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Is an injury that mean you can't drive a reason not to go to work?

(56 Posts)
JumpandScore Sat 14-Nov-15 07:57:03

Just that really. A friend has done a lot of damage to her ankle and is in plaster up to the knee. She's reasonably mobile on her crutches now she's had some practise and she does a desk job. She feels she's well enough to work, but she can't drive to get there.

It's possible on public transport, but not easy, will take much longer than driving (approx. 1.5 hours v 20 mins) several changes, some walking and be expensive, as the last bit would involve a taxi. What would you expect your employee to do?

Scarydinosaurs Sat 14-Nov-15 08:02:28

If it's a 20 minute drive, why not get a taxi all the way there?

Eastpoint Sat 14-Nov-15 08:02:35

A friend of mine was in a similar situation & work paid for his taxis. Crutches on public transport are really hard - I presume this isn't in London on the tube?

JumpandScore Sat 14-Nov-15 08:05:41

No, the job is well out in the sticks, where 20 mins is a 40 mile round trip. That's a big taxi fare.

PuppyMonkey Sat 14-Nov-15 08:07:43

Working from home possible?

Enjolrass Sat 14-Nov-15 08:09:13

In my office work would pay the taxi fares.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Sat 14-Nov-15 08:10:40

My work is a 20 min drive away, a taxi would cost £35 one way. I'd be looking at lift shares (I took a colleague to work for about three weeks once under similar circumstances), working from home etc.

I would also be doing a risk assessment, could they manage stairs in the event of a fire for example.

NoahVale Sat 14-Nov-15 08:10:36

up to her and her gp who signs sick note, her managers and occ health I would imagine
you wouldnt blame her for not going.

wafflyversatile Sat 14-Nov-15 08:11:06

Can she not work from home? Or wfh half the week, and come in the other half.

A colleague had a plaster to the knee on for a month or so recently and she was coming 3 days per week as usual via train and bus.

If you are the employer is it not worth paying for a few taxis to have a member of staff present instead of absent?

NoahVale Sat 14-Nov-15 08:11:45

occ health told me, on public transport with shoulder injury, to go home early and to avoid peak times.

Bogburglar99 Sat 14-Nov-15 08:12:28

People I've known who have done this have done as much working from home as possible.

When a teacher in school was in plaster she got lifts in with a family member and taught on crutches.

I think you have to weigh up the job, the injury and the travel options and come to a reasonable compromise all round based on those factors. 1.5 hours each way sounds a long struggle for someone on crutches and in plaster.

shiteforbrains Sat 14-Nov-15 08:17:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JumpandScore Sat 14-Nov-15 08:22:39

The situation has nothing to do with me, apart from the fact my friend has asked me what to do. She's new in the job and is worried what it will look like if she takes extended leave "just" because she can't drive.

Working from home is probably possible, but in usual circumstances the company doesn't allow it.

PotteringAlong Sat 14-Nov-15 08:24:06

If she can do the job I'd expect her to be there. How she gets there isn't the concern of her employers

P1nkP0ppy Sat 14-Nov-15 08:29:28

Has she explained this to her employers?
I was in a wheelchair/crutches for 14 weeks; I worked party from home and someone gave me a lift other days.
I certainly wasn't going to stay home if I could possibly avoid it.

NoahVale Sat 14-Nov-15 08:29:58

Could she try the journey before committing herself?

NoahVale Sat 14-Nov-15 08:30:27

how she get there will concern any decent occ health and GP

LyndaNotLinda Sat 14-Nov-15 08:34:02

PotteringAlong - of course her ability to get there is the concern of her employers!

My sister was signed off for about 6 weeks for a similar injury OP because she couldn't get to work. I'd check with her GP

wafflyversatile Sat 14-Nov-15 08:37:51

I hope potteringalong isn't an employer.

What shiteforbrains says is also true. being mobile enough to leave the sofa at 11am to nip to the corner shop is not the same as being able to cope with a full work day/week.

treaclesoda Sat 14-Nov-15 08:39:44

All she can really do is discuss with occupational health. I've worked in a company who didn't allow you in the office if you were on crutches because you were deemed a risk to yourself and others. Although frankly I'm not sure how that can be legal when you consider that someone with a permanent disability might need crutches. But those were the rules.

DoreenLethal Sat 14-Nov-15 08:40:02

It is not just the job it's all the stresses and strains with the job. All that time on public transport plus the day at work on mega painkillers when she should be home, risks the injury not healing in time. That's the point of it being sick leave, she needs to rest up and let her body heal.

Any manager would say no to this, because it risks issues later on for not allowing someone on sick leave to actually get well. Also, you can either be on leave, sick leave or at work - you can't be both. So if she is signed off and works, and then goes off sick again it counts as two instances of sick leave not one and this ramps up the possibility of being fired as a result.

JumpandScore Sat 14-Nov-15 08:40:46

That's her concern Lynda. She knows her GP would sign her off if she needed him to but she's worried her employers will take the same attitude as Pottering. Obviously if she's signed off, not much they can do about that, but as she's new it could affect their general opinion of her IYSWIM.

She's absolutely gutted as it's her dream job in a hugely competitive field. She's only been there a week - was keen to make a good impression.

Drquin Sat 14-Nov-15 08:46:58

If it's that good a job & employer, I'd take my chances on being honest with them and say how keen & disappointed is am that this happened so soon, that I probably could be signed off for the duration but would be keen to discuss if working from home was an option, reduced hours, any other flexible arrangement.

hugoagogo Sat 14-Nov-15 08:51:27

Isn't this just the sort of situation fit notes are for? The gp can outline the adaptations an employer will need to make, shorter hours or whatever your friend needs. It's not a choice between being signed off or being fit for work anymore.

stopfaffing Sat 14-Nov-15 08:56:24

I am presuming that the plaster up to her knee is not just a fashion statement and is in face put there to prevent any movement from the leg to promote proper healing of the injury?

In that case she should not be using public transport at all; the risk of damage to the healing process will be too high.

She should get advice from her GP as to what is an acceptable return to work. They will probably say it will be when she can drive herself.

It is possible, if suitable transport can be arranged for her, she could do a short working day; say 9 - 1pm, and return home to rest.

Public transport? No.

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