Stressed husband

(13 Posts)
Fireandrehirestress Fri 15-Jan-21 13:23:16

Name change for this.

My husband is with British Gas who are currently firing and rehiring all the engineers to increase their working week, pay them less, reduce sickness, holidays, and negotiating power of the union.

I have two children diagnosed with autism and while my husband doesn't have autism he has a lot of traits and we very much have a routine led life, changes are difficult for him, he's very functional but he find it's stressful.

He is finding things very difficult. The company are playing dirty but so are the union. The company are trying to break people down and subsequently he was forced to sign a form which meant he wouldn't lose as many holidays as those who didn't, apparently about 60% signed, the union is now threatening those who signed and making threats they won't support them unless the rescind that form.

He isn't sleeping, he is having a lot of migraines and headaches, he has IBS so that's playing up. The other night I found him outside in the freezing cold laying on the ground. I think he just wanted to freeze to death.

He dreads any message coming through and they are about to go on a second strike of 5 days again. They are having more and more calls from both sides. He totally wants to support his colleagues and thinks what the company is doing is abhorrent. There is even videos of the managers laughing at their "luck" with COVID and the disturbances in the states for keeping their strikes out of the media attention.

Anyway, I said he needs to speak to a GP, for the stress, IBS, migraines etc but he's worried about what that means. He once told his boss he was feeling stressed (it was after a big change in the way they work) and his boss told him he needs to be very careful using the "s" word as plenty of engineers do their job without feeling stressed. That the company would look unfavourably on him if he said he was feeling stressed.

What's the legalities of this. Are they actually allowed to discriminate on the based of mental health? I doubt he would go off on the sick anyway, but I'm worried about him.

OP’s posts: |
Newnamefor2021 Sat 16-Jan-21 21:10:11

Gentle bump

partyatthepalace Sat 16-Jan-21 21:31:44

That’s awful OP. I am sorry.

Of course he should talk to his GP, the company isn’t going to know anything about that. But even if the GP signs him off with stress (which wouldn’t happen unless your husband wanted it) the company wouldn’t be able to discriminate against him. It’s a big company and they will have to follow HR guidance.

The manager who threatened him re stress was bullying, and also being dishonest - the company can’t do anything to anyone because they are suffering from stress.

I can see it’s a very intimidating situation, but if possible your DP should try not to be intimidated, big companies have a lot of power but not as much as they sometimes imply.

I’d get your DP to the doc ASAP, and take it from there.

It does sound an awful place OP so it may be worth planning for a change - I know now is a terrible time but good to start thinking about it.

Fireandrehirestress Sat 16-Jan-21 22:59:33

He would need time to contact the GP. He worked 50 ish hours a week and the monitor every minute literally, phones, laptops, and vans. So he would need to let his boss know and he's usually asking why and can't it wait and it's busy.

I don't think the company really cares, I think it's likely they will sell so it doesn't matter want tatters are left. The union is trying to make as much noise as possible but it's not always helpful.

He's been off today and it's hard, he isn't speaking properly, he isn't really engaging like usual, Just down really. His phone kept ringing
ran and he didn't answer it, turned out it was tyre people for his work van (they have to organise maintenance on their time off) so he then had to rush to sort that when he realised.

It's just difficult and I don't know what to do. He's never had this before. We have been together nearly 2 decades but he's never been down before.

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Outdoorsywithgin Sat 16-Jan-21 23:09:21

Seriously, your dh needs the support of his GP.
Sod the business and his bullying boss - you're dh is unwell and is entitled to time off for medical reasons. Stress and anxiety are valid reasons.
I'm so sorry that this is a stressful time for you all, I know how much work stress can effect a family.

partyatthepalace Sat 16-Jan-21 23:26:52

He sounds like he’s really not well, and if he doesn’t take some action this is going to come to no good end. You can’t make him OP of course, but try to be firm.

Work places have to allow people to ring their doctors or go to medical appointments. He just needs to tell his boss it’s a medical appointment. He boss should not ask why but if your OP thinks he will then he can just make up any old reason.

