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Going on holiday when signed off sick

(19 Posts)
Sickonholiday Sun 19-Jan-14 21:44:07

Hello. Im a nurse working for the NHS in a physically demanding area and had surgery 6 weeks ago. I'm expected to be off for 12 weeks but my GP has signed me off for a few weeks longer due to other issues- It's been found I need further surgery. I'm unsure as yet whether occ health will let me return to work in between this and my next surgery. I have a holiday booked which has been booked off work since last year prior to the surgery. I wonder what the policy is on going abroad when on sick leave? I feel it looks bad however although I'm unfit for work I would be ok on holiday as actually doing less than at home.

Musicaltheatremum Sun 19-Jan-14 21:48:55

I would have no problem with that. As long as it's not mountain climbing or paragliding then a holiday is relaxing and can be therapeutic.

snowgirl1 Sun 19-Jan-14 21:49:45

Is your GP okay with you travelling? I'd ask him (if you haven't already) and then be totally upfront with work re. the situation, i.e. although you're unfit for work your GP has confirmed that you're okay to travel abroad as you'll be doing less than at home.

Sickonholiday Sun 19-Jan-14 21:52:30

Nope neither. My friends and I all turn 40 within a few weeks of each other and it's a girly beach holiday. They will likely go out at night but as the hotel is all inclusive they've agreed to stay in until 11pm and then head out. I'm planning on going back to my room with my kindle!

WannaSplitAPineapple Sun 19-Jan-14 21:52:59

Within our trust if its a prebooked holiday and you are off on long term sick then you can go. You should also get those days annual leave back.

Sickonholiday Sun 19-Jan-14 22:01:23

snow I mentioned it in passing to GP but didn't ask specifically. My physio has said it's fine as completely different being ok to lay on a lounger than work a 12 hour shift.

I just feel it looks horrendous. I'm not sure my colleagues know why I'm off and the whole thing is stressing me out, we also have a family holiday booked in June which again I may be signed off sick for deep dean when the next op is. Ideally occ health will sign me back in between the op I've just had and the nxt one but I'm not sure they will as physio and consultant aren't keen, there's also the issue of waiting for my next surgery so there may be a few months between 'technically' being recovered from one before being allowed the next. its all very complicated!

Sickonholiday Sun 19-Jan-14 22:02:07

*depending not deep dean!

Thewhingingdefective Sun 19-Jan-14 22:06:29

Going off somewhere nice and warm to convalesce used to be recommended health advice didn't it?

You can be fit enough to sit in the sun, chat with friends and read a book or two but still not fit for work, surely.

InTheRedCorner Sun 19-Jan-14 22:14:34

You are entitled to your pre booked holidays back and should enjoy the rest your holiday will give you.

Sickonholiday Sun 19-Jan-14 22:15:09

I think you can be defective but I'm really stressing about it. I have no control over getting signed back and ideally will be signed back prior to the booked holiday but I'm just concerned I'm not and I have to go whilst off sick.

Also I think that I'm worried as they may schedule surgery at an inconvenient time for me, ie before my family holiday. I'd then need to cancel and that'd just be a nightmare!

NorthernLurker Sun 19-Jan-14 22:19:21

You can go on holiday but make sure if this will interrupt any contact arrangements with your manager that you make them aware. You're not fit to be at work, doesn't mean you can't have a holiday. What you can't do is work elesewhere whilst off sick - that would be fraud.

Sickonholiday Sun 19-Jan-14 22:28:02

I haven't heard from my manager whilst I've been off so I'm not sure what our contact agreements are. I won't be working elsewhere so no fraud!

NorthernLurker Sun 19-Jan-14 22:30:18

You're off on long term sick and they haven't been keeping n touch? That's seriously crap. Staff who are kept up to date with by line managers suffer less from isolation and get back to work quicker. Basically makes being off sick less stressful. Is Occ Health keeping up to date with you?

WannaSplitAPineapple Sun 19-Jan-14 22:35:57

It should be in your HR policies. You could ask someone in work to print the sickness & absence policy or ring HR and ask them to post you a copy.

Sickonholiday Sun 19-Jan-14 22:58:48

northern nope no one has contacted me. I called in last week because I found out I'd need further surgery and I felt I should tell them and advise them I'd be seeing my Gp this week. I went into work but my manager wasn't there so I spoke to his deputy. She wasn't very kind.

Sickonholiday Sun 19-Jan-14 23:00:02

I asked to be referred to occ health so I've an appt in a week so.

AledJones Mon 20-Jan-14 09:09:55

I was off work after surgery for a badly broken leg, but we had a family holiday booked to go skiing. Obviously I couldn't ski, that went without saying, but equally I couldn't stay home alone as I wasn't really safe to look after myself (cooking/hot drinks and so forth) and was facing a deep depression. The idea was that I was transported along with them(wheelchair at airports, large car for transfers) and spent the week sitting wrapped in a blanket on a sunny balcony with hot chocolate and a book (which was all I was doing at home after all) looking at spectacular scenery, fresh mountain air and with lots of alcohol company at meals and evenings.
I felt REALLY uncomfortable about it, as all I could imagine was people saying "she went skiing with a broken leg?" even though I went nowhere near snow and, if anything, did less than at home. The thing was though, I am a teacher, and it was during half term week, when I wouldn't have been in school anyway, AND I was planning on returning (phased return) straight after half term. I spoke to my HT, who was fine about it, BUT she said it would be better therefore not to go through Occ Health as they "might have a few questions to ask about how I was spending my time off."
So, I went, but I didn't particularly broadcast the fact to people, as I felt it still might be mis-construed. So I understand your dilemma. All I would say is to make it official and get clearance form the relevant people first. Then, if they agree, you can enjoy your holiday with a clear conscience.

hamptoncourt Mon 20-Jan-14 14:47:30

OP if you are a nurse then surely you are a union member? Maybe have a word with your rep? You should be absolutely fine to go on holiday whilst signed off unfit to work in the context you have described. Don't make a big song and dance about it though. Just go off and enjoy yourself.
I hope you recover soon smile

Sickonholiday Mon 20-Jan-14 17:04:35

Thanks for the replies. I don't have a great relationship with my manager due to an unfortunate sick record on my part, all genuine just really unlucky! Broken wrist and car crashes and severe SPD resulting in the use of a wheelchair from 32 weeks to name a few.

hampton I don't really have a workplace union rep. She is more of an email contact type of thing. She never wanted to be the rep and as such has never acted in that capacity. I could maybe email the senior rep but seems a bit far considering the things they'd normally be involved in.

I'm unsure whether to mention to occ health or not. I may even manage to get signed back to work prior to the holiday which would obviously be beneficial but I'm not entirely sure I'm fit to be honest!

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