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I work for a company who says they won't accept sick calls

(111 Posts)
ElektraLOL Sun 21-Apr-19 08:53:09

I have an ongoing problem with a slipped disc in my back. It flairs up every now and then and I have a very physical job. So yesterday my back was hurting all day at work and today I'm in so much pain I'm going to the out of hours GP. I can't even drive. So I call in sick to work to be told they will not accept sick calls today because they are too busy. This is the first time I've ever called in sick in any job I've had. I physically will not be able to do the movements involved. I told them I'm self certifying and i will not be in.

IABU to think this is not usual workplace behaviour? I have heard from others that they will always try to bully ill people into work.

Hahaha88 Sun 21-Apr-19 08:54:34

That's ludicrous. They can't make you work. If you're sick you're sick

DantesInferno Sun 21-Apr-19 08:54:38

So how are you meant to let them know you wont be in?

Is there an HR manual?

megrichardson Sun 21-Apr-19 08:55:59

I would start looking up the law if I were you OP. I hope you start to feel better soon.

hidinginthenightgarden Sun 21-Apr-19 08:56:12

How odd! They probably know that they won't get any cover due to nice weather so are trying to put you off in case you are trying it on.

Make sure you get a sick note from the doctor.

QuitMoaning Sun 21-Apr-19 08:56:57

I don’t understand. I don’t call in sick unless I really can’t work so it is irrelevant whether they accept or not. Saying they don’t accept wouldn’t change the fact that I can’t work, if I could work I would be in.
Just get yourself well and then, as soon as you are able, back in to work.

TheMobileSiteMadeMeSignup Sun 21-Apr-19 08:56:58

That is ludicrous. They can't force you to go to work. If they give you hassle get in touch with ACAS or your union if you have one.

ElektraLOL Sun 21-Apr-19 08:57:02

I will send an email if necessary and I'm pretty sure I will get a doctors note. I'm seeing the out of hours doctor today. I'm in constant pain and it's a miserable existence.

ElektraLOL Sun 21-Apr-19 08:59:19

'They probably know that they won't get any cover due to nice weather so are trying to put you off in case you are trying it on.'

This happens to everyone regardless of weather. They always say they can't accept sickness. It makes me angry because I actually hate having time off sick and you feel as though they are accusing you of lying.

Shostakobitch Sun 21-Apr-19 09:05:06

The attitude towards sickness and working in this country is bloody appalling. Almost every job I've been in has treated sickness like some kind of personal failure and most people I know will battle through sickness to get to work no matter how bad it will be for them because they know they will be looked down upon otherwise.

Sorry to rant OP but your work is ridiculous. Look after yourself and when you're healed you can return to work, I hope they sort you out with some good painkillers today!

EdithWeston Sun 21-Apr-19 09:05:45

It's a public holiday which will have led to a number of staff being on booked leave anyhow), plus it's a nice day.

So of course they're going to be sceptical of people who ring in sick. Keep anything which proves you saw the doctor (you self certify for first week, but I think in your case it would be prudent to get something in writing even if they recommend a shorter absence - even a note from the receptionist confirming the appointment would do. This is because as it is over a holiday weekend).

You need to tell your work you are attending a medical appointment today, and will advise them of the outcome as soon as you can.

In the longer term, as you don't want to ruin your back permanently with further stress/damage, it is probably time to start looking for a different job which does not cause the same physical stresses. It would also have an added benefit of getting you out of a place which has a rather unpleasant attitude on occasions.

IStillMissBlockbuster Sun 21-Apr-19 09:06:53

What company is this OP?

Passthecherrycoke Sun 21-Apr-19 09:08:12

The fact they don’t “accept” sick calls is neither here nor there surely? You’re sick, you tried to call in. If they don’t want to “accept” it that’s their problem

They sound completely dim

IsolaPribby Sun 21-Apr-19 09:09:42

So what will they actually do if you don't go in?

ElektraLOL Sun 21-Apr-19 09:12:24

I don't know what they actually do but I think it's just bullying. I have a good reputation at this job- I won an award as well. I always work extremely hard and management knows this.

It's just what they say to anyone and everyone who calls in sick. I tried to hand in my notice a while ago but my manager convinced me to stay.

HaudYerWheeshtYaWeeBellend Sun 21-Apr-19 09:12:50

How long have you worked there for.

