Meeting at work regarding absence.

(28 Posts)
guardiansofthegalaxy Thu 26-Sep-19 13:56:19

So I suffer from migraines on a regular basis.

I had a really bad one the other week, took a day off work. I work part time.

When I returned I had a back to work meeting with managers as they said my absences over the last 12 months (8 days in total) HR had flagged up ‘trigger’ points. A few of those days were because my young daughter was ill and I couldn’t come in. They are well aware that I suffer terribly from migraines & I see my GP regularly about them & I am in medication.

So the other day I was handed a letter & was told it was just a write up of the back to work interview I had the other day. Except it wasn’t. It was about another meeting to be held with the manager and someone from HR. I could attend with someone from a union or another co worker. I’m not in a union & do not wish to ask any colleague.

I’m pissed off about this. Firstly because I’ve bent over backwards these last couple of weeks as we are short staffed. And secondly because other colleagues have had lots of time off & hadn’t seemed to off had the same treatment, hearsay is one even went on holiday while supposed to of been sick!

I feel as if just because I have a condition that you can’t see, I mustn’t of suffered & therefore I was taking the piss. I’ve asked for a print out of my absence days & i will find out if there’s anything my GP can do, maybe a list of my meds that I am on. I drag myself in the majority of days when I have headache, but when it’s extremely bad, I just wouldn’t be able to do my job properly.

OP’s posts: |
flowery Thu 26-Sep-19 14:07:48

Well if they are including emergency dependants' leave days in that calculation, it needs to be changed. The triggers should be about your own sickness absence, not time you take off because of an emergency at home.

However, also remember a meeting isn't a sanction. They will have trigger points (these should be clear in the policy) that trigger a meeting, that doesn't mean they are going to discipline you. Obviously if you feel the policy is not being applied consistently, you should raise that during the meeting, as well as asking for your record to be corrected so only sickness absence is included. (Unless of course you rang in 'sick' when your daughter was ill.)

swingofthings Thu 26-Sep-19 16:59:46

Taking sick days (especially if these are fully paid) for children sickness is unacceptable and alone would justify a disciplinary.

You should either take a day off or ask for carers leave (most likely unpaid).

8 days in 8 months is a lot. Did you declare your disability when you started employment? Have you ever had a meeting with occupational health?

Lazypuppy Thu 26-Sep-19 18:15:32

8 days is a lot.and agree time off when your child is sick should not be included in sickness, and should be unpaid.

Do they think you were off sick or did they know your child was sick?

guardiansofthegalaxy Thu 26-Sep-19 19:46:52

I don’t get paid if I am absent because my child is sick and I am always forthcoming if that is the reason. And it was 8 days over the last 12 months, not 8. I’m not aware that suffering migraines is a disability, however management are fully aware that I do suffer from them as I was under a neurologist at the hospital & had previously had to go to appts (but none in the last 12 months). Have never had a meeting with occupational health.

OP’s posts: |
Perunatop Thu 26-Sep-19 19:51:51

Check your company absence policy and any other relevant policies. Whether or not you think it is fair if the company is following its own policies and procedures then you will need to cooperate fully. Perhaps you could ask for a referral to occupational health with regard to the migraines. They could advise both you and employer what is appropriate.

nicknamehelp Thu 26-Sep-19 20:06:06

They may be wanting to hold the meeting to see if there are any adjustments they can make to help you. That is what my aim is when I hold such meetings.


K8Ycat Fri 27-Sep-19 13:52:45

I’m in a situation and like some advice please.
I was working part time in a school for 12 years with SEN but was signed off depression for 6 months, due to bullying at work,I went back,in May June phased return, went to mediation which was farcical as bully denied everything.I had to go back to my department she was my supervisor. I got another job at a college as felt I couldn’t return to the school under her.
Meanwhile this new job is frying pan into the fire and I just hate it. The staff are ok to your face but bitchy. I’ve only been there 3 weeks and paid hourly basis, doc given me sick note for a week but as I only work 3 days- it’s self certificate but not sure if I have a contract and not sure if I have leg to stand on if doc gives me another sick note for another week;stress anxiety.
I didn’t put this down on application form as I felt better over summer and stopped taking meds.
Also osteoarthritis and I do lots of walking and taking a toll on my knee/feet/hands.
I presume I ha e to contact HR but not sure what to say..are they on employees side?
Thanks for anything.

