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can i get the sack for being signed off work with a chest infection?

(28 Posts)
Kateallison16 Tue 05-Jan-16 13:00:35

Hi guys
So a very quick little back story. Started my job in november and have been ill on several occassions since.
I went to see a doctor today and he discovered an upper respitory infection (as well as ear infection and the flu ive had for a couple of weeks) he booked me in for xray and have me a bundle of pills. He also signed me off work for two weeks with it.

Work are pretty pissed at me for having time of lately. Although now i can prove i had an underlying condition. I have my sick note and proof of xrays and bits due.

Can they sack me?

Notes: me and my team manager dont get along and they are not happy with my time off. Its been suggested in a sly passive agressive manner before that i was skiving.

I have doctors proof but i know they wont like it. I work for a big company.

I am just concerned.

Thanks xx

bendybrickpumpkinpatch Tue 05-Jan-16 13:02:16

Not exactly but are you under a probation period ? They could release you if you are.

DoreenLethal Tue 05-Jan-16 13:03:02

We have no way of knowing. Unless it is considered a disability then they can let you go at any point in the first two years with little recourse.

I feel your pain, I have very poor lung function and have infections al the time in my lungs, currently have pleurisy and it hurts.

Kateallison16 Tue 05-Jan-16 13:10:13

Oh great sad not sure if still under probation period.
My works been fine its just my time off.
Im worried this will topple them over the edge. I mean the chest infection explains why ive been so ill lately.
I really cant afford to loose this job.
DOREEN i really feel for you! X

Thanks for your help xx

ruddynorah Tue 05-Jan-16 13:11:20

Yes they can.

Kateallison16 Tue 05-Jan-16 13:17:19

Better accept im going to get the sack then...

Stillunexpected Tue 05-Jan-16 13:21:18

Your contract will specify your probation period. If you started in November, then you have only been there for two months so highly likely you are still in a probation period. Unfortunately, they can get rid of you at this point without much difficulty. Although your sick note covers your current illness (and probably explains the previous few weeks) it does sound as if you have had absences earlier which may not be linked to this illness?

PurpleHairAndPearls Tue 05-Jan-16 13:21:23

Unfortunately even if you have worked somewhere for longer than two years you can still be dismissed under capability procedures for sickness/sickness related absence (albeit if you have a disability they have to consider reasonable adjustments to help you).

What time exactly have you had off prior to this chest infection and has it been raised formally already?

If you've only been there for two months and have previous time off I can see you're in a risky position unfortunately. There's never a good time to be ill but in the first weeks of a new job is probably the worst!

What will happen if you lose your job, do you have any back up?

emwithme Tue 05-Jan-16 13:22:21

Until you've been there two years, yes, unless it's because of a disability (in which case they will find another way to get rid of you).

Stillunexpected Tue 05-Jan-16 13:27:40

I wouldn't just give up without a fight though, if you need this job. What was your sickness record like in previous jobs? Do you think that once you are over this period of illness, things should be back to normal (difficult to be certain I know)? I think you need to take the initiative and approach your team manager, explain that all this absence is our of character for you and that you hope you have now got to the bottom of it. Once you are back to work after this absence, you are looking forward to really learning about the job, doing training, undertaking new processes, and that you are committed to the job itself. Of course, none of this may be true but you need to make them believe ti is so if you want to stay there!

Kateallison16 Tue 05-Jan-16 13:30:52

The previous illness was due to my back giving out (long term problem. Cancer related issues damaged my back a bit)

And the other time was a sickness bug.

All the rest have been chest infection related.
I mentioned today that i had a mri cancer scan coming up and they got pissy over even that.

I havent had any formal disaplinary or warning or anything like that.

Kateallison16 Tue 05-Jan-16 13:32:11

I havent got anything in place. Its my first job back at work since the cancers and my daughter died.

I had a breakdown today, i really dont need the stress.