They cannot not accept sick leave, they are frankly talking out there arse.

gamerwidow Sun 21-Apr-19 09:12:51

They have to accept your sick call because you’re not going in.
They can choose to discipline you afterwards depending on their policies but if you have a sick note I don’t think they can legally dismiss for one episode of sickness.

Passthecherrycoke Sun 21-Apr-19 09:13:11

Blimey. Time to leave? Sounds like it won’t be a problem to find a better company/ role

Tunnockswafer Sun 21-Apr-19 09:14:55

Suppose you have had a car accident and while undergoing surgery, your dp phones in for you. Are they still expecting you to come in? There is nothing they can do to make you come in.

gamerwidow Sun 21-Apr-19 09:14:58

P.s. I can understand why you might want extra evidence for short notice sick leave on sunny bank holidays but you can’t just refuse to accept people are sick

ElektraLOL Sun 21-Apr-19 09:15:58

Yes if they discipline me that's up to them. I can't control their response. I just know I cannot work today. I can hardly move it's awful. I'm hoping the doctor will give me some diazepam to loosen my back.

ElektraLOL Sun 21-Apr-19 09:17:55

They said 'I was told yesterday by X that I must not accept any sick calls today'

Basically, hardly anyone ever calls in sick because their bullying of staff usually works.

MrsMozartMkII Sun 21-Apr-19 09:18:49

So you have bubonic plague and they'd still not accept a 'sick call'. Barking mad! How the hell do companies expect to have people committed and caring if they're constantly being treated like this?

When I have world domination then I shall ensure all companies get their heads out of their arses.

OP I hope the painkillers kick in very quickly.

Roomba Sun 21-Apr-19 09:19:03

How long have you worked for them, OP?

They can get rid of you for any reason in the first two years as long as it isn't for a discriminatory reason (ie because you're female/disabled/pregnant/Asian/Christian/gay etc). They can't just say they won't 'allow' you to be sick though! They have to abide by employment laws whether they like it or not. So they either accept you are sick, or fire you, I suppose. What are they going to do - come round to your house and physically drag you to work? confusedhmm

ElektraLOL Sun 21-Apr-19 09:20:47

I've only been there 6 months. So yes they can get rid of me if they want but then they'll be very short staffed 🤷🏻‍♀️ they are already using agency.

gamerwidow Sun 21-Apr-19 09:21:40

To be honest it sounds like the person you spoke to is coming down hard because they are scared about what management will do if someone is off sick.
Once your case gets referred to actual management I think they’ll realise that you’re not just trying it on.

ElektraLOL Sun 21-Apr-19 09:22:23

Also, when I accepted the job I did inform them that I've historically had problems with my back.

And it's actually their fault it's got worse again because of a weekend where I was given more hours than my massage limit.

Whatelsecouldibecalled Sun 21-Apr-19 09:23:14

That’s ridiculous! I’m sorry you’re in this situation OP. Sounds like time to look somewhere else if possible.

The only difficulty you have is most often doctors will note write I note for first week as you can (or should be able to!) self certify. Perhaps if you explain your situation they might see it differently but unlikely. Keep your appointment from your doctors I’d work decide to take it further. I would be using my time whilst resting my back googling employment law to be fully armed when I go back to work with a response like that. Hope you feel better soon.

Anothertempusername Sun 21-Apr-19 09:23:25

Is it retail, OP?

OffToBedhampton Sun 21-Apr-19 09:23:58

To be honest if your back is that bad, you'll need quite a few days or weeks off. Better take that in one lot than try in and out on odd days during this flare up, as ironically that makes a worse sick leave record.

If they are a company in UK they don't get choice whether to accept sick calls or not. Just record that you made phonecall (follow up email "as per my phonecall at 8.02am this morning, I am off sick .."
They are leaving them self open to big fines if they breach employee rights in shoddy employment practices, and a constructive dismissal claim from you individually if they discipline you for taking such little and much needed sick leave as long as you followed sick process.

ElektraLOL Sun 21-Apr-19 09:24:14

No, not retail. It's a spa

ElektraLOL Sun 21-Apr-19 09:26:58

I hope I don't need weeks off, as I will not get paid

WingBingo Sun 21-Apr-19 09:29:08

Wow, that’s a terrible attitude!