F1rstt1imer Fri 27-Sep-19 17:55:25

We have the same trigger point in our Sickness Leave policy and as nicknamehelp does, we use these meetings to ensure that we are supporting you in the correct way and to see if there are any reasonable adjustments that could help. For example one of my team used to suffer from migraines triggered by a flashing neon strip light so we changed the lights in her office and this reduced the number of migraines that she had. So try and go in with a positive mind and they may just be trying to help :-)

NoProblem123 Sat 28-Sep-19 09:41:20

If I’d called you to this meeting I would be looking to understand how you are affected, if there are any triggers we can look to minimise, what we can put in place to help you, look at your screen time, breaks, possibly of flexi working if appropriate. Etc.

If I was you I’d be looking to correct sick record by pointing out the home emergency/parental leave is nothing to do with this. Also clarify policies, trigger points, consistent application of both throughout company (in a very polite manner!), what might help you going forward.

daisychain01 Sun 29-Sep-19 06:05:29

@K8Ycat it would be better if you can please start your own thread for advice. It isn't fair to have the focus of attention taken from the OPs absence problem to support you. You'll get better advice if you're on your own thread on this Board thx

Gollyfot Sun 29-Sep-19 06:12:53

I don’t think 8 days in 8 months is a lot actually

daisychain01 Sun 29-Sep-19 06:17:39

I’m pissed off about this. Firstly because I’ve bent over backwards these last couple of weeks as we are short staffed.

Right so you were doing your job tgen

Perhaps look at it from the perspective that whenever you've taken time off for sickness or emergency childcare one of your colleague will have had to "bend over backwards" to cover the gap you'd created by your absence

And secondly because other colleagues have had lots of time off & hadn’t seemed to off had the same treatment, hearsay is one even went on holiday while supposed to of been sick!

So you're resorting to gossip to justify your own argument. And by the way if someone is off sick they are legally covered by a Fitnote if beyond the 7 day waiting period and if their GP advised them that it was appropriate to have a holiday and indeed likely to get them back to work quicker rather than sitting at home wearing sackcloth and ashes as a penance then they are doing the right thing and entitled to do that.

custardbear Sun 29-Sep-19 06:42:27

At our meetings we offer support like occupational health. When someones sickness records os bad, we do short terms where we say no absence in the next eg 6 months otherwise will investigate further, however you have a condition so perhaps you should join a union and get support that way

When your child is off, does your husband take his share of emergency days?

Personally I'd go in with your sickness record and explain you're under a neurologist about the migraines and tell them the plans neuro has to support you

Is this condition classed as a disability? If yes, bring this up and ask the policy for this at work for them supporting you with a disability

Ask for occ health referral

Remind them of times you've supported the business when others have been off or had use times and how you supported them during these periods

Keep it in mind about whether you're being treated fairly at work compared to your colleagues, as you could use this if it escalates further

KatherineJaneway Sun 29-Sep-19 06:43:08

Forget any comparisons to your colleagues, that will never stand up as a reasonable excuse in an absence meeting as you are not privy to all the facts on why they are away. I've known people go on holiday while signed off with stress, that is acceptable as it can be seen as part of their recovery.

You have had 8 days off in 12 months which will cause a trigger with HR as they are individual days here and there. Despite being genuine, you can still be given a warning for poor attendance.

Biancadelrioisback Sun 29-Sep-19 06:55:44

Three bouts of absence for the same reason at our place is an automatic investigation. That doesn't mean you've done anything wrong or you are in trouble, it just means we need to understand what's going on and what reasonable changes we can make to help you.

Did you know that every time a person calls in sick it, on average, costs the company £554.00 and the direct co-workers morale is decreased.
Can I ask, do you report in sickness every time correctly? Ive just had to let someone go who never followed company policy for reporting in sick, she just didn't come in. When she came back, she was full of excuses and lies about why she couldn't answer the phone, send a text etc.

daisychain01 Sun 29-Sep-19 11:19:42

OP if your migraines are a constant feature in your life, over a sustained period of time (several years) and you have been treated by a neurology specialist (which is on your health record), then arguably this could be deemed a disability, but you need to work with your GP and specialist on this, as they are the medical experts.

