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Grievance at work, been put on half pay but they won't let him back????

(4 Posts)
looneytune Thu 10-Sep-09 14:25:10

Hi. I'm after a bit of advice.

Dh has been off work with stress for 8 weeks. Long story but he spoke to HR after a heated meeting with his manager and he was so stressed, after HR said they could see he was upset and it was up to him what he did next, he went to the Dr who signed him off. He's put a formal grievance in about his manager as he couldn't take any more of the bad treatment he'd been receiving. He was told a few weeks ago that he would be put on half pay and although he didn't feel at all ready, the stress of being on half pay was making him even worse so he decided to go back (we just can't afford him being on half pay). Well HR and Occupational Health phoned him and told him he is NOT ALLOWED back to work unless a Dr has said he's fit to be there, even though his last certificate signing him off was up!! So now they are saying he can't come back until the grievance process is finished. He's now waiting for the proper hearing meeting to be arranged.

I feel this is really unfair that it is WORK that's caused the stress, WORK who are telling him he's not allowed back yet WORK have cut his pay by half!!

I've got a feeling they'll drag this out as the company are making big cut backs and redundancies due to be announced very soon.

He's with a union and been trying to get hold of them but last time they took 3 weeks to return his 5 phone calls to them!!!

Any advice out there? We are seriously in trouble financially because of this situation and he'd just go to work and try his best to get on with it but they won't let him.

Thanks

MrsGokWantstogocampingagain Thu 10-Sep-09 14:29:25

Sorry no advice as I have no experiance in this area but I know several poster do. Just wanted to say have you rung ACAS and spoken to them?

ACAS

looneytune Thu 10-Sep-09 14:30:21

Good point, will get dh to try them, thanks

flowerybeanbag Thu 10-Sep-09 15:17:05

I assume his pay has been cut down to half because he is/was off sick? Is there anything about sick pay in his contract, a handbook or a policy? Does it say about how much sick pay people get and for how long?

Regardless of the reason for the sickness, full pay for 8 weeks when off sick would be pretty generous, so the only question is whether the contract/policy says full pay will be paid longer than it has been.

It seems other than the amount of sick pay, the question now is the reason for him being off work. If HR/Occ Health have reason to believe he is in fact not fit for work, and has decided to return anyway, it's perfectly reasonable of them to say that he is not allowed back unless he is signed as being fit. Just because his last sick note ran out doesn't mean he is necessarily fit, as you yourself point out, and it is absolutely right of them to want to check he is fit before letting him return if that's what he wants to do. If he is off with work-related stress, is not fit to return, but they let him back then their insurance will be invalid, and if he gets worse as a result of returning when not fit, they could be in further legal trouble.

If they are in doubt about his fitness to return, they should be arranging for him to see the Occ Health person for assessment, or writing to his doctor to find out. You say they've said he is not allowed back unless a doctor has said he's fit to be there, but what have they said about actually getting that done? Have they said he should go back to his GP, or what?

If he is fit for work and they don't want him in work while his grievance is being dealt with, then he should be formally notified of that and suspended on full pay during the investigation.

I would suggest a good first step would be to go back to his GP, say he feels ready to go to work, and ask the GP for his/her assessment. If the GP concurs that he is fit to return, he can ask the GP to write to his employer to that effect.

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