Written warning whilst signed off by GP

(43 Posts)
HotCrossBunFight Wed 14-Feb-18 15:49:43

I've been suffering from depression/ anxiety since losing my father suddenly 6 months ago.

I work for an accountancy firm. My performance at work has slipped slightly but, according to my most recent review, I'm still.working at acceptable levels.

I've been open with work about my problems.

Last week I found myself at a crisis point and made an emergency GP appointment. The GP has signed me off work which is to be reviewed after a fortnight.

That night I sent an email to the manager I had directly been working for explaining I had been signed off work for two weeks and another email to the HR department, attaching my Dr's note and explaining the situation. Someone from HR replied and basically just wished me well.

This morning I've received a formal written warning from a senior partner at my firm for being off sick in the middle of a job at work. I feel in a bit of a state. At the moment i want to hand in my notice. I can't imagine going back with this hanging over me and also angry that my condition seems to have been dismissed as it's mental rather than physical? I assume if I broke my leg last week and couldn't have gone in that I wouldn't have received the same.

I don't really know what to do.

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FellOutOfBed2wice Wed 14-Feb-18 15:51:25

I’m pretty sure that’s illegal if you’re formally signed off. Can you get in touch with your HR dept for clarification?

SilverHairedCat Wed 14-Feb-18 15:52:40

You need to speak to HR. I also had time off sick with stress and depression in December, and would have been livid (and massively anxious) if anyone had tried to issue a warning.

Do you have access to an occupational health service? They should have been involved by now.

Start with HR, ask what's going on. Do you have a union? Or a colleague who is a workplace representative for discipline issues / health and safety who can support you?

strawberrysparkle Wed 14-Feb-18 15:53:19

Ring ACAS and find out where you stand. How long have you worked for the company for?

HotCrossBunFight Wed 14-Feb-18 15:53:46

My husband has suggested I email HR tonight and ask for an explanation.

I can only think the manager I was working for has gone to the partner to complain who has written to me without speaking to HR?

I'm just already not in a great place and this has got me in a right state.

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gillybeanz Wed 14-Feb-18 15:54:19

I'm so sorry you are going through this.
you need to check your contract and terms/conditions.
Then, if it isn't correct that they can do this you need to put in an official complaint.
is there a HR person you could talk to.

HotCrossBunFight Wed 14-Feb-18 15:54:42

I've worked for them for just over 2 years. I've bonuses what any other the other things mentioned are. I will research. Thanks.

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ScottishDiblet Wed 14-Feb-18 15:55:03

I’m so sorry. What a horrible response to your illness. Try to think of it this way - would they have sent a similar response if you had been knocked down by a bus and incapable of coming into work? No, I suspect not. It’s unreasonable to send you correspondence like that when you are signed off sick. The fact that you have been honest that it’s about your mental health is admirable but unfortunately they have not taken it seriously. The senior partner is in the wrong. I would forward this to HR and ask them to clarify/ rescind this message. Good luck and hugs xx

flowery Wed 14-Feb-18 16:02:37

It's not the fact that you're signed off which makes this unlawful - it's perfectly possible to give a formal warning for absence lawfully (whether it would be in your case depends on the facts and procedure followed to date).

What they've done wrong is that they have failed to follow a basic reasonable procedure, and have not given you the right to defend yourself a disciplinary hearing, the right to be accompanied by a colleague or trade union official, and the right to appeal a formal warning issued.

I suggest you write to HR enclosing the formal warning you've been issued, outlining the various ways the company has breached it's own disciplinary procedure, seeking confirmation that the warning will be expunged from your file.

I imagine HR will immediately freak out and will sort it for you as there's no way they are aware a formal written warning has been issued without a hearing/representation/appeal etc

flowery Wed 14-Feb-18 16:03:27

its not "it's"

ScottishDiblet Wed 14-Feb-18 21:08:40

Yes you can go through a formal warning process when you are signed off sick but surely not for being signed off sick? And, as you say Flowers, certainly notnwithout following the correct process.

HotCrossBunFight Wed 14-Feb-18 22:25:13

We've been online this evening and went through my employee handbook to detail the disciplinary procedures and have sent an email to HR basically saying everything flowery has said.
The warning wasn't for being sick as such but for being off sick with work outstanding. My problem is that I didn't plan this at all, it all became too much very quickly and I couldn't cope with going to work. I feel a little better now I've a plan and DH is home. It was just too much getting the letter with no warning when I'm already feeling very fragile.

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EBearhug Thu 15-Feb-18 00:39:39

The warning wasn't for being sick as such but for being off sick with work outstanding.

Surely the nature of sickness, unless a scheduled operation or similar, is very much unplanned? 6 months is nothing when it comes to grief.

Some weeks after my father died, my then manager took me to one side and said unless I took steps (e.g bereavement counselling,) he'd have to start disciplinary proceedings. If he hadn't pointed out I wasn't coping, I wouldn't have realised. After all, I was turning up at my desk on time every day.

I hope that HR will sort it all out for you and you can take the time to rebuild your strength. It's hard-going, so be kind to yourself - and I hope your employer will be too.

ScottishDiblet Thu 15-Feb-18 08:47:48

You’ve done the right thing. I hope HR will clarify things ASAP in your favour.

flowery Thu 15-Feb-18 10:51:08

So you're supposed to have waited for a more convenient time/taken time to finish everything off/hand everything over before going ahead and becoming too ill to work?! Good grief!

I'm sure HR will sort this out for you.

RatherBeRiding Thu 15-Feb-18 10:56:16

Let HR handle it. If you'd broken your leg it wouldn't matter if you had work outstanding. Your manager is being ridiculous and I am pretty sure HR will put him right!

HotCrossBunFight Thu 15-Feb-18 11:41:04

I've not heard anything back yet. I don't know if they will reply by email or better again though.

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HotCrossBunFight Thu 15-Feb-18 11:41:14

Or letter*

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whatisforteamum Fri 16-Feb-18 22:37:49

I'm sorry you are I. This situation.my df died 5 months ago and I suffer anxiety and panics.I would be dreadfully upset if I were signed off and threatened.I'm sure work cannot contact you while signed off.I work in an industry where absence is frowned upon. Look after yourself.

annandale Fri 16-Feb-18 22:41:38

I'm really sorry this has happened to you. I recently lost someone and am off work with the effects of bereavement. I'm sorry but in your situation I would lawyer up. HR sound good but ultimately they are on the employer's side (I know there shouldn't be sides). Talk to an employment lawyer and let them worry about it so that you can focus on recovery.

alltoomuchrightnow Sat 17-Feb-18 00:47:17

I don't have advice but horrified to read this and so sorry for you

MotherofaSurvivor Sat 17-Feb-18 01:01:02

Any update OP?

ReanimatedSGB Sat 17-Feb-18 01:22:00

Sorry to hear this. It sounds all wrong - while being off sick can lead to written warnings and formal procedures, there is a set process to be followed - and it can't be started until you have been off for some time.

PizzaPower Sat 17-Feb-18 01:57:13

I suspect you haven’t heard anything back is because HR have told the Director he’s seriously dropped them in it from a great height.
(I had this happen to me where my boss acted unilaterally and highly illegally, once HR found out all hell broke loose. But it took them a few days to work out what the hell to do).
Hence they are probably trying to do the same with you and work out what they need to do to minimise the damage!
I know it’s easy for me to say but, I hope you have a better weekend and that things go better for you next week.

HotCrossBunFight Sat 17-Feb-18 09:43:38

No update yet.

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