To think calling in sick for no sleep is a good enough reason?

(517 Posts)
Rachelinaa Sun 11-Apr-21 03:16:18

I work in an office that's been open through most of lockdown due to admin we do being essential.
Recently one of my workmates has been calling in sick a lot because he hasn't been sleeping well as he's got a baby at home that won't sleep. I was shocked to hear other people at work saying they thought it was a ridiculous reason not to come to work and we've all had to come to work tired. But I thought they'd be able to see the difference between being tired and not sleeping at all. His baby has colic and the mum also works.
I've called in sick before for being too tired when my baby was a newborn and didn't sleep. I wondered what everyone else's thoughts on this was? I personally don't want someone driving to work if they're too tired to focus and I can't think that the boss would want someone in more likely to make mistakes.

OP’s posts: |
BluebellsGreenbells Sun 11-Apr-21 03:20:30

I don’t get paid of the the children are sick and I have to look after them. I do get paid if I’m sick.

So a parent being off sick, whilst creating additional work, isn’t doing it unless absolutely necessary.

I agree someone who’s that tired shouldn’t be at work.

Finfintytint Sun 11-Apr-21 03:22:40

You say he hasn’t been sleeping well, not the same as having no sleep at all. He’ll be subject to the same sickness policy as anyone else regardless of reasons.

drinkplease Sun 11-Apr-21 03:23:17

The parents need to sleep in shifts. Having a child that is autistic and can go for 3 or four days even with melatonin with no sleep at all I sympathise but tbh you just get on with it. Most mine has slept is 4 hours. I'd never consider that a reason to call in sick.

Tanfastic Sun 11-Apr-21 03:24:15

I wouldn't do it and my boss wouldn't be impressed either and I doubt this would be classed as sick where I work (NHS).

Just to add, my ds didn't sleep either, I remember dragging myself into work because it wouldn't occur to me not to.

Rachelinaa Sun 11-Apr-21 03:24:46

@BluebellsGreenbells we do get paid for sick days and if our kids are sick, the company is good with that. But the man in question has never really had much time off before, he's very dedicated to his job so I don't get how they can think it's an excuse instead of a decent reason.

OP’s posts: |
Echobelly Sun 11-Apr-21 03:29:16

How often is 'often' I suppose?

I will call in sick after a bad night, or certainly a series of bad nights, as I find the best way to put a stop to it is to have a daytime nap so I don't go to bed overtired and frantic. But that will happen once, maybe twice a year.

If the colleague is working and his wife isn't then sad to say maybe he needs to find somewhere else in the house to sleep or use earplugs so he can get enough sleep to go into work? If I had a non-sleeping baby I would understand partner doing that in order to keep working effectively.

MadMadMadamMim Sun 11-Apr-21 03:30:23

I've worked in many different places with many different people. I don't think I've ever worked with someone who took a lot of days off sick because the baby didn't sleep.

It's a pretty shit reason. Most workp!aces would have you on an absenteeism improvement plan after three separate sick calls in a rolling year.

That's why most of us just suck up the sleepless nights as parents.

SpiderinaWingMirror Sun 11-Apr-21 03:31:00

I would hmm at that tbh.

callingtonb Sun 11-Apr-21 03:33:40

I think with having a new baby lack of sleep and tiredness is absolutely to be expected and you can't really call in sick for that because the baby might not sleep through until it's six months old (or even much older). If every parent with a non-sleeping baby went off sick until they slept through, there would be a problem in a lot of workplaces. Isn't that pretty much the point of paid maternity leave? Taking care of a new baby isn't easily compatible with working as it is a 24 hour job in the beginning.
If the baby is actually ill then you're entitled to take time off to care for dependents but it might not be paid.

YellowandGreenToBeSeen Sun 11-Apr-21 03:43:00

I can have on going insomnia (see time of post). I’ve never dropped down dead from lack of sleep. YABU.

Cameleongirl Sun 11-Apr-21 03:45:07

Echobelly

How often is 'often' I suppose?

I will call in sick after a bad night, or certainly a series of bad nights, as I find the best way to put a stop to it is to have a daytime nap so I don't go to bed overtired and frantic. But that will happen once, maybe twice a year.

If the colleague is working and his wife isn't then sad to say maybe he needs to find somewhere else in the house to sleep or use earplugs so he can get enough sleep to go into work? If I had a non-sleeping baby I would understand partner doing that in order to keep working effectively.

DH and I did the above when I was on maternity leave and he was back at work- he slept in another room and I dealt with all of the night wakings. I know some couples prefer to share them, but it worked for us and it was better that one of us wasn’t overtired.

