be kept private unless I wish to share it?

I honestly feel like he's made it harder to go back now as my colleagues will ask what caused all this in the first place.

What do I do?!

Mummyto2munchkins Sun 10-Mar-19 11:03:10

Didn't want to run off OP, I dont think they can go into details of why you are off, unless you give permission to share the details.
A colleague of mine was off as had "home problems" this was all we was told until the colleague told us herself (again her choice to let us know, nobody forced her)
I've also been off with pregnancy related issues and my boss asked if I'd be happy for people to know why I was off, which I was as everybody I worked with knew about these issues anyway (was anaemic and often felt faint so needed to have a 5/10 minute sit down)

Could you contact your boss and say you're not too happy with him sharing personal information and it's making your symptoms worst because of this? Or go to somebody higher and explain the situation?

SharkBaitOhAhAh Sun 10-Mar-19 11:29:43

Thank you.

I will go to our director, but I wanted to make sure I have a right to complain before I rock the boat.

Is he allowed to tell people? Will he be able to talk his way round it?

SandyY2K Sun 10-Mar-19 11:40:46

He shouldn't be divulging this information and given it's likely a sensitive personal matter, I would raise it as a complaint, stating why you aren't happy and you deem it a breach of confidentiality.

Mummyto2munchkins Sun 10-Mar-19 11:40:55

I mean he will probably try and talk his way out of it saying that people were asking why you was off. But a mere "he/she's poorly" would have been sufficient IMO.

Work related stress and depression is a difficult one though, by telling people he could be informing the people who are stressing you out that they are so they could also "cover their backs" so to speak. If it was me I wouldn't be happy about it. Depression is very personal if you're not ready to talk to people about it. (I'm not saying you're not, I'm just trying to say about work colleagues)

I hope you get this sorted though. Nothing worst than having your stress levels being made worst by the one thing you've been signed off for in the first place! flowers

SharkBaitOhAhAh Sun 10-Mar-19 11:50:06

I'm signed off because of him and how he treats me. This is just another example of his complete lack of respect.

I'm so fucking angry that he has actually called some of my colleagues in the office and told them "Shark is signed off with depression". How fucking dare he tell anyone!

I'm not actually depressed. Well, I don't think I am. Dealing with him just got far too much for me. I know I will feel better as soon as I can leave.

Mummyto2munchkins Sun 10-Mar-19 12:08:22

Ooh. So he's called them to tell them? Not them ask?
That's pretty out of order!

SharkBaitOhAhAh Sun 10-Mar-19 12:15:59


Most of my colleagues are pretty decent people who wouldn't ask as they know it's not their business.

He's not even just telling them. He's discussing it with them. He's asked them what they think. I feel like he's been implying he doesn't believe it. I know he said to one colleague "Well, what can I say. If she has a doctors note, she has a doctors note".

Mummyto2munchkins Sun 10-Mar-19 12:21:45

Definitely make a complaint higher up about it! That's really not on.

Kudos to your colleagues informing you though! Atleast ast they're looking out for you so to speak.

Hearthside Sun 10-Mar-19 12:54:44

No absolutely he should not have divulged why you are off as it is confidential unless you say otherwise .And as for discussing your note's validity shock that is also bang out of order .I would get all your facts together how he is making you feel etc and take it further.

SharkBaitOhAhAh Sun 10-Mar-19 13:06:12

What can I do? What's the likely outcome if I complain? Can I say this has caused me to decide I'm not coming back?

SandyY2K Sun 10-Mar-19 13:55:54

Given your update, I'd definitely raise it.

Onr thing though... will your colleagues speak up as witnesses?

Asking what they think is totally unacceptable. You won't get everything that constitutes misconduct, but I believe his actions are a breach of confidentiality and highly inappropriate.

What would you like to be the outcome to your complaint? I always ask this when people lodge a grievance. Is it possible to request another manager, because you feel unable to continue working with him in light of this?

Would you like an apology?

Do you have a disciplinary policy that outlines behaviour that constitutes misconduct?