I experienced similar last week. MIL works for Asda - she had a heart attack, so very serious. I called her work for her and the response was dreadful.

Before they even asked what was wrong, they said “wasn’t sheboff last week?” (She wasn’t), then had a moan about it being busy.

Once I told the shit manager why she wasn’t coming in, he just said, get her to give me a call to let me know if she will be in next week...

She won’t be going back at all anyway, but it was such a shitty response for a worrying time.

mondaylisasmile Sun 21-Apr-19 09:29:38

Op you need to cover yourself - notify them in writing, and mention the verbal response with a polite summary (I understand from X that the company will not accept sickness as a standard policy but I literally cannot move and so am self certifying..)

Then go look at ACAS guidance, check if you have employment law on hand on your home insurance policy, and/or look up you union rep contact details if you are part of one... Be prepared basically.

Purplecatshopaholic Sun 21-Apr-19 09:30:28

Dear God, what kind of company do you work for?? If you are sick, you are sick!! (And I work in HR).

Prequelle Sun 21-Apr-19 09:32:00

The audacity of management in some places. It's not up to them to accept it. You're off sick and it's that simple. Idiots

ElektraLOL Sun 21-Apr-19 09:32:22

Yes my appointment is in 30 minutes so after that I will write an email. Ironically I don't go out anyway on bank holidays because I'm autistic and don't like socialising.

Kingoftheroad Sun 21-Apr-19 09:38:23

Sounds as though you’re in agony. There’s no way you can work in that state. You’d be risking further damage, therefore longer sickness etc.

I honestly think that this is a classic case of everyone being made to suffer for the previous actions of the few.

I run my own business and and early morning sickness calls can determine whether the business opens or closes that day. It’s a nightmare to manage. It has really put me off employing women with children as calling in when children are ill mums having the day off
is the biggest cause of absence.

Absence levels in the UK are really high, so in your employers case I really can understand both points of view, albeit they have worded it very badly

NoSquirrels Sun 21-Apr-19 09:39:06

I think that if they say that, then you would be perfectly fine to say "I'm afraid it's against employment law not to accept that your employee is unfit for work today".

Follow up with email documenting phone call etc., as other have said, and try to not worry.

Hope your back feels better soon.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Sun 21-Apr-19 09:41:44

I know that your situation is not funny in the slightest, but I did laugh in a shocked sort of way at the blank refusal to accept sick calls. As if they have godlike powers to make it not be so because they choose for it not to be so!

Kingoftheroad Sun 21-Apr-19 09:44:28

Sorry - I’ve just noticed that you work in a spa. If you’re a therapist you could well be leaving them with a nightmare today as they’ll have clients booked in which, no doubt they’ll need to cancel, unless they can call in someone at short notice.

Would probably been better if you’d tried to swap shifts with a colleague etc before calling in

ILoveMaxiBondi Sun 21-Apr-19 09:45:48

Well it’s complete bollocks isn’t it, employers don’t get to stipulate when staff can be sick. They can’t tell you it’s fine to be off sick on Wednesdays because we are quiet but Monday’s and Fridays are firm no for sickness. No-one can plan their illness. Ignore them OP.

HollaHolla Sun 21-Apr-19 09:48:26

I also have a history with my back, and have just had my fourth surgery on it. This particular issue started last summer, when I had to have a week off, and have had 4 days off In the run up to my surgery in January.
Despite work knowing my situation, that I was awaiting surgery, and going in using crutches, I was being disciplined for my absence. I’m about to go back to a full-on stand off with my boss, as she was calling me when I was in hospital to ask how to do part of my job (despite my leaving notes, an instruction manual, etc.) I too have received two awards at work in the last 4 years, and am regularly praised for my excellent work.
I think back problems are misunderstood by a lot of workplaces, and can be seen as something people ‘make up’ as something to get time off.
It’s madness to say that they ‘don’t accept’ sickness. I’d support what others suggest, and get this documented by the doctor - even if they won’t sign you a sick note, then to get evidence of the appointment.
Good luck - hope they can give you some stronger stuff, but as you know, sometimes it’s just rest/gentle exercise which can heal it a bit. Don’t not go for a small walk (if you’re able) in fear of someone seeing you. Take care.

