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Absence & work keep telling me not to go back. Where do I stand?

(6 Posts)
Grockle Fri 12-Oct-12 18:36:43

I've been off for 3 weeks (which would make about 7-8 weeks in the last 12 months which has never happened before) with CFS/ Fibromyalgia. I wanted to go back last week but work said I should have another week to make sure I'm ok. Because I wasn't quite with it when I spoke to my line manager, I agreed (& I probably wasn't ready to go back anyway) so I stayed at home this week.

I spoke to mt line manager yesterday to say I wanted to go back next week & my dr had suggested ammended hours. We talked at length about me going back for mornings next week then trying full days the following week. She said she'd need to talk to HR in case I needed mornings for longer but would call me today. At 3, I got a phone call that I couldn't answer so it went to voicemail. It was my line manager to say she needed to share with me advice from HR and so not to go in on Monday. I phoned back to speak to her but there was no answer. She's sent me an email saying the same thing.

What do I do? Can they really make me stay at home? I want to be at work but I don't know what my rights are. I have contacted my union but not heard back from them yet.

flowery Fri 12-Oct-12 18:40:32

Has your doctor signed a fit note saying you are fit for work?

Grockle Fri 12-Oct-12 18:48:57

I've had a sick note for this week and one for the week before. He said he'll do one on Monday to say I am fit for work but that he recommends amended hours. He said that's not legally binding but work had suggested that anyway so we were all in agreement that I could try half days for a week. I'm not sure what HR have said.

flowery Fri 12-Oct-12 19:40:11

I think you are a bit premature assuming that sharing advice from HR means they will make you stay at home. Especially as you are not signed as being fit yet.

Go and see your doctor on Monday, get your fit note. Until you have medical advice on whether you are fit and if not, whether you would be fit if you had reduced hours/duties, it's all a bit hypothetical, and they are right to say not come in on Monday because at the moment you have no note saying you are fit to do so.

Get your fit note, then ring your manager and tell her what it says. If it says you would be fit if they did xyz, ask if that's acceptable. If they can accommodate, great, if not, you'll need to stay off until they can either accommodate recommendations or you are completely fit.

Grockle Fri 12-Oct-12 19:57:21

Thank you Flowery. I already spoke to my GP who agreed that if I felt ready to go back, he'd support me but would suggest amended hours (half days). He said he couldn't write a fit to work certificate in advance so to collect it on Monday. So I do have medical advice and work are in agreement. They said they want me to do a phased return which would make sense for everybody concerned but that, due to the nature of my job, it might not be possible.

Anyway, I just had a long conversation with my line manager who explained a bit more.

flowery Fri 12-Oct-12 20:50:36

Ok, but bear in mind word of mouth from you saying your GP told you you would be fit on Monday isn't medical advice as far as they are concerned, and they are right not to let you back without written advice that you are fit.

Hope they can sort out the reduced hours so you can go back next week. smile

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