Hearthside Sun 10-Mar-19 14:12:14

Agree with Sandy you should have a disciplinary policy. At my work place we sign one when we start and what he has done would be a breach and you would find yourself on disciplinary action for it .I personally would put a complaint in because even if you do decide to leave he has shown what he is like regarding confidentiality who is to say he won't do it someone else and if he thinks he can get away with it he will keep doing it .

Sonders Sun 10-Mar-19 14:52:15

Information regarding your health is specifically defined by GDPR as more sensitive, and therefore needs additional protection.

If your manager went around telling everyone your home address, you'd be pretty pissed off - but this is about 100x worse.

Is your company large enough to have an HR department? I'd contact them and your Data Controller (should be on your employer's website's Privacy Policy) and ask for their policy regarding breaches of special category data.

Thedogdaysareover700 Sun 10-Mar-19 14:54:45

He legally shouldn’t tell people why you are off. I’m currently off with similar reasons to you and the only people who know are who I have told.

Sonders Sun 10-Mar-19 14:55:47

BTW I'm not a lawyer, just a business owner. I'd raise it as the company has leaked your sensitive data - it's a lot more powerful than saying your manager is spreading gossip and you don't like it.

yunalis Sun 10-Mar-19 14:59:38

Are you in a union? They've sent emails on my behalf before saying health related information should not be discussed with anyone without my consent. This was after a particularly awful incident.

I think you need to do whatever is best for your health, if you can figure out what that is.

Your manager sounds like my current one. If you do complain, make sure you ask for a different manager.

SharkBaitOhAhAh Sun 10-Mar-19 15:38:57

I work for a massive company, you'll have all heard of it. In the construction industry.

I'm not aware of an union.

I don't know what I want to happen to him. I just want some sympathy towards my situation, I guess. Not from him, but my director. I feel like I'm leaving on bad terms which isn't what I want but I also can't go back now I'm worried everyone knows this personal detail. I haven't even told my family.

It would be very difficult to move. He is the manager for the department. I have a qualification in this particular area. It would be like me being a HR professional and then moving to payroll. While my skills may be transferable, my pay wouldn't be. I'm paid more than the supervisors of the other departments.

The more I think about it, the more upset I am.

SharkBaitOhAhAh Sun 10-Mar-19 18:15:02

A colleague has just messaged me saying who she knows he told, and what he said to her. So at least I have it in writing now.

Mammylamb Sun 10-Mar-19 18:19:07

I’m pretty sure that this is a breach of GDPR. You’re heath information is considered sensitive information and extra care should be taken to keep it private and secure.

Do you have an HR department; if so, please contact them regarding this.

You may want to contact your company’s Data Protection Officer too, to flag this as a data breach.

Finally, if you want to take this further, you can also contact the ICO to report this as a breach.

Hope you get better soon

yunalis Sun 10-Mar-19 19:12:06

I'm not sure what to suggest. I don't think you should leave at the moment though.

Does your work have an employee assistance phone number? If not, and your director is approachable, maybe speak to them informally at first.

SharkBaitOhAhAh Sun 10-Mar-19 19:46:54

Another colleague has just text saying he told her I was signed off with depression.

Now, I've no idea if I'm going to pursue it but at least I've got it in writing.

JenMumma Tue 12-Mar-19 13:20:41

Did you say you're not actually depressed ? So you're wound up about him telling them (colleagues) a lie you've told them (work) and him? How did you get a doctors note if it's not true ?

lilabet2 Tue 12-Mar-19 13:30:58

That's awful of him. I'm not sure if there's any legal action you can take.

One thing though is that 1/4 people suffer from Clinical Depression at any one time so it's very likely that one of your other colleagues has it or their family members do; so don't let this be the reason you leave unless you want it to be.

SharkBaitOhAhAh Tue 12-Mar-19 14:05:56


I've not told anyone why I'm signed off. As far as I'm concerned that's my business. My manager is telling people.

I'm not lying. My doctor thinks I'm depressed and has signed me off. I feel like if I leave, it'll all go away. Is that depression? I don't know. I don't know what it's "supposed" to feel like. I'm not doing this for the lols. I was really fucking struggling to go in every day. It's made it even fucking harder to go back.

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