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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.

ElektraLOL Wed 24-Apr-19 08:52:32

My GP has signed me off for 2 weeks.

I think I'm going to have to leave this job because my back is no better today and this is obviously a warning. And I only have one body...

ElektraLOL Sun 21-Apr-19 23:07:44

Sunning *

ElektraLOL Sun 21-Apr-19 23:07:16

I have heard from my direct senior that they didn't cancel the treatments but instead loaded them onto the other staff so that the entire day was crazy and stressful. As it turns out that someone else was also off sick today. She did say though that I must stay off and rest my back or it will get worse. She said that there should be a plan in place for a situation like this.

Management wouldn't dream of stepping in of course - they were off subbing themselves no doubt...

ElektraLOL Sun 21-Apr-19 18:30:55

I'm definitely beginning to regret my decision to stay. I like the spa manager very much, but much of what happens is not her doing. It's those at the top of the hotel. The spa manager said that hopefully my back injury will be helped by reduced hours. My new rota doesn't come into effect until next week.

This injury goes back to 2015. But at that time I was not in a full time job. The stress of this place is way more than I think it's worth tbh. And I think probably the job does make it flare up. It's also carrying vast amounts of laundry all the time. There are always about 2/3 people injured having to be on reduced duties.

ivykaty44 Sun 21-Apr-19 17:37:48

but then they'll be very short staffed 🤷🏻‍♀️ they are already using agency.

I wonder why that is....<sarcastic emoji needed>

DrinkFeckArseGirls Sun 21-Apr-19 17:28:56

Wow, I thought employees were better protected than that. I suppose health and leisure industry is like that whatever your employment status.

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

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?

Whoever is in charge needs to ring those clients and tell them, offer an alternative.
And yes people lie, and take the piss. But a blanket 'no one is allowed to be ill or injured' policy is ridiculous. It's not going to stop people getting ill, being in accidents etc is it? No matter how much they demand. If these things were in our power then hospitals and Dr surgeries would be pretty quiet!
Owners/managers need effective policies that accept that they employ humans that sometimes get ill or injured and cover the workload, whilst dealing with those who take the piss.
There seems to be an attitude that anyone who rings in sick is taking the piss, regardless of track record, regardless of what's actually wrong with them. And that devalues everyone on the staff, which doesn't exactly inspire people.

ElektraLOL Sun 21-Apr-19 17:09:23


DrinkFeckArseGirls Sun 21-Apr-19 17:06:57

Are you employed or self-emplpyed, OP? I work in a similar set up but we’re all self-employed.

ElektraLOL Sun 21-Apr-19 16:53:00

People may lie but I don't. I actually enjoy being at work and I always give 100% because I have a good work ethic and enjoy my job. They have known me long enough to know I'm a decent employee.

In fact, all of us are. Spas are very time pressured places where we have back to back treatments all day usually. People who are lazy/ prone to taking the day off because it's sunny tend to leave almost as quickly as they started.

Prequelle Sun 21-Apr-19 16:50:24

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?

That isn't the sick employees problem. People taking the piss with sick leave isn't their fault or problem. Clients being booked in isn't their problem. They are sick and entitled like anyone else to rest when sick. What's the alternative? You cant punish the many for the few - that's bad management.

And yes I can imagine- I wouldn't be pissed off at the sick employee I would be pissed off the managers hadn't thought to ring me to let me know. Some of us care more about people's health than a massage.

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.

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

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)

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.

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.

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.

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!

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!)

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

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.

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.

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.

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!

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

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