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Home Visit Whilst Off Sick

(38 Posts)
6079SmithW Fri 13-Oct-17 15:25:23

Hi smile
I’m hoping someone can advise ..
I have been signed off sick for the next few weeks, but received notice from my employer that they wish to do a home visit. Do I have to agree?
I have already been told that I will have to do a formal sickness meeting when I return to work, so I don’t understand why I have to do this home visit too? I really don’t want them in my house, and I don’t really want to think about work until I feel well enough.

scottishretreat Fri 13-Oct-17 18:46:59

I'm not an expert on this, but it seems they can ask you, but you have the right to refuse:
bakeryinfo.co.uk/news/archivestory.php/aid/8109/Can_you_visit_a_sick_employee_at_home_.html
- it may just be standard for absences which are longer (unless you know its unusual for your workplace)?
I sympathise tho, the last thing I'd want when I'll would be to have me boss round!

Horsemad Sat 14-Oct-17 18:20:21

Bumping for you. I am going to be off sick for a few weeks after an upcoming operation and I'd like to know the legality of this!

daisychain01 Sun 15-Oct-17 07:17:26

Can they “legally” ask? To me, it smacks of “we don’t trust you, we need to see you with our own eyes before we’ll believe you are sick”. They could maintain it’s to ensure the wellbeing of their employee. More likely it is practice in an SME - I couldn’t imagine it being common practice in large corporates, where they are heavily proceduralised and tend to keep a distance for fear of stepping over the line.

Could you decline? It might be better to offer an alternative if you don’t feel comfortable having your manager visit your house. Tactfully side-step rather than outright refusal would be best imo. Your response could be that you would prefer to be permitted to recuperate during your sick leave but you would be more than happy to give updates by phone or email. If you are signed off for 3-4 weeks for example you could suggest a weekly status update is appropriate.

Remember the Fitness note is a legally binding document, which covers you for the absence, as your GP stating you are not fit for work.

bevelino Sun 15-Oct-17 10:51:22

An employer can request a home visit but you can meet them in a neutral place such as a cafe or hotel lounge. All that is needed is a quiet place where you can speak.

daisychain01 Sun 15-Oct-17 11:00:49

I wouldn’t suggest meeting in a public place when on sick leave. It would give a mixed message. If the person is on sick leave, they shouldn’t need to start jumping through hoops to put themselves before their manager, just to prove a point.

The company has to trust the employee is genuinely on sick leave. If they don’t, it’s a bigger problem imo.

flumpybear Sun 15-Oct-17 11:01:11

Our work policy is to keep open dialogue if you’re sick, if it’s something like work related stress then I’d be inclined to speak to my staff with the offer of different resolutions but I’d do this by phone to be honest

Ask if it can be by phone instead - can’t see why they’d need to physically see you?

Horsemad Sun 15-Oct-17 12:02:49

The thing is, if you've had surgery and got a note from the Dr then surely a Home visit - or any type of 'visit' is unnecessary?

Any contact can be done by phone or email.

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Sun 15-Oct-17 12:06:45

I did a home visit when an employee was recovering from surgery - it was less difficult for her than coming in to work.

Our policy insists that a meeting is arranged after four weeks off, either at work, at home or at a neutral venue.

SerendipityFelix Sun 15-Oct-17 12:09:24

Could the meeting be conducted via Skype/FaceTime?

Horsemad Sun 15-Oct-17 12:20:40

Well mine won't be happening at home if I get told a meeting is required!

No way is anyone from work stepping inside my house.

CamperVamp Sun 15-Oct-17 12:44:08

YoureAllABunch: what was the purpose of that meeting?

Goodness, I have a staff member off having cancer treatment, no WAY would I be asking for a meeting.

OllyBJolly Sun 15-Oct-17 18:48:33

The purpose of the meeting isn't sinister. An employer has a duty of care to employees and that doesn't stop when someone is absent from work.

I would genuinely want to know if there is anything the company can be doing to make it easier for the person to return - any adjustments to the work environment or working hours i.e. a phased return. We also need to know for planning - do we need to fill the post on a temporary basis. A short absence we might be able to do spread the workload; that probably wouldn't be possible if a longer absence is anticipated.

