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Anyone been on long term sick leave?

(9 Posts)
bsmirched Thu 05-Jul-18 20:10:40

I've been off work since the start of the summer term having treatment for breast cancer. I'm having chemo, which will be followed by surgery and radiotherapy, so won't be returning for several months.
I know that I get full pay for 20 weeks/ 100 days. I've read thatonce my pay drops to 50%, I also get Statutory Sick Pay, up to 28 weeks.
I'm wondering how this works in practice, as the 20 weeks at full pay are essentially term time only, so by the time they are up I'll actually have been off for more than 28 weeks.
Does this mean I won't actually be entitled to any SSP?
Thank you in advance for any help or advice.

OP’s posts: |
monkeysox Sat 07-Jul-18 06:57:19

Post on tes. Get well soon flowers

Maidupmum Sat 07-Jul-18 07:03:37

Im a HT dealing with a lot of sickness absence. I'm not sure about the SSP but occupational sick pay being 100 days is at the discretion of your employer. They can choose to extend it. Alternatively, if you can get back in for just 1 day, the 100 days starts again.
Get well soon xxx

Flyingarcher Sat 07-Jul-18 10:25:34

I went through bc last year. Had first op in May, second (margins) in June, third after breaking up in July and fourth in August. I managed to make it back into school for about a week after 1st op before being off again and then back for last three days of term (missing sports day - cant think whysmilesmilesmilesmile). Until margins were finally cleared I was thinking I may well have to have mastectomy and recon meaning I wouldn't have been in until Jan. I went back to school in Sept on a reduced timetable. Tbh I went back too soon and it was hard. I worked the first week of radiotherapy but then couldn't carry on because of the fatigue. I had three weeks off I think. Have been back since but the effects of hormone treatment (hopefully that and not something nasty) have been significant with high liver scores causing huge fatigue issues. It's been a battle to go in at times.

I woul suggest that if you can manage a couple of days in at the end of term, then your new 100 days will start in September. Phone your union too for advice. I pushed myself too much and worried a lot about the going back but really wish I had taken more time. You have chemo too so be very kind to yourself. My school were very good on the whole but I did feel worried as I'm a department of 1 so carry a whole school burden.

bsmirched Sat 07-Jul-18 11:21:45

Monkey - I have posted on TES and got one reply!
My understanding is that the 'sickness year' is the same as the financial year, April to April, and that the 100 days can only reset then? All the union fact sheets seem to suggest this.
Flyingarcher- well done for getting through it! I'm very wary of going back too soon, but obviously finances are a factor. I know that side effects from chemo - especially fatigue - can continue for a long term and don't want to end up making myself ill again. A phased return can only last for so long and in this job, once I'm back in, everyone will expect me to be back to normal.
All this is why I was querying about SSP. If I did get it for a few weeks on top of half pay, I think we could manage a bit longer.
Thank you all for your replies.

OP’s posts: |
Maidupmum Sat 07-Jul-18 15:45:15

I've def just had this with a member of staff who had had 100 days off, came back for 1 day and then her 100 days reset itself.
She was not in a similar condition to you and I would like to say that I was compassionate about it but then I'd be a liar!

Flyingarcher Sat 07-Jul-18 18:55:23

Yes, be wary of the 'phased return' in teaching. It really doesn't exist. My job covers all ages and so I just didn't do the prep department, just taught my timetabled lessons but If people see you, however understanding, they just make work. Also, I found the traveling and just processing all the sensory stuff knackering. Fatigue is unlike tiredness. Your blood feels fuzzy. Dunno how to describe it.

If you do go in, then nail down exactly what you will and won't do. Also infection is something to be avoided. I have one girl who sneezes all over me. I flatly refused to teach her and her year group from diagnosis because I didn't want to be ill for ops and you really need to be careful of infection control with having chemo. Cancer is a disability so they have to make reasonable adjustments.

Sending you every best wish and strength. Pm me if you wish to rant or vent at any time. winewinethanksthanksthanksthanks

itstoowarmforme Sat 07-Jul-18 21:09:49

I have been on long term absence since Dec.
Your entitlement to sick pay depends on whether your contract is covered by the School Teachers Pay and Conditions and the Burgundy Book; and also by how long you have been in continuous service (not just in your present post).
If you are covered by these and are you have 4 or more continuous years of service you will be entitled to 100 days full pay and 100 days half pay.
The 100 days counter stops during the school holidays - so if you are on full pay on the last working day of the summer term, you will continue to receive full pay over the summer holidays without it counting towards your 100 days. The SSP is taken into to account by the employer, but, as I understand it, will not make a difference to your actual pay - the remaining amount will still be added by the employer when your SSP runs out, as part of your teacher sick pay entitlement.
It is not correct to say that if your return to work for 1 day then the time restarts - this depends how much time you have taken in each year from April to April. If you returned to work on 1st April in any one year, then it would indeed restart. If you were absent from March to July, you would have used up the months from April to July of that year (excluding holidays) so would only be entitled to the remainder for that year. If you are absent before April and continue to be absent the time does not restart in April whilst you are absent.
When you move onto half pay, you may find that the net amount you receive is actually more than half in practice, due to your tax allowance.
The employer has the discretion to keep you on full pay - it's worth asking. If you are a member of a union do contact them for advice - they often have benevolent funds if you are struggling financially, and it's what you pay your subs for!!
Phased returns are a useful option as you receive full pay as soon as you return, even if you are not working your usual hours- your union can negotiate this for you.
Incidentally, you can still remain in post even if the sick pay has expired if your employer hasn't decided to dismiss you on ill health capability. You can claim ill health benefits once your sick pay has run out until your return.
Wishing you a speedy recovery.

bsmirched Sat 07-Jul-18 21:23:34

Thank you everyone.
Flyingarcher the fatigue is something else! Having gone back to full time teaching when DS2 was 4.5 months old and still breastfeeding during the night, I thought I knew what tiredness was, but this is like hitting a brick wall!

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