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Procedure for getting signed off sick? Please help, im desperate

(27 Posts)
Icecreamlady Sun 10-Aug-08 13:03:04

Im not sure what i am going to do yet so i just need some advice as i have never been signed off before.
i work in a job where i have appointments and if they run into your breaks you dont get to take your full break, or sometimes you get no break at all. i have found this hard and sometiems ended up with headaches and on one evening got home at 6pm and threw up as i was so stressed and tired.
i told my manager this and she told me that it is my responsibilty to take the break which has been scheduled and that i shoudl get quicker with my appointments then they wont run into my breaks! this isnt fair though and often the appointments overrun for reasons behond my control.
Im not sure i can face going back to this place and it is clearly making me ill and i have been stressed around my toddler.
what is the procedure for getting signed off sick with the doctor? woudl i need an appointment and would it be classed as stress? also if i really cant face going back there woudl i need to still work my months notice if i am on sick leave or would i have to go back at some point? i think they are driving me out anyway and everyoen is fed up with the hours there and lack of breaks but no-one has stood up to them. i challenged it and i got my head bitten off. i just want to leave now and get on with my life but I am scared of going back there even in the short term.

siblingrivalry Sun 10-Aug-08 13:55:12

Hi,

I totally feel for you, as I was in a similar situation a year ago. I used to cry on my way to work - and in the toilets at work.

Please don't feel as though you are trapped. You need to make an appointment with your GP(hopefully he/she is understanding).
If you are worried about getting your point across, make a list of all the things you want to say and show it to your GP.

I was signed off with stress and depression, initially for 2 weeks. When I went back to see my GP at the end of 2 weeks, he signed me off for a month. Personally, the more time I spent away from work,the more I knew I couldn't face going back.

In the end, I got signed off for 2 months at a time and after 10 months I resigned. I didn't have to work any notice or anything.

If your job makes you ill and has a negative impact on your life, it is time to look at other options.
I couldn't afford to give up work at first, so I stuck at my job for 4 miserable years.

We have a lot less money now, but I don't wake up feeling sick any more.

Good luck - keep me posted. {hugs}

siblingrivalry Sun 10-Aug-08 13:57:39

Forgot to say, you can self-cert for the first week -you don't need to be signed off by a GP until you have been off work for 7 days.
This might give you a 'cushion' in case you can't get an appointment with your GP for a few days - at my local surgery, getting am appointment is like finding the holy grail!smile

Icecreamlady Sun 10-Aug-08 17:43:38

Thanks very much. what woudl i need to say to my manager when i ring in? would i need to say it is stress/depression related? cause we have this policy where we need to report sickness to our manager on the morning we ring in, we arent supposed to email etc. ive been on annual leave for 2 weeks now and hate the thought of going in and being under such pressure for such little money. would i get paid for being off as i have been at the company for five years but only returned from mat leave in april.i know how stressed i am because i have lost my appetite and a bit of weight.

Podrick Sun 10-Aug-08 17:53:36

You should name & shame this employer on mumsnet and phone ACAS for advice.

Sorry to hear that you are going through so much stress.

flowerybeanbag Sun 10-Aug-08 19:30:01

Icecreamlady sorry you are having a bad time.

You need to make an appointment with your GP as you normally would. What it would be classed as would depend on what they think, although it might be something along the lines of stress.

You can self certify for the first week as siblingrivalry says, although if you think you may be off for longer it would probably be a good idea to get a doctor's note as soon as possible.

What you say when you ring in is up to you. You could just say you're not feeling well enough to come to work and have made an appointment with the doctor.

Whether you get paid depends on the company's sick pay policy. After 3 days you would then be entitled to statutory sick pay, which is not very much at all, but lots of companies pay more, you need to look at your contract or handbook.

Don't name and shame please.

siblingrivalry Sun 10-Aug-08 20:00:54

Hi,
With regards to ringing in work, I agree with floweybeanbag. You could just say you haven't been feeling well (which is true) and that you have made an appointment with your GP. You really don't have to go into great detail, but you could say you have lost your appetite etc if they push for it?

I know that ringing in sick can be daunting, but you will feel so much better once the phone call has been made.smile

Whether you get paid or not is down to company policy(I got 26 weeks full pay then 26 wks half pay.) You would definitely get SSP though.

Just a thought, but is there any chance you could have PND? You mentioned that your maternity leave ended in April.
I had that and it was also the turning point for me re my crappy job.
It may not be relevant to you, especially if you are fine when you are away from work, but thought it might be worth mentioning.

Good luck; try not to worry too much [HUGS}

blueskythinker Sun 10-Aug-08 20:25:12

Is there not something in the working time directive in relation to breaks? Or could it be a health & safety issue.