It could be you can determine the trigger/s for your migraines and provide your Occ Health dept some evidence that could enable a reasonable adjustment. A colleague at work has a screen filter and some specialist software to adjust the light intensity on their computer screen. This type of adaptation could be an affordable reasonable adjustment you could put forward to your employer.

Migraines are debilitating and miserable - and if you can get the symptoms under control, it will be life changing for you re QoL and your employer is likely to be more supportive of you, that you are taking positive action towards resolution. Just a thought....

MissMarks Sun 29-Sep-19 11:26:09

8 days is especially a lot if you only work part time. I would be having the same conversation with my staff in work for this.

Shinyletsbebadguys Sun 29-Sep-19 11:32:17

In the company I currently advise , its 3 separate occasions in 12 months for a meeting with senior management. The reality is that 8 days in 8 months for us would have been a problem. I suspect it depends on the sector but this weekend alone 4 people have called in sick ( all separate issues and homes and they work opposite shifts so dont know each other ). One was because her daughter was giving birth and she wanted to stay by the phone.

This meant three managers were ringing around at 7 am bith mornings because it was always mysteriously last minute
Now of those 2 were genuine but I only know that because it's a small enough company that I happen to know them. Two were definitely swinging the lead. So business practice aside , this morning alone counting management time , costs of calling in staff cost the company 200 pounds at least .

Whilst I sympathise as I have had severe migraines (hemiplegic) and illness, you surely cant be surprised to be called in? For us a callout at the last minute could genuinely put it at risk.

When I started having sever migraines I went to my employer at the time and discussed it , I did the same when I had a recent TIA as I knew it made me unreliable so we needed to put contingency plans in.

I would attend the meeting and sit down and discuss what you were doing or they could do to help.

I would also counter that I bet , as much as you will claim to, that you dont actu6know who has been pulled on this and who hasn't, I hear this often and very very rarely does the person actually know the ins and outs of what other people have been spoken to about.

I had this recently where someone claimed that person B had been allowed to get away with it , person B had actually been pulled on sickness several years in the past but is currently fighting a cancer diagnosis that she did not wish anyone else to be told about. We were supporting her behind the signs but all had agreed not to share this information outside of senior management.

LIZS Sun 29-Sep-19 11:32:42

When you took time for your daughter's illness was it recorded as dependant's leave or did you ring in sick? 8 days in less than a year is a lot.

Biancadelrioisback Sun 29-Sep-19 15:16:34

OP has said twice now that it was 8 days of sickness in 12 months not 8.

Pollaidh Sun 29-Sep-19 15:27:29

Ask for an Occupational Health appointment - I have other disabilities, but was surprised when my migraines were listed by the work OH doctor under my disabilities too, which means that they have to make adjustments, and cannot count them as sick leave for certain purposes (e.g. redundancy) as that would be discriminatory.

Can you think of anything that would help? Lighting / smells / ability to work from home if you feel one coming on and take a nap...

Are you doing everything you can medically - knowing triggers, preventative meds, treatment meds like triptans. If your meds aren't working as well as before, ask to change. I'm about to do that as sumatriptan has stopped working.

Have you also looked at supplementing with Co-enzyme Q10, magnesium, and vitamin b2 (riboflavin). They all have some decent science behind them and are recommended by the migraine charities. I've found that they have reduced the number of migraines I have (after 3 months) and made many migraines shorter and less painful.

HugoSpritz Mon 30-Sep-19 16:38:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NotGoingToFall Mon 30-Sep-19 17:04:08

8 days in 12 months is a lot, even for FT workers. First meeting should be to see if they can support you so I would go there open-minded (bringing in a companion is standard procedure).

Crazycrazylady Sat 05-Oct-19 20:07:27

8 days is a lot
In my company you'd definitely be having a meeting .
I'd just be honest with them. Bring resentful is just unhelpful .

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