ExplodingCarrots Sun 21-Apr-19 09:51:14

I used to work in a spa. I was also treated appallingly , especially when I was pregnant. If you called in sick you were made to feel awful and would have an almighty row when you had a back to work interview. I had tonsillitis once and was told 'don't have tonsillitis again' hmm.
I know it's a nightmare for them to cover treatments , especially on a bank holiday weekend, but bullying people won't work. I take it they have a high turnover of staff?

ArabellaDoreenFig Sun 21-Apr-19 09:58:56

Would probably been better if you’d tried to swap shifts with a colleague etc before calling in

No, that’s what managers are for!

For example (I’m mid management level) I work in exams and have to rota invigilators, if I had a sickness it’s not the sick member of staff who sorts out the cover it’s me.

OP I have suffered from slipped disc and I haven’t felt pain like it, it is agony, so have lots of flowers and cake from me.

Go see the doc, get written confirmation of the situation and rest and recover.

Burlea Sun 21-Apr-19 09:59:03

I worked for a catalogue retail store my father died and my husband phoned my manager who replied that I had botched up his rota so he's not very happy.
When I returned I was informed that in future I had to come into store to say if I was sick then he would decide if I needed time off sick. I walked out and won't
even shop there anymore.

Brilliantidiot Sun 21-Apr-19 09:59:31

Stories like this really annoy me, and the one about the Mil and heart attack. How can you 'not accept sick calls'? Management say no one shall be sick so therefore it shall be? What a load of bollocks!
A lot of the time these idiots are making it up as they go along and haven't a clue about the actual law, speak to acas and get some advice and tell them you've done it and what acas says, often it's enough to shut up these wallys.
A job I had once tried to discipline me for having emergency surgery. They rang while I was still in hospital, attached to a drip, and demanded I attended a meeting about my attendance as I'd been off for more than 3 days, I was high as a kite on medication at the time and do believe I told them to 'come see for themselves, ward 12, end bed' they didn't turn up but because I was so annoyed most of the nurses heard about it, one of them told me a little while later they'd rang to check I was there. When I got out I spoke to acas and then when I spoke to work and basically repeated what acas said they shut up pretty quickly.

Dotty1970 Sun 21-Apr-19 10:02:26

Kingofthrroad..... You are a complete biscuit

TSSDNCOP Sun 21-Apr-19 10:04:28

Is it retail OP?

Message to bosses: treat staff as human, resource up and if you have problems you’re covered. Face it, you’re looking at minimum wage x 4 hours it’s not going to break the bloody bank

RumCustard Sun 21-Apr-19 10:05:17

Poor you for being in pain and having to deal with this kind of attitude.

Keep every note and detail about your doctor's visit.

Do you have an HR manual?

Speak to CAB if they carry on being knobs.

JustanAunt Sun 21-Apr-19 10:05:33

I worked in a petrol station and my shift started at 6am, I phoned at 5am as I had woken up feeling awful. I was told I needed to give them 3 hours notice. So I hobbled into work looking like death. One of my colleagues begged the manager to let me go home but she refused.

I made a point the next day of phoning in sick at 3am. Basterds

LagunaBubbles Sun 21-Apr-19 10:06:05

Would probably been better if you’d tried to swap shifts with a colleague etc before calling in

Er no! If you are sick you are sick, it's not then your job to find someone to do your shift thats what managers etc get paid for!

SnapesGreasyHair Sun 21-Apr-19 10:07:49

Suppose you have had a car accident and while undergoing surgery, your dp phones in for you

That pretty much happened at my work. Colleague in car accident. Was being cut out by firecrew. Her DP phoned work and manager asked if she would be in later that day confused

Inliverpool1 Sun 21-Apr-19 10:10:15

You’ve accepted the counter offer and stayed .... every recruiter in the country will tell you, you’ll leave within 6 months and end up taking a worse job than the one you turned down and probably your current one too. You showed your hand when you tried to resign and there really is no way back. Start looking first thing on Tuesday and never accept a counter offer again

Prequelle Sun 21-Apr-19 10:10:16

I’ve just noticed that you work in a spa. If you’re a therapist you could well be leaving them with a nightmare today as they’ll have clients booked in which, no doubt they’ll need to cancel, unless they can call in someone at short notice

Boo hoo. Noones massage is as important as OPs health. The company should have resources to ensure they can fulfil requirements if someone goes off on the sick

I work for the NHS. If I go off sick it means 8-10 people don't have a nurse so other staff have to take my workload because there's no other staff to come in. Its life threatening, yet im still not treated with the same poor attitude as this

Brilliantidiot Sun 21-Apr-19 10:11:17

Sorry - I’ve just noticed that you work in a spa. If you’re a therapist you could well be leaving them with a nightmare today as they’ll have clients booked in which, no doubt they’ll need to cancel, unless they can call in someone at short notice.

