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Signed off sick, but work keep contacting me...

(14 Posts)
catseverywhere Sat 02-Jan-16 20:14:35

Just that really. Am sorry not to be able to go into too much detail, but I was signed off last Tuesday for 2 weeks due to difficulties I am having with some personal but increasingly some work-related issues. This is not something I accepted lightly, and my employer was very aware that I was struggling long before I was signed off.

The problem I have is that my employer will not leave me alone. Day 1 I was asked (via my personal email) to explain where I am up to with various cases - I referred my employer to our recording system where I document and record all my dealings with any case. I was then asked to clarify when l last spoke to X, Y and Z, and whether the contact details we have for them are up to date, and whether I have spoken to A and B, and whether they are able to attend X meeting etc, etc, etc.

Yesterday I realised that I had received another email the previous day asking me to make my handwritten case notes available so that assessments can be written up in my absence using my notes. To clarify, these assessments have already been opened and will be written up under my name, so it will appear that I have written them.

AIBU? I am stressed to the bloody eyeballs just now, I accepted being signed off reluctantly, but I was thinking I would get a complete break from work. I am worried shitless that someone else will write my assessments in my absence and I will be held accountable for anything that is written in my name. I also hate the idea that I have to check my personal email, which I seldom do, in order to check on what work are asking of me while I am signed off sick.

Pebbles601 Sat 02-Jan-16 20:32:50

It is completely unacceptable to have someone write up case notes and assesments under your name. I think I work in a similar field to you and have had issues like this before. I have quoted professional integrity from my professions code of conduct, contacted HR, my union and also sent an email to managment regarding my feelings on this. I requested nothing to be written using my name as the accountability falls onto me then. I also advised that I was off sick and NOT working from home. How do people expect you to rest?! I think at times work places are so pressurised especially if you are in a job holding cases, all sense goes out the window and management just panic. I don't know if the action I tool was correct, but it worked for me. I would advise contacting your Union and HR for some advice. Also, as you are off sick, you don't have to be checking work emails, as stressful it is not to. They shouldn't be contacting you on your personal one either regarding work. Maybe other posters on here will have better advice but just wanted to lend some support & advise of what I did. I know it is easy to say, but just focus on your on health now.

Pebbles601 Sat 02-Jan-16 20:33:39

Sorry, paragraphs go out the window when typing on my phone blush

catseverywhere Sat 02-Jan-16 20:38:44

Thank you - I just needed to hear my gut feeling confirmed.

blueshoes Sat 02-Jan-16 21:06:57

Sorry you are being contacted when off sick. Did you do a handover before?

TiredButFineODFOJ Sun 03-Jan-16 00:50:32

It's totally unacceptable - no wonder you are off with stress.
Add their email address to your junk list.
Reply with a "fake" out of office "Hi Friend, I'm really unwell right now so I'm unlikely to reply to emails for a while. Lots Of Love, Cats x
Or- respond to them outlining that you expect any reports written on your open cases by AN Other must be clearly annotated as such. Sadly due to medical asvice you can't respond to any work matters, but all is well at that end and will call with an update next week. Kind regards fuck off Cats

catseverywhere Mon 04-Jan-16 17:17:15

I didn't do a formal handover because until I saw the GP I wasn't sure I would be signed off. I did, however, speak to my manager on the afternoon of Christmas Eve when we went through all my cases and I explained the contingency plans in place for over Christmas, and where I was up to with every single one. My recording is also entirely up to date.

Anyway, more emails today - am taking the advice up thread regarding out of office replies, and sending one firm email today reminding manager of our conversation on Christmas Eve, and pointing out that I am off sick.

Thanks for the advice.

Pebbles601 Mon 04-Jan-16 17:44:13

Just to note also, after I went back to work, I had some very important cases deallocated by the Manager but subsequent very important work left in my folder uncompleted. Work that had deadlines and any delay is actually really bad. I wrote an email to management explaining this and added casenotes to say that I had been off sick, to ensure I would not be held accountable. So just when you go back double check, anything they have completed in your name, flag it up. You are not accountable for any of it when off sick. Even a handover isn't necessary as Management should be able to actually "manage" and give the cases to another worker. It is sad we have to practice so defensively, but number one is making sure you have your sick leave respected and also that they practice professionally in your absence!

catseverywhere Tue 05-Jan-16 14:49:30

Hi Pebbles

Interesting you've said that - I've had to log into my work computer because notes I'd been asked for were asked for by the clients' numbers rather than their names - totally rightly so because the request was to my personal email which might not be secure and I had to check my work computer to see which notes were required.

So anyway, I've had a look at my caseload, and it appears to have dropped by 5 since I've been off. It's still mahoosive, and there are still pieces of work on there that are still outstanding for clients that are no longer mine. I wonder if you and I do work in the same field?

Happily, though, I have stressed to my manager that I am off sick for several reasons, some of them work-related and when I was signed off a week ago I had assumed I would be having a complete break. I have had an email back today to say that there will be no further contact, and I have replied that in that case I will assume I no longer need to check my personal email daily in case work-related stuff comes to me that way.

I have also been told that, yes, the assessments will still be completed in my name, but it will be clear in the body of the assessments that any recommendations are not mine but have been made in my absence, based on my notes. I think that sounds fair enough.

I agree about having to practise defensively, and we shouldn't all have to do it.

Pebbles601 Tue 05-Jan-16 15:42:27

Sounds like we are in the same job Cats! For our sins!! I came back and had lots of cases still in my name, I just made it clear on casenotes I had not been there, even though management asked me not to hmm Every one trying to save their own back! Awful work culture. Just make sure you rest and take care of yourself, too easy to burn out in this field. Glad they finally have accepted no contact.

TiredButFineODFOJ Wed 06-Jan-16 02:55:08

Gkad you have sorted it!
I'm off sick with stress, guess who emailed me today? Having seen I'm signed off for two weeks with work related stress they have set up a sickness meeting for Friday. Wankers.

catseverywhere Mon 25-Jan-16 16:28:15

I just thought I'd post a brief update because this is something I did not expect. I was signed off for a further 2 weeks and returned to work today. I slept very badly last night, wondering whether today I would hit the ground running and all would be fine, or whether I'd be overwhelmed immediately and want to come home and never return.

What I did not expect was my new manager telling me to take it easy when I arrived, to check through my emails and phone calls, and do nothing else until I'd seen her later for a 'return to work' interview. She told me in no uncertain terms during this interview that I will be having a phased return to work, I will be leaving at 1.30 every afternoon this week and I will not be taking my work computer home with me. She asked if there was anything else I thought I would need to enable me to return to work - I think I just sat there with my chin on the desk with a blank and gormless expression on my face. Oh, and I got an apology for the emails that were sent to me when I was off sick.

HaveUpsetHer Sat 30-Jan-16 17:46:57

Your new manager sounds really good. My manager just blanks me on return to work for about a month and speaks to me through gritted teeth.

Enkopkaffetak Mon 01-Feb-16 22:19:02

Oh thats lovely news. good to hear about good employers who cares about their staff's welfare.

Hope your feeling better op.

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