All you can do is try and help him find a way to take some action, as sitting on it is going to make it worse.

Fireandrehirestress Mon 18-Jan-21 08:55:02

Hi all, thanks for the advice. He wasn't good at all Saturday but was much more himself yesterday. He has two days off strike this coming week which in one way makes things more stressful but in another he gets to switch off those days.

We talked a lot. He worries what his boss will say or what the GP might say. I'm not sure if I mentioned this in the long OP, but we have two children with ASC and while he has no diagnosis he definitely has traits. People just think he's a bit quiet if they don't know him well but it because he struggles to understand people, which seems odd, he's honestly very functional, but he will often tell me someone said something and he's been a bit offended but they were clearly having a joke but he doesn't get it type thing. Not that he acts offended or says anything back, but he struggles with banter.

He says, what if my boss asks how I am? He finds its difficult enough to express to me how he feels like alone someone else. They aren't the most friendly or understanding company. He has been refused carer or dependence leave a lot. We have children with additional needs, and it's been hard as it all falls on me as they constantly refuse any unpaid requests. I get it but it does make life every difficult that they can't even be slightly flexible so all the sacrifice isn't always me.

He has been a but argumentative this weekend, which he isn't really ever like that. Just little things. Just stuff like, i said; we had seen this episode of a programme and he said; no, we finished the last one. I said; no we didn't because I got distracted by a work thing and he said he would leave it until after I had resolved the issue. He said no, we watched it after you resolved it. He actually said, can't you remember? Anyway, we put it on and I was right. But there were a few things like that. His tone was really dismissive with me, like clearly I was wrong, rather than just a discussion. But there have been a few things like that.

He's didn't sleep well and he struggled to get going again this morning, but he left about 1.5 hours ago. Hopefully talking helped.

I'm just annoyed at what they are doing to him. They clearly don't care about the staff morale or how many leave as they clearly intend to sell, it's just unfair as the company has been badly managed for a long time now, but they keep taking more and more away, every year they do something horrendous to them like cut their pensions etc under the pretence of cost cutting, which they just take and move on but this is a step way too far and will damage the company as safety will be impeded. The made nearly a billion in profits last year, so they aren't struggling that much, management still getting millions in bonuses, but they want to make life so difficult. The amount of engineers like my husband who see elderly people who see no one, and are always changing light bulbs, batteries and fixing little things for them, which is why a lot of their Clients are elderly people, but now they want them in and out in such tiny time scales, they won't have time, the jobs will be rushes and it's all online and not enough staff to answer phones so so many elderly just can't get through. It's so sad what they are doing. Hope whoever buys it manages it properly and it doesn't collapse before that can happen.

OP’s posts: |
Fireandrehirestress Wed 20-Jan-21 15:53:19

Today is difficult, he's off an strike. He can't settle for even a second. He's up and down all the time. I tried to encourage him to talk to the GP and even wrote some points down which I think annoyed him more.

Today he dropped me off at the post office and parked on a side street. Some silly person has driven too close to a bus and the bus couldn't move. The bus then blocked my husband in too. The other driver either needed to reserve or drive down a side street and turn, which they refused to do and started staring at my husband, eventually the passenger got out and told my husband to move his car. The reality is he couldn't move anyway as the bus was alongside him, there was a gap but he was wouldn't have made it out as it's a large vehicle. But my husband just said no, the guy was losing it screaming and my husband screamed back for him to take his hands off our car (he has opened the door and we had children in the car). The guy kept screaming and swearing and he said it louder. He said he felt like getting out himself and confronting him. The guy eventually went away and turned around and drove past screaming and swearing.

The thing is my husband never raises his voice, he's so unconfrontational, certainly never had fights or anything like that. He could have just pointed out he couldn't move but he didn't.