Well tough quite frankly, the OP is sick and it's her supervisor/managers role to arrange rota's. Maybe the manager should do it. If there's no cover then treatments get cancelled - no one will die. If it's so vital that these appointments are met then management need to come up with a better strategy than 'no one shall be ill' they're dealing with people, not fucking robots!

Would probably been better if you’d tried to swap shifts with a colleague etc before calling in

Again, no, it's not the OPs responsibility.

ZazieTheBruce Sun 21-Apr-19 10:12:08

My old massage therapist said spas are notorious for working people like donkeys. Long shifts with every appointment a massage. And they don’t pay well either.

You’d be better handing in your notice, and setting up as an independent massage therapist.

Sillybilly1234 Sun 21-Apr-19 10:16:47

It was used against me during my redundancy process.

Kingoftheroad Sun 21-Apr-19 10:20:19

dotty1970 no I’m am not I am a business owner trying to survive in a tough economic climate. Sickness levels in this country are appalling and as a result many genuinely ill people suffer for the actions of others.

How would you feel today if you were a small business employer losing a lot of money and possibly future clients today as the therapist had called in at the last minute sick ?

How would you also feel if you’d saved up, booked in advance and we’re looking forward to your treatment and we’re turned away at the last minute.

Also the op worked over her massage hours (no one can physically force you to do this) she could also have let her employee know the day before that she could potentially be off as her back had flared up then

Kingoftheroad Sun 21-Apr-19 10:25:29

brilliantidiot. We don’t know the size of this business, it could be a small independent. Not all businesses have managers - it would then be left to the owner to take time away from her clients to try to cover the shift. It really does help to see that someone’s at least trying to get cover.

You say no one will die and that’s correct. However the business could die out as clients, when met with this will usually take their business elsewhere then no one would have a job to call I. Sick to.

Passthecherrycoke Sun 21-Apr-19 10:26:21

Sickness levels in this country aren’t appalling? Where did you get that from?

I’ve had a treatment cancelled due to therapist sickness. It’s no big deal

pointythings Sun 21-Apr-19 10:27:52

Kingoftheroad has it ever occurred to you that sickness levels in the UK are appalling because business owners don't employ enough staff, don't pay them decent wages and overwork them, then treat them badly if they go off sick? There's a reason why productivity in the UK is worse than in comparable EU countries, and it's to do with the culture of presenteeism. Treat your staff well and they will be well and do well.

I work in the NHS - our team manager has a progressive attitude towards staff sickness. Guess what? Our sickness absence rates are minuscule.

If you want to see the root cause of the problems with sickness absence in the UK, look in the mirror.

PregnantSea Sun 21-Apr-19 10:30:41

What a bunch of arseholes. This is laughable.

You're sick today and that's fine. The worst that they can do is fire you for it, which would be illegal and then you can take them to an employment tribunal.

Take no notice of their ridiculous attitude. Perhaps it's time to look for a new job.

DGRossetti Sun 21-Apr-19 10:31:04

Can you paint it on the side of a bus ?

MadeleineMaxwell Sun 21-Apr-19 10:38:17

Absence levels in the UK are really high

Sickness absence falls to the lowest rate on record

Although all that apparently shows is that presenteeism and not paying for sickness leave is on the rise.

Brilliantidiot Sun 21-Apr-19 10:38:19

it would then be left to the owner to take time away from her clients to try to cover the shift. It really does help to see that someone’s at least trying to get cover.

Yes, it is down to the owner, and why shouldn't it be? It's their business! Businesses need to stop trying to palm off the risks of being in business to their staff!

However the business could die out as clients, when met with this will usually take their business elsewhere then no one would have a job to call I. Sick to.

Then it's up to the owner/manager to devise a strategy that minimises this or that covers loss of income, guards against loss of clients. It's not up to the staff to do that.

