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Worried about losing my jobs through being signed off for severe anxiety.

(8 Posts)
Kaylasmum49 Wed 25-May-16 13:40:09

Hi, I have health anxiety and am currently having a really bad attack. Almost constant anxiety, low appetite, losing weight quickly as a result of this, feeling extremely nervous when leaving the house. My gp has given me diazepam to take and signed me off for 2 weeks. I have 2 jobs, one I'be been in for 24 years and the other one for nearly 5 months.

The problem is I have now been off 3 times in the last 2 months in one job and 3 times in 4 months in the other one. I had a chest infection then flu, now this.

Can they sack me without any formal warning? I really want to get back but I don't feel ready atm and worried if I go back too soon I'll end up being signed off again. Seeing my gp tomorrow. So worried about this.

Can anyone advise please?

mumsywoo78 Thu 26-May-16 00:39:03

I'm pretty sure they cannot sack you if you have been signed off sick by a doctor so please don't worry about this and just focus on getting yourself better. flowers

AgentProvocateur Thu 26-May-16 01:21:09

Yes, they can sack you if you're unfit to do your job. Most places would put "back to work" procedures in place, but the fact remains if you're not well enough to do the job, you can get sacked

Brokenbiscuit Thu 26-May-16 01:53:20

If you've only been in one job for 5 months, then I'm afraid they may be able to sack you. You have very few rights if you haven't been working there for more that 2 years. However, if you are disabled as a result of your health anxiety, this may afford you some protection as they are not allowed to discriminate and they are required to make reasonable adjustments. Do you regard yourself as having a disability, and if so, have you declared this to your employer?

For the job that you've been in for longer, they can still sack you for persistent absence even if you have doctor's notes. However, they would need to demonstrate that they had followed due process, such as a capability procedure or whatever. Again, they would need to make reasonable adjustments for any disabilities.

Are you a member of a union, and if so, could you get some advice from them?

I hope you feel less anxious soon.

Kaylasmum49 Thu 26-May-16 13:52:08

Hi thanks for the replies,

Bee to my gp today who wanted to sign me off for another 2 weeks but I told him I want to get back sooner so agreed on 1 week. I am going to be coming off the citalopram over the next few weeks and he is going to try me on sertraline.

I have kept both my jobs informed and no doubt when I go back I will be spoken to about my absence, just hoping they won't sack me. I am a member of a union, just joined up with the gmb about 2 months ago and they told me that it will cover both jobs. Not sure if I should contact them now or wait until I'm back at work and see what they are saying about it.

NanaNina Thu 26-May-16 14:04:36

Mental health is now part of the Equality Act 2010 and so your employers are not allowed to discriminate against you on the grounds of your mental illness. Google the Act so you are conversant with the issues related to mental health. Surely the job that you've been in for 24 years is not going to try to sack you because of your mental health.

Kaylasmum49 Thu 26-May-16 14:30:38

Hi NanaNina,

I had a look at the equality act but couldn't find anything about mental health. I'm hoping I won't be sacked from my long-term job but I'm pretty sure I will be disciplined as its normally on the 3rd absence in 26 weeks that it triggers a disciplinary, but it can be dependant on circumstances and I think at the managers discretion. My other job I'm really not too sure but I did speak to one of my managers over a week ago and told her that I'm really worried about losing my job and that I really want to get back. She more or less reassured me that it should be ok, all I can do is wait and see and hope for the best!

Brokenbiscuit Thu 26-May-16 16:49:39

Mental health issues are most certainly covered under the equalities act, though I think the issues would need to affect you on a long-term basis to be considered as a disability.

That still doesn't mean that they couldn't sack you if you're genuinely unable to do the job, but it does mean that they would have to make reasonable adjustments. Are there things that could be put in place at work that would help to alleviate your anxiety, OP, and make it easier for you to go back to work?

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