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Am I too soft?

(9 Posts)
KitKat1985 Fri 12-Jul-19 10:59:40

I have a supervisory type role at work, working under the main manager. My manager has a reputation for being very unsympathetic to employee issues. She was off last week so I was covering some staff admin bits in her absence. This week she told me I was being 'too soft' with some employees. Her examples of this were:

1) An employee returned from work after 2 weeks sick leave (with a sick note) with another sick note saying she was on phased return for 2 weeks. I put her on phased return for 2 weeks as per her doctors note. My manager says this is wrong and the doctors note is only 'advisory' and she wouldn't gave given this employee phased return after a relatively short period off work.

2) I gave an employee compassionate leave to go to her aunts funeral. Her aunt didn't live locally so she needed the whole day off for travel. Apparently I should have made her take annual leave as it wasn't an immediate family member.

I need some perspective on this. Am I really too soft or would others have done the same as me?

TrickyKid Fri 12-Jul-19 11:02:21

You did the right thing in both situations.

Starrynights86 Fri 12-Jul-19 11:05:57

Surely you have to follow a med cert? And you did the right thing with the compassionate leave plus it’s a move that builds loyalty from the employee to you and the business.

MrsMiggins37 Fri 12-Jul-19 11:09:14

Surely you have to follow a med cert?

A doctor’s recommendations are advisory only and subject to agreement between the employer and employee. That said, it sounds like what OP did was reasonable, as the alternative may have been the employee going off sick again, although for a short absence the phased return I would also expect to be quite short.

I think the decision on compassionate leave sounds fine too. It was one day ffs

ChicCroissant Fri 12-Jul-19 11:15:16

OK for number 1, probably not for 2 though.

1) A phased return is unusual after a short period of time, but it could have been a surgical procedure - who knows? Either way, if you don't do the phased return the employee should have been considered unfit for work so would have been off for the two weeks of the note - so a phased return is better than her not being there at all, surely?!

2) No, an aunt would not have come under the compassionate leave where I worked tbh, especially if they were not close or involved in her care somehow (with the funeral being a distance away this seems unlikely).

KitKat1985 Fri 12-Jul-19 12:01:04

Okay thank you for your replies. It's given me some perspective. I think we just have a slightly different approach to management. She believes in keeping a firm grip on the reins (which to be fair, there were some employees taking the piss with sickness etc before she started so I can see why she has taken this stance). Whereas I think that whilst I wouldn't let people take the piss, a bit of compassion and support can go a long way to keeping staff happy and it's the sort of work environment where sometimes we need extra staff at short notice and rely a bit on staff good will to pick up extra shifts, so a bit of give and take can help a bit with that. Maybe neither approach is wrong, it's just different ways of doing things.

ChicCroissant Fri 12-Jul-19 12:47:03

I have known people at work lie about funerals to get a day off in the past so it is a request approached with caution - they are generally only caught out when they need time off for the same funeral later on! She may have come across this before so will also be cautious about these requests, although I do appreciate your point about goodwill.

My DH has used almost a week of his holiday allowance already this year attending two funerals, one of which was a long-distance one. A tricky area.

flowery Fri 12-Jul-19 14:36:43

If you have a ‘supervisory type role’ do you actually have the authority to approve hours/other variations for a phased return (which is indeed only advisory) and for compassionate leave for a non-immediate family member? In many organisations a ‘supervisor’ wouldn’t have the scope to make those decisions.

KitKat1985 Fri 12-Jul-19 15:17:14

Flowery yes I can if there's no-one else available. As it was my manager was on leave, and her manager is off long-term sick, and it's a big staff team and just not practical for no-one to manage the staff team at all if the manager is on leave for several days.

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