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Rulesdontapplytome Tue 26-Jan-21 13:45:41

Work related stress is a huge headache for employers. I think you will find that as soon as he raises it with them, they have an obligation, a duty of care etc. towards him. If they then sacked him, he would win very easily at a tribunal. The way his boss is, I’d make sure I had evidence such as text, email or record any conversations.
He should get used to recording on his phone for all verbal contact with his boss.
The job and employer won’t get better, so he needs to plan for an exit. Use the stress. Play on it. Fuck ‘em over. Get weekly counselling in their time etc.

If he’s a gas fitter, he should be able earn a bomb where ever he goes. Maybe he should look at a housing association or local authority if he doesn’t fancy being self employed.

He does need to eventually change jobs though.

Fireandrehirestress Tue 26-Jan-21 19:44:28

Thanks. He's been mixed. Lots of strikes so he's been off a lot but then that's a worry about money. He get quite angry with me at mentioning the GP, but he's better now. He doesn't like talking about feelings, he doesn't know how to speak to his boss or the GP.

I think we are going to see a run of this now, Tescos, several bus companies, Halfords are all going with fire and rehire as a way to cutting jobs cheaply.

OP’s posts: |
asmuchuseas Tue 26-Jan-21 19:50:18

A close family member of mine has just left BG. They are utter b*stards. I've seen first hand the stress they put on employees.
Your OH really needs to see a GP and be signed off. No job is worth feeling like over.

Fireandrehirestress Tue 26-Jan-21 20:14:03

Thanks, I agree. I think the relief of a week or two would be enough for him to realign. As he as some autistic traits the idea of changing is stressful but changing jobs is even more so.

The CEO is just horrific, even the MPs called him a lair last night as he told the employees that the MPs were on his side and they have stated none of them agree with what he has said. It does shock me that the board doesn't do something. It's not a good move at all for them. However, it is what it is.

Someone I know wrote to the CEO and he told them the engineers are greedy as they are already paid more than junior doctors. From the man making more than a hospital consultant. Earns 750,000 a year with 2 million in bonuses! I don't know how much they earn, my husband earns 40,500, he will likely earn 34,000 after the move. He will likely be working 48 plus hours a week and they have to sign to say they are happy to exceed the 48 hour week, he will work longer standard days (now 8-8 then 6-11). He will have less holiday, less sick, and will work unlimited weekends. Overtime cut down from double time to time and a third.

The CEO says it's ok as they can work as much as they like to earn up the difference. He says there won't much difference in pay if they attain the bonus which he is telling the MPs is included in their pay, it's not as no engineer thinks it's possible to earn this bonus which is worth £2000.

The thing is, engineers have taken pay cuts and pension cuts every year for a decade now and it's not helped the company, they would take this too it's too much. It's nit unusual for him to exceed 48 hours a week now, but if that's the standard week and how hard they expected to work then it's not possible.

More than that, it will affect customer satisfaction and safety. My husband often changes light bulbs or pops to the shop and buys batteries for the persons fire alarm just because often a engineer is the first person they see in a week.Most of them do things to help out, the customer is who pays their wages, they want happy customers but it's just not possible under this new scheme and the GMB is acting like a massive wrecking ball and getting people to dump contracts and councils to ditch contracts etc.

Too much arrogance on both sides. Customer loses every time.

I'm just annoyed, like I say, he's never has any issues like this before. He's SUPER laid back and takes most things in his stride, he stressed about changes but he's just usually a happy easy going person, which is the opposite to me 😆

OP’s posts: |
Fireandrehirestress Thu 28-Jan-21 11:45:48

He actually said he may call the GP. He is having a lot of migraines and IBS issues, so he has to really as he needs his migraine meds increased. Will see if he does. The union keeps increasing strike days. He's going to lose over half his pay this month. They just keep adding more. The CEO was called a liar in parliament for saying that MPs agreed with what he was doing. So the company seem to be lashing out and going after specific engineers now and it's just such a mess.

I can't believe this is happening, I can't understand how it's legal or acceptable and how any of these people sleep at night.

Like I said before, he's never been like this before, I'm getting so stressed at him being stressed as he's usually the laid back one that makes us all laugh. I don't know what to do, feels like whatever he does he loses.

OP’s posts: |

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