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Bullying after returning to work after sickness

(7 Posts)
Marleyj Sun 16-Sep-18 07:04:50

Just wondering if anyone has any experience of this; I was off sick for 6 months and then worked from home for 6 months before I was able to return to work, it was a physical (neurological) ailment, no mental health issues, when I returned to work my colleague ostracised me. Another colleague was off sick for a shorter period with stress (he had physical and mental health issues), when he returned she ostracised him too, and recruited a colleague she had previously ostracised to join in. My question is, is it common, to be ostracised for being off sick? Has anyone else had it? I liken it to when kids won't play with each other if they have a visible illness like eczema or cold sores.

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daisychain01 Sun 16-Sep-18 07:51:55

It's a common perception that if you're off sick then you must be skiving. People resent other people having time away from their job when they've had to pick up their workload.

Sounds like your colleague is resentful. If they have no bearing on your dayjob I would just keep your head down and avoid getting involved with them.

If this is a frequent pattern of behaviour keep a record of everything they do to ostracise you, esp. if it's direct confrontation or preventing you doing an aspect of your role and take it to management.

Marleyj Sun 16-Sep-18 08:53:06

Thanks daisychain01. I did report it to our manager, we both did, and to the manager above him, and when I saw her doing the same to the guy with mental health issues I started recording it on his behalf. I just wondered if it was a common catalyst for bullying (if you would call ostracising bullying), people being off sick. Sounds like it is!

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Verbena87 Sun 16-Sep-18 08:57:45

I’ve seen it happen too. I work in a large school and it depends where I’m the school you work (guess this might be the same in any workplace with lots of employees). I was off sick with depression/anxiety but am in a fab department and colleagues dropped off cake and hugs regularly while I was off, then looked out for me when I got back. Someone from another department was ostracised to the extent that they decided to resign sad. It’s crap, and unnecessary. Definitely keep a record and report.

Marleyj Sun 16-Sep-18 12:07:11

Thanks verbena87, sounds like you have great colleagues, I hope you are doing ok now, anxiety can be awful - I take rhodiola supplement for mine which has helped loads. My colleagues (including her) were supportive to start, it was when I was trying to return to the office it all went TU. The manager above our manager encouraged us both to apply for other internal jobs to deal with the situation and I now work away from the lady but I still have to do work involving her (which is fine). The other guy moved teams but still with same manager and same group of desks, he's now not being actively bullied but she just doesn't speak to him which is fine by him, but they clash from time to time (leading to her telling our manager that she felt bullied). I recorded it from my perspective and it is now with the manager who told us to apply for other jobs and HR.

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MrDarcysotherwoman Sun 16-Sep-18 23:19:13

Sorry to hear OP this has recently happened to me! I went back on a phased return and LM plus new colleague completely ostracised me to the point where they had me moved to a separate office; I was actually off sick due to LM bullying causing me stress in the first place. I am now on long-term sick and submitting a grievance shortly. Make sure you write everything down, send yourself emails reminding you of date, time place etc. Their behaviour is totally unacceptable. If you have a Union rep get in touch too. Mine got so bad that I felt suicidal, no job is worth that. Keep your chin up and hold your head high, you've done nothing wrong.

Marleyj Mon 17-Sep-18 06:51:05

Oh no, awful for you! Shocking that managers do this but I've read lots about it being managers victimising people. Can't understand how people are so nasty, it's really kicking someone when they're down to do this when they're already fragile. I hope your grievance has a satisfactory outcome. I'm much happier now I'm away from the situation, my ostracised colleague is taking it forward and I've provided the documentation I did to back him up. It feels like the two managers side with the bully rather than the victim. The higher manager said it sounds like a breakdown in relationship rather than anything actionable, but he has referred it to HR. The LM is now off sick with stress, I feel sorry for him but he didn't deal with the situation when he should have.

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