Passthecherrycoke Sun 21-Apr-19 10:43:45

I don’t really understand why owners of businesses who pay minimum wage and charge luxury prices expect us to feel sorry for them for dealing with perfectly normal HR and personnel issues. Who cares? If they can’t run the business then they’re incompetent.

Prequelle Sun 21-Apr-19 10:45:55

you must manage on a shit wage that means you have to claim benefits to survive, you must have very high standards and work when I want you to, oh you also can't have sick time because how dare you eat into my profits by becoming unwell! Think of my business!

ilovebrie8 Sun 21-Apr-19 10:47:19

It is not up to the OP to arrange sickness cover that is the job of management and/or the owner of the business.

Kingoftheroad your attitude is shocking in this day and age...

ArabellaDoreenFig Sun 21-Apr-19 10:49:19


Couldn’t agree more with your last post. Its great that people do run their own businesses- but as a small/medium business owner you need to appreciate that it is your business, you make the profits, you run the risks etc, any staff you hire shouldn’t be expected to shoulder any responsibilities beyond their job, if they are then you are not managing well !

Butterymuffin Sun 21-Apr-19 10:51:15

OP did you post before about problems with a colleague and you getting all the harder appointments? Definitely time to move jobs if so.

thecatinthetwat Sun 21-Apr-19 10:51:47

You should find work elsewhere op, if you possibly can. Don't support such a company, it's outright bullying. I've experienced this type of thing before, it's awful.

I hope you feel better soon flowers

Jessikka Sun 21-Apr-19 10:53:32

I am recovering from a slipped disc and I can absolutely sympathise with you. It's horrendous.

If i jar it or twist too suddenly I can barely walk for days - it's always with a limp as my right leg won't straighten!

I work in an office so I can raise my desk up and down if needs be but a physical job in that pain? no way! I'd be useless.

Hope you get better soon 🌷

Hearhere Sun 21-Apr-19 10:53:49

It sounds like they're just using the staff as scapegoats for their own incompetence

kalinkafoxtrot45 Sun 21-Apr-19 10:57:58

This country has an appalling attitude to sickness absence. People end up working when they shouldn’t and make their conditions worse, or spread germs to others and make the whole office sick. And kingoftheroad you’re clearly part of the problem. Have a biscuit

jewel1968 Sun 21-Apr-19 10:58:12


Can you expand on - I work in the NHS - our team manager has a progressive attitude towards staff sickness. Guess what? Our sickness absence rates are minuscule.

I am genuinely interested in what a progressive attitude is and if it is part of NHS policy in managing absence.

Brilliantidiot Sun 21-Apr-19 11:06:25


Exactly, increasingly employers are demanding their employees give the same level of input as they give - yet They're not willing to share the benefits of that input with a bonus or payrise or a staff benefit of some description. They are demanding total loyalty, yet showing none in return, rather the opposite. Staff in situations like this are often dropped like faulty equipment.
Unfortunately everyone is obsessed with making as much profit as possible and staff are just a piece of equipment these days.
I think it may have been Richard Branson that said
"You don't need to look after your clients, if you look after your staff, your staff will look after your clients"
If staff feel valued they'll go above and beyond without even realising it. I'm lucky, I'm valued where I am, and I bend over backwards to help my employer, but then they do the same for me.

bananasandwicheseveryday Sun 21-Apr-19 11:07:17

I think it's quite common for certain jobs to have periods when sick leave is expected to be covered by medical evidence. Ds works in retail and any sickness during December has to be covered by a certificate, also, no annual leave can be booked for December and January. I work in a school and any sickness on the last day of term has to be covered by a medical certificate.
Hope your appointment went well and you got a certificate OP.

justarandomtricycle Sun 21-Apr-19 11:13:24

What does "called in at the last minute sick" even imply as a concept?

Is there some expectation you would be given notice when someone is off sick or something?

YANBU OP. People are sometimes unwell. Not accepting it is akin to not accepting the weather.

Prequelle Sun 21-Apr-19 11:17:01

banana that may be policy where you work but legally employers have to accept 7 days self certify. It's appalling that people are expected to waste doctor's very limited and highly demanded time to get notes for things like colds and other simple things that don't usually require a doctors visit. A lot of our doctors refuse to give notes unless it's for after the week of self cert

ElektraLOL Sun 21-Apr-19 11:22:51

The doctor says my back is in spasms and has prescribed stronger painkillers. I have written an email to management (who are not even at work today themselves)

To the poster who says I shouldn't have accepted a counter offer and will end up with a worse job what do you mean? The reason I was leaving was to do with not being able to visit my daughter who lives in residential school. So they offered different hours.

