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Off Work with stress/anxiety caused by managers - where to go now ?

(21 Posts)
Mojomummy Fri 24-Aug-07 10:01:57

I was in work last week & got upset (again) about the treatment I had received before I went on maternity from a task manager & then my manager whilst I was on maternity leave.

I spoke to someone high up in HR & was advised to go home & take a couple of weeks off work, maybe even a month & go back to the drs.

I've probably left big gaps, but all the stress of previous treatments has resulted in me be advised to take anti-depressants.

Ultimately I don't know how long this will go on & the outcome will be.....

Meeely2 Fri 24-Aug-07 10:10:57

Mojo, you need to leave work! the stress you are going through (i have read your previous posts about leave of absence) is simply not worth it. You've said (on previous posts) you don't need the money, so just go, it's making you ill and you are not doing anyone any favours in holding out to be made redundant.

Be a SAHM mum for a bit, chill out, and then see what you feel like doing in a few months time....

devonsmummy Fri 24-Aug-07 10:12:23

I feel for you. A few years ago I was in a job where a manager was bullying me - constantly belittling me and treating me like dirt.
I went to docs and was prescribed antidepressants and signed off with stress related depression. wasn't too sure about taking them but did - and they really helped (came off them after 3 mths). I never went back o the job. I didn't pursue it but now wish I had. No one should be able to get away with making you ill.
Hope you get things sorted - be strong.

BrownSuga Fri 24-Aug-07 10:16:27

i have the same prob with mgr and won't be going back to same comp after mat leave. but he treated everyone the same way, i just refused to put up with it.

i believe there is something called constructive dismissal (may have got the c word wrong), but effectively it's where you feel you have to leave a job because of treatment in the workplace, you have no choice, you can do them for it

Mojomummy Fri 24-Aug-07 17:31:48

thanks - I couldn't reply earlier because DH was working at home..

I think that if I do resign, without dealing with it, it'll take me a long time to get over it. I wish I had taken some action whilst it was happening. The only thing I did do was tell the woman I didn't want to talk to her anymore ( I did feel a bit childish) & told her that she wasn't helping me - she said she thought she was - & that she was making me very upset. In the end I didn't speak to her again. I told my reporting manager & of course his reaction was to brush it all under the carpet & suggest that I don't work under her again.

His communication throughout my maternity leave was rubbish & when I returned to work, he hadn't even signed me back in, so I wasn't paid - we get paid in advance.

I don't really see why I should walk away - I've been there 10 years, & whilst I need my sanity more than the money at the moment, I do have a "how dare they" thought buzzing around my head.

I've spoken to HR & they have told me to ask my manager to refer me to Occupational Health - who I understand have contact between myself & new manager & decide when I can return to work.

The way I feel at the moment, a return to work isn't an option. The trouble is, the stress this is causing is overpowering me sad

Are there any other options ? I'm sure I read on here how difficult it is to prove constructive dismissal ?

Lucycat Fri 24-Aug-07 17:34:41

Are you a member of a Union?

Mojomummy Fri 24-Aug-07 18:51:32


flowerybeanbag Fri 24-Aug-07 22:05:38

Hi mojo, sorry to hear you're not doing too good.
Constructive dismissal is a nightmare to prove and v stressful to bring as a claim, and I would not advise it in your case, as you are suffering from stress already, it would simply not be worth it for you.
HR are right to refer you to OccHealth, but if you haven't already I would pop to your GP and get yourself officially signed off with stress.
You say yourself your sanity is more important than the money. It might be time to start thinking about letting go for that reason. It is so hard to walk away when you are feeling wronged, you feel you don't want to let them 'get away with it'. But I always always advise people to think about what the best outcome for them personally would be, and how it can be best achieved, that is so much more important that what's the 'right' thing.
Only you can know when it's time to call it a day, but do have a think about it, in the meantime get yourself properly signed off by your GP, which at the very least will give you some breathing space and time to think about things.

Mojomummy Sat 25-Aug-07 16:27:23


Am already signed off by the doctor. When I went about 10 days ago she said she would do that, but I said I'd think about it. Then I decided to get the AD's & the 2 weeks off work. I'm seeing her again on Thursday.

I'm wondering how long I'm going to be affected, how much time work will give me off. Do you think they'll look into what has happened ? Ironically I found out if you're considered a low performer, they pay you to leave !!

I'm actually glad they refused my leave of absence & the parental leave, because by doing so, it's made me face up to everything. I'd have spent another year worrying otherwise.

flowerybeanbag Sat 25-Aug-07 18:34:36

If you're signed off with stress it will give you a bit of breathing space. Work can't make you come back, at least for the time being. OccHealth will give them information about when they think you ought to be able to come back to work and on what basis (sometimes reduced hours/duties etc depending on your health situaton). If you are signed off with stress though chances are work will be ultra careful what they do and say to you, so hopefully things will calm down a bit and you can have a think about what you want to do.
I expect they will look into everything that's happened, it's obviously expensive to have staff signed off (I'm assuming you have a relatively good sick pay scheme), so if there is a possibility actions taken by individuals at work caused this they will want to be aware.

Mojomummy Thu 30-Aug-07 13:23:07

Afternoon, just been bnack to the drs & been signed off for another 3 weeks.

Said to the dr that I feel having had my leave of absence denied has worked out better because it's made me face up to the unpleasantness at work (ditto for parental leave). So I feel that at least I'm not down because I didn't get my own way.

