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Banning subjects from probation review

(9 Posts)
TheWifeofRequirement Tue 18-Dec-18 17:36:13

My probation review is tomorrow. I’m in a high stakes, high stress role and although my anxiety (and now depression, yippee!) is well controlled, this job has definitely caused hiccups at times.

I’ve been open about my mental health (I always am, I treat it as an illness not a weakness) but I’ve ensured it has never impacted my work.

The probation review form asks about what I think could have gone better/ areas I need to work on, so I’ve mentioned about building my resilience because I want to make sure it’s recorded on my HR file that I’m keen to develop this.

However, my mental health is a super raw subject at the minute (the depression is new and I can’t talk about it yet) and I can’t talk about it without crying. This is highly embarrassing and I’d just rather avoid the subject all together.

Can I email my manager beforehand and ask that in the meeting we avoid talking about mental health, but that I’m happy to talk about it in a separate meeting after if he wants to know more?

Where do I stand from HR on this? Will they expect us to discuss it in order for my probation to be passed? Am I within my rights to refuse to talk about medical stuff in my probation review or can he push it and force the issue?

For the record I don’t think he will, but if it’s already on his list of things to bring up can he talk about it even if I’ve requested he doesn’t?

OP’s posts: |
MagicKeysToAsda Tue 18-Dec-18 22:01:41

A probation review should look at your progress against your objectives, and progress towards full competence in the role based on the job description and person spec. From your post, you don't think your personal health has had any impact on your work progress, so I would hope your review will concentrate on progress and identifying any future training or performance needs. If your manager does bring up your health, I would politely ask for examples of how that's caused a problem at work, so you keep the focus of the discussion on your work performance and show you're committed to working together to resolve any issues. I hope it all goes well for you.

daisychain01 Wed 19-Dec-18 04:55:33

Have your received a formal diagnosis of your MH / Anxiety as a disability by your HCP eg GP or specialist? If so, at some point of your choosing you may decide to tell your employer - as you could have protection under the Equality Act. It's a balancing act, because if you don't tell them, they could state they were unaware of your MH issues (but only if it became an issue that affected your performance or attendance at work). Some people have MH problems that their employer never ever knows about, because they choose not to highlight it.

For the purposes of your probation, focus on everything you've delivered to your objectives, all the positives and whatever it takes to pass probation. Unless there are any "showstoppers", I would steer clear of anything to do with MH, it could just open a can of worms for you without any need. Get probation completed and that in itself will be a boost to your confidence.

The declaration of your MH issue is a longer term decision you may feel necessary, but don't let it become a burden if you feel you're coping well. Think of it in terms of "need-to-know" basis.

TheWifeofRequirement Wed 19-Dec-18 06:59:51

Thank you that’s really helpful.

I do have a formal diagnosis for depression and anxiety and also a pending investigation for Stress response syndrome which once confirmed will kind of swallow the other diagnosis’s if that makes sense, so it will be under one PTSD/ SRS banner. I’m waiting for a psychotherapist referral to confirm whether it’s most likely PTSD or SRS, current treatment is long term AD’s, but if SRS is confirmed it will be short term sedatives instead which is much better for me.

I’d be fine to talk about it at work, im open about it but the problem is I currently can’t talk about it without bursting into tears which is highly embarrassing and awkward for all involved blush it’s not that I feel like crying, I just do confused

I don’t want to cry on him in my probation review because I’ve actually got future plans for next year I want to talk about, so I don’t want to write off the conversation before we get to that iyswim.

I think I’ll need to disclose it eventually, it’s a big part of my life.

OP’s posts: |
gladheart Wed 19-Dec-18 07:13:15

Can you take control of the conversation? Write your own agenda for the meeting and say to him that you'd like to share your evidence of your progress against your work objectives? I always appreciate it when my employees do this (and encourage it) as it shows they are invested in their work and development, and frankly makes my job easier.

ForgivenessIsDivine Wed 19-Dec-18 09:55:02

Does your boss know about your diagnosis?

Is there a work related reason for including resilience in the probation report? If not, I would include this as a discussion later once you have gone through the probation process.

Your 'lack of resilience' would be a concern to HR and management as part of the hiring process and in my opinion you need to do as much as you can at this stage to talk about how you can do this job rather than the things that stop you from doing it.

Your mental.health is hugely important and in future, your employer will owe you a duty of care to ensure you have the support you need. At this stage, they do not owe you the same level of care.

TheWifeofRequirement Wed 19-Dec-18 12:30:26

I passed probation and he did mention it despite being asked not to angry

I cried which is so bloody frustrating but it was a good time to explain what’s going on and I discussed my diagnosis etc. It’s all ok but I HATE that I cried sad

OP’s posts: |
gladheart Wed 19-Dec-18 13:03:07

You're a human being, as is your boss. It was a one off and you had a legitimate reason to cry. Don't beat yourself up about it. It happens. Congratulations on passing your probation! Take care of yourself.

daisychain01 Sat 22-Dec-18 04:48:29

Your mental.health is hugely important and in future, your employer will owe you a duty of care to ensure you have the support you need. At this stage, they do not owe you the same level of care.

You obviously haven't heard of the Equality Act! Nor Health and Safety at Work legislation. Employers owe their staff a duty of care from Day 1 of employment. They don't get to pick and choose to suit themselves (although many seem to forget that, or don't manage it very well).

Well done for passing your Probation, OP. Having the honest conversation when you did, especially as it was instigated by your manager, and in the context of them being happy with your performance, is a very positive step forward. They sound a good supportive employer.

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