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Sick record and potential new job. Likely to be an issue?

(33 Posts)
chailatte91 Tue 29-Dec-15 19:26:25

I've recently had a job interview which went very well. I'm waiting to hear back from them. They are likely to ask for references if they do offer me the job, and also for my sick record for the past two years. I had 4 weeks off whilst I was having investigations in to abdominal pain, which was extremely severe. I spent a period of time in hospital. It is thought I had a bout of severe IBS or a bad reaction to something. I've had no issues since regarding this. I also had a week off work, as I have just heard the results of a trial which has resulted in issuing someone with the death penalty, as they murdered my closest friend last year. I have taken a week off work to finally grieve and get my head around it.

Do you think that it is likely to have a job offer withdrawn due to these reasons? I've never had odd days off, not once been late. These are my only two periods of sick. Ever. Help please!

tribpot Tue 29-Dec-15 19:41:40

I wouldn't think so - you had an acute episode of illness, which could happen to anyone. Were you actually off sick as a result of the trial verdict, rather than on leave? I'm extremely sorry to hear about your friend.

If you were off sick recently e.g. with stress, I imagine they may want to investigate that further, but again the circumstances are acute and unlikely to be repeated.

chailatte91 Tue 29-Dec-15 19:55:44

I'm actually off currently, as it's all over the news. I've phoned to tell them I wasn't going to be in. I've just presumed that they'll put this down as sick leave.

tribpot Tue 29-Dec-15 19:57:02

If you have leave days I would retrospectively use them - I don't know if you're in the UK (obv the case isn't happening here) but here you would need a doctor's note if you're off sick for more than 5 days.

Whenwillwe3meetagain Tue 29-Dec-15 20:00:14

I work in HR and have never had to provide a sickness record for someone. May be relevant in other industries but not in financial services as far as I've seen.
If asked be open about your illness.
Sorry for your loss must have been/be awful and very sad.

DrGoogleWillSeeYouNow Tue 29-Dec-15 20:03:59

I would ask for this current absence to be granted as annual or unpaid leave.

chailatte91 Tue 29-Dec-15 20:08:06

I am in the UK and I'm under the impression you actually have 7 days in which you can self-certify. Only after this do you need a sick note. The trial was in Asia, so I wasn't able to be there unfortunately.
The job falls under 'intelligence services' for the government and was advertised through civil service. Fingers crossed. I'm very reliable and never take time off unless I need to.
Thank you for your kind words tribpot & whenwillwe3meetagain

chailatte91 Tue 29-Dec-15 20:10:03

Unfortunately I don't make nearly enough money to take a week unpaid. And it being 29th December I do not have any annual leave left.

tribpot Tue 29-Dec-15 20:13:02

Yes sorry seven days (I would guess five working days for most people).

I don't think the civil service will have many problems with it - fingers crossed you are offered the job.

chailatte91 Tue 29-Dec-15 20:14:13

Hopefully. Thank you for your advice. Any more from anyone else would be greatly appreciated.

DrGoogleWillSeeYouNow Tue 29-Dec-15 20:19:30

This is a tricky one and I'm very sorry about your friend.

If it were me I'd just be very aware that taking a week of sick leave which coincides with Christmas and also coincides with you interviewing for another job doesn't look great.

In terms of a reference though, it's likely that it won't go into too much detail - in the NHS it's just dates of absence and codes with very vague info about the reason for sickness absence.

chailatte91 Tue 29-Dec-15 20:21:41

I am aware that it falls over Christmas, however when I explain the case, anyone who watches the news will know which case it is and how awful it is. The fact that it falls over Christmas almost makes it a little worse for me. It's a very difficult time for me currently.

fastdaytears Tue 29-Dec-15 20:25:38

So sorry to hear about your friend. It being all over the news must make it even worse.

Is there any way you can prepare to take this time as unpaid leave if you have no annual leave left? I've never worked anywhere that would allow this as a paid absence. Compassionate leave has always been really restricted and quite often unpaid. Hopefully it won't come to that but I'd try to be prepared if at all possible.