ElektraLOL Sun 21-Apr-19 11:25:20

Another therapist has been signed off massage completely due to injury and she was told if her massages can't be covered she'll still have to do them!

I like the way @Kingoftheroad blames me for working over my limit. They are difficult to deal with. Victim blaming much?

pointythings Sun 21-Apr-19 11:25:40

jewel it's really very simple. Ours is a research team, so non-clinical. Because we are NHS, we have to use the Bradford scale; however, our team manager is supportive rather than disciplinarian in her approach. When it comes to stress-related illness, we all feel able to approach her before things become so bad that we need time off and we reallocate workloads. When it comes to physical illness, we are encouraged to stay home until we are fully recovered rather than being chased to come back as soon as possible - this means we have far fewer episodes of recurring illness close together because people don't come in when they are still ill, they don't spread their viruses to the rest of the team and so illness happens less often.

Carer leave is used sensibly for those of us who have families, and there is no pressure to use the minimum amount of compassionate leave permitted when someone suffers a bereavement - when my H died last year, our manager couldn't have been more supportive.

Home working is encouraged where possible and phased returns are used sensibly - we are trusted not to take the piss.

It isn't like that everywhere and I know that - in fact, those of our team members who previously worked on wards report very different situations.

However, it's a simple fact that it isn't necessary to treat your staff like dirt and push them for everything they've got. It's perfectly possible to di things differently and reap results.

Inliverpool1 Sun 21-Apr-19 11:27:00

ElektraLOL - you should have had the conversation about hours without the need to resign ... tbh I didn’t realise the job you were doing at the time so things are probably different in your sector

Kingoftheroad Sun 21-Apr-19 11:50:14

brilliant idiot I’d be interested to hear your advice on devising a strategy like this, that doesn’t involve having to pay to have extra staff on standby and how on earth can we guard against loss of clients and business when we don’t have the staff to cover the shift due to last minute sickness.

Businesses these days are really struggling. I certainly pay very well (as my employees continually tell me) have great working conditions. Flexibility in hours, all meals and drinks provided and regular shares of profits.

I really resent the statement that I am part of the problem !

Someone else mentioned ‘I make the profits’ no not really. Most small businesses simply coast, stay afloat and get by. There is no margin in our profits for standby staff. Also, when someone is off sick, we have to pay for extra staff to cover (double wages) then make up for any potential losses.

Of course people take unwell and have to be off, I completely agree with this. It happens way to often and it can’t be sustained

jewel1968 Sun 21-Apr-19 11:54:47

Thanks pointy. I think I do a lot that your manager does but always keen to learn. My one simple philosophy (borrowed from R. Branson I think) is look after the people and they will deliver.

Prequelle Sun 21-Apr-19 11:56:38

kingoftheroad I would be interested to hear how you think individuals should plan ahead for sudden sickness. We aren't psychic.

'It happens way too often and cant be sustained', then employ robots. Humans get unwell. It's a fact of life. It's almost like you think people do it on purpose. People don't generally like being off sick. They don't need to added guilt trip of employers being woe is me.

I get it's difficult. I've had to ring around to try to get extra staff because the ward has been dangerously understaffed, I've been the one with 14 acute unwell patients because someone has rang in, I get the frustration. But what are people supposed to do? It's not their fault that their illness affects your business so much that you're at risk of such a loss. A private business being so reliant on single individuals seems like bad business anyway tbh

Passthecherrycoke Sun 21-Apr-19 12:04:58

kingoftheroad how hard is it to think of a strategy? hmm rebook whomever you can with alternative therapists and phone the rest to cancel them and rebook at another date. Not rocket science!

Brilliantidiot Sun 21-Apr-19 12:15:51

brilliant idiot I’d be interested to hear your advice on devising a strategy like this, that doesn’t involve having to pay to have extra staff on standby and how on earth can we guard against loss of clients and business when we don’t have the staff to cover the shift due to last minute sickness.

But that's the whole point, @Kingoftheroad, as I'm not running a business then I don't need to advise on devising these strategies! If I were to decide to run a business then I'd look into it and research it, or if indeed it's not possible, then take the hit when it happens because that risk should be squarely at the feet of the people running the business, not passed on to the people they employ!

