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doc's certificate after an op but i'm being asked to take annual leave

(13 Posts)
Miamla Thu 03-Sep-09 17:16:44

i'm having an operation next friday. i thought i'd be ok to work the following week but at the pre-op today i've been told that i'll be given a doctor's certificate for two weeks. i then need to be assessed and they'll possibly give me another certificate for a third week if they think its necessary.
i originally told my boss that i'd be in the following monday (ie 3 days after op) because i completely under-estimated what i was having done. i've told him the news from pre-op and he's saying i need to take it as annual leave.
is this right? surely if i've got a doctor's certificate then i'm counted as sick, no?

history is that i've only been back from mat leave for a few weeks. i've told them how frustrated i am re having to take more time off. i've even offered to work from home (not sure this is technically allowed if i'm signed off work though, is it?)

help! does anyone know
a) if i am allowed to work from home despite being signed off
b) if they can insist i take it as annual leave?

thanks for any advice

Fnergle Thu 03-Sep-09 17:43:19

I would be amazed if that's legal.

Can you speak to a union rep or HR?

Podrick Thu 03-Sep-09 17:49:00

Surely you will get statutory sick pay as a minimum but this might be a lot less than your normal rate of pay?

Miamla Thu 03-Sep-09 19:06:12

my boss is having a chat with HR today but I wanted to know if anyone on here had an independent view!

podrick, that's what i thought. perhaps they're trying to ensure i don't lose any money hmm

thanks for your replies

flowerybeanbag Thu 03-Sep-09 19:21:52

I expect your boss said that off the cuff and I predict he will come back from his chat with HR and say that actually of course if you are signed off sick by a doctor you needn't take annual leave.

However if you don't get much sick pay it might be worth taking annual leave anyway.

Miamla Thu 03-Sep-09 21:53:29

you're very close flowerybeanbag! i've had an email from him since along the lines of suggesting that i work from home smile and not mentioning taking any of it as annual leave!

Hulababy Thu 03-Sep-09 21:57:35

They can't ask you to take sick leave as annual leave. You will have a doctor's note, simple as that.

I had to have time off after an op. I originally told work I'd be back a few days after. In the end I was off for 7 weeks . then back at work for 3 weeks, then another op and an additional 9 weeks sick. It was all paid sick leave. Annual leave was out of the question.

Miamla Thu 03-Sep-09 22:04:24

thanks Hulababy

the funny thing is, i'll probably get more of a break by going into work because i won't be at home looking after DS!

ilovemydogandmrobama Thu 03-Sep-09 22:13:53

Sounds as if he's trying to be helpful, if all you get is SSP, but with annual leave you'd be getting full pay. Depends.

But think you need to be really careful about any verbal agreements as far as 'working from home' when you're actually recovering from a major operation. If your doctor is saying you shouldn't work, then please take medical advice on when would be medically advisable to return.

yes, you may lose a few weeks pay, but in the long run, it's better to make a full recovery.

Also, may be worth speaking to the H/R department re: sick pay. Obviously SSP is the minimum, but a company has the discretion to pay an employee a full salary.

Please think of your long term health... smile

Miamla Thu 03-Sep-09 22:42:35

you sound like my mum! yes boss, i will, i promise smile thank you

edam Thu 03-Sep-09 22:47:35

If you are signed off sick, you cannot work. And that includes working from home. That's the law (as I understand it, am sure an HR bod will be along to clarify).

flowerybeanbag Fri 04-Sep-09 09:29:03

No law that prohibits working when signed off sick, however it's a bad idea for lots of reasons.

If an employer allows you to work while off sick, their insurance will probably be invalid. They will be vulnerable to legal claims including particularly health and safety, and should there be any question of your condition either deteriorating or not improving as expected that could be put down to your working, obviously that could be a significant problem for them.

Talk to your doctor about the plan to sign you off sick, and discuss whether you would still need to be signed off if you were doing limited work from home. Depending on your condition, the type of operation and the instructions you get in terms of ensuring a quick recovery, the doctor may or may be prepared to recommend a phased return to work, starting with limited hours from home. If that's the case, you wouldn't be signed off sick.

However I would be very cautious about doing this. Depending on what your job is, if you are doing some work from home, really the only thing you are reducing is travelling. So you would need to be very clear that you are in fact fit enough to, for example, sit at a desk and use a computer, if that's what you do. If you're supposed to be resting, then that's probably not a good idea.

There will also be health and safety concerns, your desk and work station set up in the office is likely to be better and more easily adapted should you need that, so working at home may be counter-productive to your recovery.

You say that going into work will be more of a break because you won't be looking after your DS. Why would you need to look after him if you are off sick? Would you not be able to use whatever childcare you'd have if you were in work? I think you should talk to your doctor about that as well.

It sounds as though your boss is fairly well-meaning, but you and he need to pay attention to the medical advice you are given first and foremost. It's only a couple of weeks in the scheme of things, and not worth jeopardising your health and recovery time over.

LoveBeingAMummy Sun 06-Sep-09 07:18:32

Ditto re looking after your son. Think you need to be realstic about what you'll be able to do. Much better to have a few days doing nothing than to make yourself ill by trying to do too much.

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