Thank you for the replys xxx

Kateallison16 Tue 05-Jan-16 13:34:20

Stillunexpected - great advice thank you

eurochick Tue 05-Jan-16 13:53:01

Probation periods are irrelevant. You can be dismissed for any reason, even an unfair one, in the first two years. There are very limited exceptions to this, such a disability or pregnancy discrimination.

Stillunexpected Tue 05-Jan-16 14:20:21

Oh dear, lots more information coming out now. OP, you have had a huge amount to deal with in the past months?/years? with a serious illness and your daughter's death. I know you say you need this job but it doesn't sound as if you are physically or emotionally ready for work at the moment. How were you managing before this job?

If you are still receiving follow-up cancer treatment and have other health issues it does sound as if there may be more absences to come. Is there any way that you could take some more time to recover and maybe look at working again in a couple of months? What has your oncologist recommended in terms or work/recovery?

Whatdoidohelp Tue 05-Jan-16 14:27:15

Can you go and have a meeting with your HR department? Make sure they are fully aware of the reasons you have been absent. The cancer scan and X-ray are one off appointments and the flu sickness and chest infection are hopefully bad luck and you'll be well after this. Do you eat well and take multivitamins ? Are you entitled to to the flu jag?

lougle Tue 05-Jan-16 14:35:11

Are you still classed as having cancer? Anything that arises out of your cancer diagnosis would be covered under the Equality Act, as cancer automatically qualifies as a disability.

The more general illness wouldn't.

Boogers Tue 05-Jan-16 14:39:31

Hi Kate, sounds like you need big hugs and reassurance. For what it's worth I don't think any company worth its salt would call you into the office one morning and sack you. There are usually capability proceedings to go through first, such as a meeting with your manager and HR to discuss matters, with an agreed plan for improving things. If there is something underlying that might help explain why you've been off, e.g. your daughter and your underlying chest problems, then maybe let them know that you're fully able to do the job but are having a bit of a tough time at the minute. I'd take up any offers of referral to an occupational health service. With the exception of one company who completely ignored occupational health's advice, I've found them useful in exploring what I can do, rather than what I can't, and you don't have to give permission for what you've discussed to be made available to anyone other than HR (your line manager for example).

Are you in work today?

TattieHowkerz Tue 05-Jan-16 14:48:19

Cancer survivors are considered disabled, it provides protection under the equality act. Make sure they understand that some of your absences have been disability related.

Kateallison16 Wed 06-Jan-16 08:59:48

Thanks so much ladies. Im heading in work in a mo to hand in sick note. Wish me luck xxx

TattieHowkerz Wed 06-Jan-16 16:11:21

Hope it went well.

PurpleHairAndPearls Fri 08-Jan-16 09:11:12

How did you get on Kate?

MiscellaneousAssortment Fri 08-Jan-16 09:29:24

I hope it went well too.

I would think your works attitude will depend on two things - assuming they are professionals of course:
- what's your purpose at the company? Were you employed to take on workload and clear projects / daily workload, up the capacity of the team? Or did they want your skill set in the department, for longer term or strategic reasons?

The first one might be a problem, the second puts you in a good position to be more of a 'slow burn' bs an in at the deep end person.

The second thing is, have you told them about the cancer, and bereavement? That will make a difference to their response. Changes the situation a lot and hopefully in your favour.

Take care flowers

Ditsy4 Fri 08-Jan-16 09:29:39

Just read this. How did you get on? What an uncaring bunch of people you work with. I am off with a chest infection too. No problem at all in fact my boss said stay off all this week because I sounded so I'll. I have been and GP has said he will sign me off for longer if I need it.
With all you have had in the last few years I think you are doing really well to be back at work. Oh and don't forget you can asked for a "phased return" now which is useful if you are not sure if you are up to full time demanding job. I have done this before and found it a great way to get back to work without exhausting myself the first week. Hope you feel better soon.

eternalopt Fri 08-Jan-16 09:32:42

Are you a member of a union or can you join one? They can be a real help when the poo hits the fan

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