Signed off sick after op(5 Posts)
I have been in pain for just under a year, but managed to continue at work whilst still in pain.
I had numerous tests done and had to undergo surgery to have various things removed. They were unsure as to what was wrong, so signed me off work for 5 weeks until my surgery.
I had the surgery and they think they found the problem, but I am still in post-operative pain and have now been off for a further 4 weeks since the op (9 weeks in total).
In this time, a lot has changed. My manger has unfortunately passed away so we are being managed by another manager who is determined to get me back to work.
He has suggested numerous things I can get involved in from home (admin as I am struggling to drive), but I'm so sleepy due to tablets etc. I feel torn - I don't feel like I can work but I feel like my job may be under threat if I don't.
I need to go back to the doctors, but don't know whether to ask the doctor to recommend a phased return and try to do what I can (although my role is normally 80% field work out on sites) or just ask to be signed off longer and cope with the repercussions.
Have they involved occupational health at all? I'd say they should be the first point of call after seeing your GP, as they would be in a good position to advise what is and isn't possible for your needs.
I'd also look up your sick policy if you have one - how much you are entitled to and across how many occasions. If you went back too early and had to go sick again, it can count as a second 'occasion' of sickness - doesn't matter in some organisations but in some
eg Royal Mail they also count 'occasions' of sickness absence in how they deal with your case...
I'm unsure about occupational health. My previous manager said she was going to speak to them, but she died very suddenly and I hadn't heard anything from them. It's quite a sensitive issue at the moment to discuss anything my previous manager was involved in, which makes it even harder!
I can have up to 3 occasions and have only had this 1 so far. I'm usually quite fit and healthy but this seems to have knocked me off my feet :-(
Then I think you're already in a good position - you've got a strong record of otherwise being fit & healthy, and being capable at your role.
It's hard to say without full details (which I think is wise not to share on a public forum) but I'd suggest a follow up on the OH request - it may have not been done yet by your previous manager, and it's been lost in the chaos of the transition. If you make it clear that you're requesting this to ensure you're able to support where you can work-wise, without doing anything that would inadvertently aggravate your illness and prolong your absence. Your manager may be trying to bring you back in for a variety of reasons - to stabilise the team after such a tough time following the death, he/she may feel they need your support & expertise (as it's tough managing a team you're not used to), or they may be getting pressure from above as well about team targets/output. Unfortunately that does mean sometimes that they are not behaving in your best interests!
Don't think your manager should be suggesting what he thinks you can do (unless he is a doctor or a OH specialist!), you need to be seen and assessed by OH who can discuss if light duties/working from home/phased return etc are appropriate for you.
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