What line of work is it?

fizzbuzz Sun 10-Aug-08 20:52:45

Could you not get someone to phone in for you?

mummydoc Sun 10-Aug-08 21:02:14

as a gp i see loads of people in this situation ( a symptom of modern life ?) and i am generally very sympathetic, i would sign you off for 2 weeks but be aware the gp does have to write something on your certificate ( i usally try something like "mild depression or exhaustion or domestic stress) and this wwill usually go down on your HR file at work, it will also usually have to go down on oyur medical records so it is best not to put depression or work stress because in future times oyu may apply for another job and that new company may ask for oyur medical records. I spend soem time talking through and listening to the issues and though i am not a career councellor ( obviously) i urge people to use the 2 weeks ot decide what they want to do and make plans to achieve this i.e not go back to work so cut down expenditure / re train / look fo another job etc. I do get a little bit narked off when people expect to be continually signed off for months on end due to pressure at work or stress at work, it is not that i am not sympathetic just i htink that if you cannot do the job ( for whatever reason ) you should accept this and resign as soon as oyu know there is no way you can go back to that job, however an employer may seem unreasonable to you is it really reasonable to expect them to pay you sick pay plus cove r your job for months on end when you know you cannot or will not go back

ps i will add that i alsways offer/ ask peolple to come back after the 2 weeks to chat about it a bit more and will sign people off a bit longer if necessary.

siblingrivalry Wed 13-Aug-08 14:10:35

Hi, How did you get on icecreamlady?
Did you manage to see a doctor?

Icecreamlady Thu 14-Aug-08 11:17:11

Thank you everyone for your advice and support with this. i have been meaning to write back all week.
i went back to work and did my three days this week. as i hadnt been there for 2 weeks i was determined to give it a go. it was the same situation with the lack of breaks and back to back appointments and each night i came home with a pounding headache. last nights was so bad that i could hardly stand up without it thumping. i was in floods of teers as soon as my husband picked me up. i am in such a difficult situation as i cant talk to my manager about it because when i told her my health was suffering as a result of this job (well the way the office is managed) instead of being supportive it was jsut an excuse for her to highlight that it was my weakness and that basically im not up for the job. everyone moans abotu this situation but i seem to be the only one who has complained about it. i feel like going off sick. i know i am stressed and anxious all the time and now i feel this week was a wake up call that i cant work there as i have popped so many iboprofen and paracetomol!
when i asked in my orinigal post if i would need a docs appointment to see one i actually meant do i need a sick note? i want to leave but i have an interview next week for a post in another department of the company (completely away from this office) but can i be on sick and attend an interview? dont think it would be apporpiate. and what about if i am on sick with stress, can i still do things like take my little boy out? i dont want to be stuck in the house all day or i will probably continue to be depressed and just dwell on everything thats happened.
grrrrrr i cant believe how we get treated at that place. we are human beings and are expected to rush around non stop even if it makes us ill.i just want to feel happy and relaxed again. (smile)

flowerybeanbag Thu 14-Aug-08 11:20:36

icecream it does sound like you do need to be signed off.

You don't need a sick note for the first three days, but you will after that. I think it would be a good idea to get one straightaway though, particularly if your boss is giving you grief about it. Just pop to the GPs and say what you've said here, it will be fine.

And yes you could attend an interview/take your little boy out or whatever while being signed off with stress - in fact as you say, getting out of the house is more likely to help you get better anyway.

Peachy Thu 14-Aug-08 11:30:41

Sympathies, my Dh is in a similar position and its horrid to watch- he was in great health on Sunday after 2 weeks away, better ythan in months; he's alread looking like the walking dead again sad

Rea;istically a career change is his only chance as I am on carers allowance, he's looking at Uni atm, we shall see how that goes. He's not the mpst well of men, it could be a struggle, but its better than either where he is now, or night shifts.

ruddynorah Thu 14-Aug-08 11:34:27

not sure how an interview would go within the same company while you're off sick from another department though. they're going to want to look at your sick record as part of their interview process surely.

Icecreamlady Thu 14-Aug-08 13:11:26

good point ruddy norah. might wait til ive had the interview and then go off sick, perhaps while i am on my notice period? then i wont have to go back. its not like me to be talking liek this, ive always had such a good attendance record. but its got to the point where everything is telling me i cant be there

Icecreamlady Tue 19-Aug-08 17:13:53

hi
just to update you and to obtain further advice on this. the situation got worse today and i was very poorly with headache so i came home. as i work 3 days a week does my self certification cover these 3 days (part time) or would that count as 5 days. need to get copy of our sickness policy but think we can self cert ourselves for 6 or 10 days. so would that be 2 or 3 weeks? really need to get away from this place now angry

tink123 Wed 20-Aug-08 21:23:23

I believe you can only self certify for 7 calendar days irrespective of how many days you work.

So if your first day sick is a monday, you would need sick note for following Monday

tink123 Wed 20-Aug-08 21:24:15

so you would have to put a sick note in next Tuesday if you were still off.

flowerybeanbag Thu 21-Aug-08 12:09:23

You can self-certify for up to one week, 7 calendar days as Tink says.

Icecreamlady Thu 21-Aug-08 13:11:58

Thank you and just another question as im still not sure what to do next for sure. i dont want to sound really bad but i have a hen night which is out of area in a couple of weekends time. if i am off work with stress coudl i get into trouble if someone found out i went to it over a weekend? i am bridesmaid and i feel i am commited to this night away as i have arranged it. would it still be approriate under the circumstances though?

MoccaMint Wed 17-Sep-08 01:07:50

Do you have an occupational health department in your company?

If work conditions are affecting your health maybe they can put some pressure on your manager or put some procedures in place (ie breaks every so often, etc) to help you return to your work...

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