I’d often go to bed for a couple hours in the early evening while he had some quality time with the baby. 😄

grapewine Sun 11-Apr-21 03:50:52

I suffer from insomnia. I sleep on average three hours a night, sometimes not at all, that's how it's looking this morning. It's almost 5am where I am. I still have to be ready for the day in 4 hours. YABU.

1forAll74 Sun 11-Apr-21 03:51:30

No,its wrong, and just a get out, people don't seem to be very hardy these days. It would have been frowned on in all the places of work that I have ever had..

sashh Sun 11-Apr-21 03:52:00

It is a crap excuse.

Lots of NHS staff work 9-5 and then are 'on call' sometimes for a week.

Lots of people have poor sleep for lots of reasons, menopause, insomnia, chronic pain, periods...

Morph2lcfc Sun 11-Apr-21 03:54:16

I’ve took a day or half a days holiday on ocassion when I’ve been able to but wouldn’t have dreamt of phoning in sick.

MeanderingGently Sun 11-Apr-21 03:59:26

What a dreadful reason to call in sick, it isn't "sick" at all. Being tired is part and parcel of having a baby up half the night; at times it can feel desperate but if so, take a day's holiday to catch up.
I would never have done it myself and I wouldn't think much of anyone who does, I think most workplaces wouldn't be best impressed either.

BitOfFun Sun 11-Apr-21 04:00:21

It depends on the job, I'd have thought. Librarian: go to work. Air Traffic Controller: not so much.

Embracingthechaos Sun 11-Apr-21 04:01:05

The UK is ridiculous about sickness in the work place. It's like it's a competition to see who can run themselves the most ragged, and the winner is admired as being so dedicated. It's unhealthy and sad.

He is an adult and he decides for himself whether or not he is fit for work that day. It's pathetic to sit around gossiping about the validity of his reason. If he is off sick enough that the company policy dictates some kind of intervention then that is between him and his line manager.

I'm in Australia and over here when you call in sick you don't give the details of your illness. Your manager is not allowed to ask. Most companies offer a certain amount of sick days that you are expected to use. It's a brilliant system.

CeeceeBloomingdale Sun 11-Apr-21 04:02:28

It's not something I would do or indeed expect anyone else to do unless their job risks the safety of others.

Bameish Sun 11-Apr-21 04:06:57

grapewine

I suffer from insomnia. I sleep on average three hours a night, sometimes not at all, that's how it's looking this morning. It's almost 5am where I am. I still have to be ready for the day in 4 hours. YABU.

Snap. I have to suck it up on three hours' sleep, why should anyone with a baby not have to do the same? Why does he think he deserves special treatment? He's in a two-parent situation; he has options. He's choosing not to exercise any of them.

Is it possible for the man to work from home and/or flex his hours? Did he take paternity leave when his wife gave birth? Could he take paternity leave/an unpaid sabbatical now?

Hoop148 Sun 11-Apr-21 04:10:32

Have you read Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker? Sleep is so insanely essential - so I think YANBU.

We need to give sleep more credit and importance.

Hoop148 Sun 11-Apr-21 04:11:07

Embracingthechaos

The UK is ridiculous about sickness in the work place. It's like it's a competition to see who can run themselves the most ragged, and the winner is admired as being so dedicated. It's unhealthy and sad.

He is an adult and he decides for himself whether or not he is fit for work that day. It's pathetic to sit around gossiping about the validity of his reason. If he is off sick enough that the company policy dictates some kind of intervention then that is between him and his line manager.

I'm in Australia and over here when you call in sick you don't give the details of your illness. Your manager is not allowed to ask. Most companies offer a certain amount of sick days that you are expected to use. It's a brilliant system.

Agree with this!

user1481840227 Sun 11-Apr-21 04:19:46

I'd imagine there is a lot more to this than just simply being tired.
Most of us have had periods of our lives where we're tired for various reasons, obviously having babies is a big one.

But then there are sleep issues like insomnia etc. and for me that is extremely different. When I have periods of chronic insomnia I get very low emotionally to the point of being suicidal, which is not uncommon with insomnia.

There could be more to it and this man is not sleeping for other reasons and just using the baby as an excuse because he doesn't want the whole office to know his business, how did you all find out his reason for calling in sick??

user7891011 Sun 11-Apr-21 04:30:16

Just because some of you have insomnia and deal with lack of sleep everyday doesn't mean this guy can deal with it as well as you. You should all know the impact it can have on your mental health as well🤔 have some compassion. He has to be fully functioning to look after the baby at night also whereas you can just lie there not using energy.
YANBU

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