I see a PP is in HR so can advise better.

Tiggeryoubastard Tue 29-Dec-15 20:30:52

Your employer (civil service) can't automatically put it down as sick leave, but they could well put it down as compassionate leave, especially if they know your involvement in this terrible case.
Personally your sickness record wouldn't worry me at all. I'm civil service. My dp runs his own business and tbh I know it wouldn't bother him either. Lots of unrelated days here and there is worse. flowers

fastdaytears Tue 29-Dec-15 20:32:00

Yes there's that rating system isn't there where lot of short periods of leave rate "worse" than fewer long ones.

chailatte91 Tue 29-Dec-15 20:32:02

I'm just not sure I can afford to take the time off unpaid. I'm going to have to check it out with HR. It's not the type of job you can do when you're not in a good state of mind. It's demanding and when it goes wrong, it goes very wrong. Just worried as worried gets. Thanks for all the advice.

onlywhenyouleave Tue 29-Dec-15 20:33:16

I work in HR in the public sector and we do request absence records in a reference. The general rule of thumb is that if a person has had more time off than our policy 'allows' for existing employees, we would not appoint them.

However, this is usually done following a discussion with the applicant and the circumstances you have described would probably be looked upon favourably. It is generally the odd days here and there which are more of an issue.

So sorry about your friend.

lorelei9 Tue 29-Dec-15 20:38:21

Chai - I wouldn't worry about one period of acute sickness. Employers tend to get worried by other patterns, esp, for example, 5 periods of 2 days. It's unfair, but they do look at that much more suspiciously because no one can account for that person really being ill, but in your case the hospital can, so no worries.

I am sorry for what you are experiencing right now. I wouldn't assume your employer will treat it as sick leave and tbh it will be awkward if you are off sick for a while and then say "I've got a new job, can you do the reference form please". I would be honest with them. They may make you take it as unpaid leave though, but I think it's awkward if they have it down as sick leave and the following week, you have a job offer. Is that likely - I mean is the time frame likely to be short? If you think it will be another say, 3 weeks, or if there's more rounds of interviews to be done, then saying you are off sick now will be okay.

chailatte91 Tue 29-Dec-15 20:39:26

@onlywhenyouleave do you mind me asking how many days your policy allows? I can't imagine it would be many.

I currently work on prison landings. I wouldn't have been safe to be at work whilst being so tearful and upset. It's a tough job.

Thank you for your kind words

chailatte91 Tue 29-Dec-15 20:40:45

I have to give a months notice, and I won't know until mid to end of January.

fastdaytears Tue 29-Dec-15 20:46:00

Oh wow you need to start a new thread about your job where we can all ask stupid questions that start with "does xxx really happen in prison"

But back to the issue in hand I really can't see a spell in hospital being an issue. I think we are "allowed" four weeks on full pay in a calendar year but I might be wrong. In terms of what HR get a bit moody about, it's not long times in hospital but people who are often ill on a Friday or the day after a bank holiday weekend...

Do work think you're ill at the moment or did you say why you're off?

lorelei9 Tue 29-Dec-15 20:46:04

chai, if it's mid then I think you're okay to call it sick leave.

do you work shifts - that also makes it easier to say you just had the interview etc.

btw I googled prison landings and not sure what you mean. I have a friend in the prison service and I know it's a tough job though. Look after yourself flowers

chailatte91 Tue 29-Dec-15 20:50:53

Haha! Lots happens in prisons. Funny stuff. Sad stuff. Scary stuff. It's all very unpredictable. Prison landings are just the wings which prisoners live on.

I have been completely honest with why I am off. I could never lie to my colleagues. I'm a hard working member of staff and hate taking time off. I really needed this few days.

lorelei9 Tue 29-Dec-15 20:53:21

chai, you sound like a good solid worker. I wouldn't worry at all about what's going on the reference.

take care.

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Tue 29-Dec-15 20:57:29

Speak to your HRBP,but I doubt very much that the SSC will provide a sick record - I am prison service too and back in the day worked in HR and was never asked by SSC for that data with regards to reference requests.

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