The problem I have now is, do I write to HR/Occupational health & drag up all the things that have got me to this place, & if I do, what are the possible outcomes ?

Do I resign & then regret acting rashly in the future, as have been there over 10 years ?

Do I take as much time off (does that consitute sickness?) as I can in order to make a rational decision ?

I feel I'm looking at these paths, but don't know which one to follow & also feel that I'm not ready to take on whatever journey I decide on..

flowerybeanbag Thu 30-Aug-07 14:44:15

Hi mojo.

You don't need to write to HR or OccHealth. If your manager is going to refer you to the OccHealth person, he/she will discuss with you how you are feeling and will also want to get to the bottom of what has caused it or is exacerbating it, so you can discuss all this then.
Take as much time as you need, and it does all count as sickness if you are signed off by the doctor.
Having said that, the OccHealth's job is to get you back to work, as and when you are ready of course, but they will want to advise your manager or HR, whoever they report back to, of what the deal is, how long they reckon before you will be back, and whether any adjustments need to be made either permanently or on a temporary basis in order for that to happen.
So it's not quite as simple as 'take as much time as you need'.

Whether you want to pursue any of this stuff or just concentrate on getting better is completely up to you of course. In terms of possible outcomes, you could ask them to reconsider your leave of absence and the timing of your parental leave, but might it not be better to focus on getting yourself better healthwise, then see how you are feeling about the work situation then, and make a decision at that point whether you want to resign or stay and take things forward where you are?

looneytune Thu 30-Aug-07 16:28:50

Hiya Mojo. Just emailed you - basically saying that I can understand that people are saying it may be better to leave however I THINK I know you well enough and if I'm right, I think you won't get better if you leave as you'll feel you were wronged etc and then will be pissed off you left. BUT, if I'm wrong and you can walk away and just forget about it then I think you should leave.

doggiesayswoof Thu 30-Aug-07 16:36:45

Occ Health are about getting you well enough to go back to work. IME they will not get involved with the events that led up to this - it's not their role to get involved in disputes etc.

HR should be able to help resolve things if you want to try but I think you should make a decision to take your time off and not try to think about what to do next just yet.

After a break and a few weeks on the ADs things may look quite different.

I was off work with stress-related depression for 6 weeks at one point (years ago, different job) and it all looked totally different after the break.

Your time off is classed as sickness absence btw.

doggiesayswoof Thu 30-Aug-07 16:38:54

Sorry, having read thread I see I am repeating what others have said!

Deffo don't make any decisions now. You have at least 3 weeks to focus on you and your wellbeing.

good luck smile

hanaflower Thu 30-Aug-07 16:43:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nappyneeds Fri 31-Aug-07 22:19:01

Sorry for your situation - its no fun I know.

I was being bullied in my previous job (well i wasnt the only one but the other guy who was also being bullied tried to do something about it and ended up getting sacked and the manager backing the bully - the bullywas higher up and manager felt he couldnt justify losing him)

So theres two ways to go fight or flight. If you want to fight this and get 'justice' you may want to make records of things that go on and are said etc. but this is long and stressful. Otherwise its another job which can be daunting but imagine the relief you'd feel to be out of it. Dont let it affect your life this way. I know how hard it is. I would get to my office door every morning and have to stop, take a big deep breath and my heart would be pounding ten times harder. It was awful - I was being shut out of team activities, not being kept in loop about things i needed to know to do job properly and the manager was too busy counting his days to retirement to care or even notice. You are soo much better off health wise to move besides a change can be a good thing too sometimes.

Mojomummy Mon 03-Sep-07 09:49:07

Hi, thanks for all your comments - it's such a shame we have to put up with such unplesant situations at work.

TBH if I left this job, I wouldn't be able to walk into a job with same benefits & pay for part-time work.

As Looneytune said, if I did walk away, I'd be cross because I'd feel that I hadn't done myself justice. As it is, I wished I'd stood up for myself earlier. I also think, this sort of thing happens too frequently in the workplace & therefore 'one' should make a stand.

These AD's are having an affect now - I'm sort of suppressed on them. Back to the drs in a fortnight, to see where I need something else. It's a bit strange feeling flat, because I'm usually full of highs & lows..hmm

looneytune Mon 03-Sep-07 14:58:39

Hello Mojomummy

Glad the AD's are starting to work. Still want to get together? Think I was supposed to do an email? Will do that later with when we're around

mamasin Mon 03-Sep-07 16:05:07

Hi mojo, take the time off and use it to get well. Work will take care of itself and I know what you mean about losing entitlements etc.What good is a great pension if you're a wreck?
I'm dealing with a formal grievance procedure and it's the pits. as flowery says think about what's best for you and your family notjustice or whatever. If the two things are compatible, then go for it, knowing you've made a conscious positive decision and are committed to it - not as a backlash. I hope that doesn't sound offensive or preachy just that it is stressful dealing with work normally never mind when you are dealing with ignorant knobheads!

take care

Mojomummy Tue 04-Sep-07 12:08:51

HI Mamasin, sorry to hear you are in the midst of a formal grievance. It may be stressful at the moment, but hopefully it will all come good in the end, & at least you'll know you've done your best ? I don't know you're story, good luck though.

Today I am in a bad mood because my manager contacted me yesterday & I ended up calling her. I wound myself up in to a temper earlier, but fortunately had to rush out, which helped to dissipate it.

I need to lose the emotion before I can move forward, because I am in fact very angry...having said that, the tablets are making me quite angry !

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