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DH on sick leave during extended probation - what’s likely to happen?(6 Posts)
I’d be really grateful for any advice, please. DH has been signed off work for 3 weeks and has now just been signed off for an additional 4. He’s had a mental health crisis - anxiety and depression. He’s in a technical management role in a large (multinational) organisation.
His probation was extended last summer for six months on the basis of one issue (speed of delivery). He’s been working his arse off but isn’t meeting deadlines. This is partly because the team as a whole are not using the method they should be (and which he was brought in to implement, but is meeting resistance from seniors). It’s also because he has dyslexia and dyscalculia, and traditional project delivery is not a good fit.
Before Christmas he asked to speak to his senior colleagues and they agreed to look into a new dyslexia assessment and potentially make adjustments, which would probably influence the deadlines he’s set and therefore his probation.
But he had a breakdown over Christmas and his probation is officially up while he’s on sick leave.
He’s asked his boss for a meeting and an indication of what might happen, but does anyone know what’s the most likely outcome? I can’t see him ever managing in the post if he doesn’t get adjustments and they don’t begin to commit to the new way of working, but conversely job hunting right now would be really tough. We rely on his income and I’m worried they will just let him go.
I'm no HR expert but in my experience of people taking leave during probation (whether that is sick leave or holiday) the employer has extended their probation by the equivalent amount of time they had off.
One friend of mine at work had lots of holidays booked when she started working with us that added up to about 6 weeks of holiday across the 3 month probation, and they just extended her probation by 6 weeks.
Hope your DH is doing ok and getting better.
Thank you, Windy - especially for the good wishes. I think they’ve reached the end of time they’d be willing to extend by, but would be good if not.
If they're being cautious they may extend his probation further with reasonable adjustments on medical advice. That's if he's likely to return soon. If he's off much longer they may dismiss on the basis that he's not around enough to fulfill his contractual obligations. Either way they should get a medical report.. are they?
Discalcuila and Dyslexia are considered a disability under the equality act, so they should be treading very carefully.
They are entitled to extend his probation, and potentially put performance improvement measures in place, but they should also be seeking advice from Occupational Health in relation to whether (for starters)
(A) the job is deemed to be within his capabilities
(B) is there any additional equipment suggested to help him within his role
(C) should they be considering a reasonable adjustment in relation to output / productivity, and what would be the recommended adjustment if so?
(D) is there anything thing else the employer should be aware of
Once adjustments are in place (if any, and if deemed reasonable and sustainable) they should revisit any training, re-set objectives / targets and performance improvement expectations, and monitor accordingly, with an appropriate timescale in place.
I have extended employee probation periods and was never allowed to do so beyond 11 months and 3 weeks, to do with then the employee being deemed a full time permanent employee.
Tbh in this case, if assume that they're going to review the final probation, possibly in his absence, as may be reluctant to do so under the circumstances with him. We would have been strongly advised/encouraged to fail the probation period.
Managing the change in the staff sounds like what he's been brought in for and he obviously isn't managing it. Even with adaptations I wonder if he would be able to and if its right for him and his wellbeing.