Businesses these days are really struggling. I certainly pay very well (as my employees continually tell me) have great working conditions. Flexibility in hours, all meals and drinks provided and regular shares of profits.

This kind of environment is rare, I'm 40 and I've recently found my first job with these kinds of conditions - you know being treated like you're valued. I would be far more inclined to try and do something other than ring in in those circumstances - because I am valued and I'm given a share of the good times as well as being expected to shoulder some of the bad.

But none of that stops people being ill! It's a known risk of being human, and therefore if you employ humans you know you have that risk. You can't just turn round and say 'we don't accept illness' you need to work out a way of dealing with it - or accept the loss when it happens.

Brigante9 Sun 21-Apr-19 12:22:12

This is so mental! It makes me glad I’m in education. I had 3 months off when half of my calf was torn off, nobody said anything bar ‘Hope you get well soon, don’t even think about work’ which is how it should be.

Hearthside Sun 21-Apr-19 12:42:03

OP i feel for you .I had a bad back recently and was off work 3mths sad but my employers were supportive . Back pain is miserable, i couldn't stand up without being in agony .They are being ridiculous and i agree bullying .Hope you get better soon.

wigglesniggles Sun 21-Apr-19 12:51:36

This makes me so angry. This isn't how it works in decent workplaces. Wish your pain better OP flowers

ElektraLOL Sun 21-Apr-19 13:07:48

Thank you. It's stressful because you feel they are not supportive.

The problem is that people don't stand up for themselves. So what results is therapists throwing up in the sink halfway through a treatment (happened a couple of weeks ago!)

Wineandpyjamas Sun 21-Apr-19 14:21:26


I work in the care sector where if you ring in sick there absolutely HAS to be cover or someone won’t get their meds etc.

I’ve rung in twice over the three years of working here and both times my manager has been more than sympathetic and accommodating. As long as you keep in touch with them and tell them when you expect to be back it’s not made out to be a huge problem. Either my management get relief staff in or if they can’t do that they come in themselves or cancel non essential support.

It’s up to the management to sort out sickness and maybe due to our company’s good attitude there are very few absences due to sickness.

Hope your back feels better soon OP!

Tunnockswafer Sun 21-Apr-19 15:00:25

I’d be sad to have a treatment cancelled but I wouldn’t want to be given a treatment by anyone with a contagious illness either.

TSSDNCOP Sun 21-Apr-19 16:06:35

As a business owner, if you are too tight, or too stupid to run a business model that collapses when a member of staff is sick as a consequence of over-extending their hours you have no choice but to step in and do the bloody job yourself.

I had this in retail where I’d run the shop for 3 days and the colleague I’d covered for was still sick day 4. That night I had plans. I explained that to the RM and made it her problem. She re-called everyone I’d already pleaded with, but they were all unable to help. She did it herself, but ultimately that’s what she’s paid to do and the occasions it had happened previously were zero.

TSSDNCOP Sun 21-Apr-19 16:10:11

In the good old days you got 3x salary for working in Good Friday at Safeway. None of the part-time students were going to turn down that gig even if the sun was shining.

It’s a lot easier to go meh for NMW.

ElektraLOL Sun 21-Apr-19 16:22:37

I agree TSS. At the moment I can't even drive and it's a 20 minute car journey anyway.

Yes, basically they are too tight to pay for a reserve to be scheduled in. They are also having problems due to the previous finance person doing some underhanded stuff and a meeting last week where staff were screamed at and told they'd be marched out of the building if anyone had any complaints. People have been unhappy because our staff perks have been cut (without any explanation and these are stated in our contracts)

stucknoue Sun 21-Apr-19 16:34:37

Whilst it sounds bad to be told no sick leave, the problem is people lie (especially when the weather is good) and if clients are booked in they need someone to be there - can you imagine turning up to be told that the sessions you booked 6 weeks prior are cancelled?

There's two sides to stories, poor management is part of it and cheeky workers who are "ill" when they aren't

TSSDNCOP Sun 21-Apr-19 16:43:20

stuck I agree, there will always be those that abuse the process. And those people should be dealt with in accordance with policy and contract and let go. It acts as a signal that management are on top of the problem. It also has the effect that people who need to can take genuine sick leave.

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