I'd want to demonstrate that we do care about the employee and are thinking about them. I would update on any news or developments at work. It's usually easier - and welcomed - to do home visit but equally happy to meet for a coffee or lunch which is sometimes appreciated for someone who is off with a long term issue.

(Camper -it's sometimes particularly appropriate to keep actively in touch with people undergoing gruelling treatment, not abandon them).

Horsemad Sun 15-Oct-17 19:05:49

But ALL of that can be done via phone/email. Olly.

The last thing I want to do if I'm feeling so ropey I am off sick after surgery, is to have a visit by my manager. And especially not at my home, which is my sanctuary from work.

CamperVamp Sun 15-Oct-17 19:10:41

Oh, I am sending cards and Little care package gifts, (we always do that) and have met up in a social way,

But I wouldn't demand a work meeting . I can see the sense in arranging for a phased return, but again, wouldn't ask for face to face unless I knew it would be very welcome.

Becles Sun 15-Oct-17 19:41:57

Yes they can ask.

The same employees who are seething about being contacted are also the one to complain that the employer is not keeping them up to date, contacting people when off.

Horsemad Sun 15-Oct-17 19:44:02

Becles, contact can be maintained by phone/email, no need for a visit, the employee is off SICK!

OllyBJolly Mon 16-Oct-17 07:58:59

contact can be maintained by phone/email, no need for a visit, the employee is off SICK.

I care too much about employees to not visit and unless they were laid up with something so serious they couldn't function or were contagious then a visit is appropriate. Calls and emails might happen as well although that's actively discouraged unless it's purely social.

Becles the only time I've had a visit refused was by a manager who had taken sick leave with the express purpose of avoiding disciplinary action.

There is an awful lot of suspicion regarding positive working practices on this board. Everyone assumes it's a "checking up on you" exercise when it's just an employer fulfilling a basic duty. Damning indictment of the state of employment today.

somethingDifferent38 Mon 16-Oct-17 08:38:39

I can understand it though - in my workplace its policy that you have to phone in yourself if you're off sick. My current manager will accept email, but I had a colleague who's boss would not accept anything but a call, even though she kept irregular working hours, and her voicemail seemed to always go missing..when she got her husband to call because she couldn't stop throwing up to speak, he got an earful about it not being within the rules (no concern)...she has moved on now, but there are plenty of bosses who are not caring or concerned, and seem to he trying to catch their hardworking staff out :-(

Horsemad Mon 16-Oct-17 17:29:58

OllyBJolly very few people get invited into my house; my disdain for this practice has nothing to do with 'suspicion' and more to do with who I am comfortable with, and I am NOT comfortable with work colleagues visiting me at home.

I also do not believe that it comes from a 'caring' concern! The very idea is laughable.

No visit is appropriate unless agreed to by the person off SICK.

Wishingandwaiting Mon 16-Oct-17 17:34:23

Olly you sound like you’re regurgitating an HR textbook rather than actually in reality.

Horsemad Mon 16-Oct-17 17:36:33

Olly you sound like you’re regurgitating an HR textbook rather than actually in reality.

^ THIS. ^

INeedToEat Mon 16-Oct-17 17:42:50

I'm currently off sick from work. My boss has been round to see me and she and other work colleagues have text or called regularly (I was signed off for 28 dsys). My boss couldn't have been more supportive.

Horsemad Mon 16-Oct-17 17:49:42

People seem to be missing my point.

It is fine if the sick person is in agreement with a home visit. If they are not then it is a nuisance.

Not everyone is happy to have visitors and there is no 'need' for a visit to take place at the employee's home for the company to be 'caring'. hmm

daisychain01 Tue 17-Oct-17 15:16:18

It's an intrusion on a person's personal life.

If you're off sick there is a likelihood that the person feels defensive even about things like their house not being as organised / clean as they would want. It puts them under pressure to feel "on parade" at a time they feel under the weather.

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