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Can employers make you come in for a review when off with work depression?

(7 Posts)
anametouse Wed 07-Sep-16 12:58:22

My mum went off on work related depression on Monday. Today (Wednesday) they have sent her an appointment to come in tomorrow to discuss her sickness and depression. I'm very reasoned, as is my mum, but they've clearly been bullying her for sometime.

Can they do this? Surely if someone is off with work related depression they shouldn't be forcing her to attend meeting with them?

ftmsoon Wed 07-Sep-16 13:01:37

I'm not HR but I believe they can refer you to Occupational Health so reasonable adjustments can be made for a planned return to work. However it seems a bit quick off the mark!
Hopefully someone with more knowledge will be along soon.

anametouse Wed 07-Sep-16 13:08:03

She's already had an occupational health review 1 week ago. After which they called her in for another meeting and essentially went against all of the recommendations in the occupational health report!

I am stunned by the way they are acting. She's been given a month sick note as her GP has been begging her to go on sick for months (it's a local charity, the GP knows others who have needed sick leave because of it)

Thanks for the reply, it would be great to get more advice too

RatherBeIndoors Wed 07-Sep-16 13:19:46

Depending on the company's sickness policy, they may say that they will keep in regular contact during absence, or they may only contact employees when the period of their sick note is close to expiry and so there is a need to plan the return to work. Having a method for keeping in touch, especially if the sickness period might be longer than a week or two, is generally thought to be a good idea. This is part of treating employees equally whether they are in work or on leave, i.e. sharing company updates, or business changes etc. The method should really be agreed between the employee and the company, as different situations and individuals will suit different approaches, i.e. face to face is going to be inappropriate if someone is off sick recovering from a broken leg and cannot travel etc.

Like PP, I think two days after going off is unusually quick to be setting up a review meeting, unless there is a previous pattern of sickness absence that mean this episode could have triggered an escalated approach to managing sickness. Is it possible they might have not yet received the sick note from the GP (if sent by post) and were wanting to query things? If your mum feels too unwell to attend the meeting, she probably needs to let them know that, ideally confirming in writing, and reiterating the time period covered by her GP note. If you can keep the communication open, that's hopefully going to make everything easier.

I hope this gets resolved and that your mum recovers well.

mouldycheesefan Wed 07-Sep-16 13:23:25

I work in HR. We do ask people to attend progress meetings but not this soon. We do home visit if they feel they cannot come to workplace.
Has she put in a grievance about the bullying?
She needs to keep record of everything. Also confirm back in writing to them " occ health recommended X, you said that was not possible" etc.
She should attend the meeting. Take a colleague to take notes.

anametouse Wed 07-Sep-16 13:29:37

Thanks so much the quick replies.

She's no history of sick leave aside from two weeks when my dad died unexpectedly 10 months ago. Maybe they didn't get the sick note yet but she has told her immediate line manager (who is supportive but who I also predict feels intimated by the bullying seniors) that's it's work related depression as she feels she's being bullied and it's for a month.

We tried not to go down the grievance route but they are leaving us with little choice

Thanks again

kp78 Mon 12-Sep-16 12:56:39

In short and without reading the above other answers, yes they can, especially if they think it is work related stress.

I would suggest this is probably a good thing as it often makes things worse sitting at home getting worked up rather than face the issues head on. Therefore my advice would be to start gathering the facts and preparing for a grievance/roundtable meeting with the boss and HR.

They can also 'override' the GP certificate with OHD support which would mean that they ask your mum to come in and work regardless of GP advice. If she doesn't go in then they can pay SSP only (instead of any company sick pay.)

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