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Re 'if you're well enough to be out you're well enough to be in work'

160 replies

Misscromwellrocks · 29/12/2019 11:01

My sister is getting over a really bad chest infection and is at the stage of being able to potter down to the village for a bit of fresh air every morning before going back home to rest.

She's due back in to work after Christmas tomorrow but really could do with another couple of days recuperating. She's a bit worried though as a colleague of hers was coming out of Tesco yesterday and stopped and exchanged a bit of small talk. My sister is now worried that she'll be seen as a shirker on the grounds that she's well enough to be out etc.

Aibu to think there's a huge difference between
getting up at 6.30, facing a long coomute, a full day at work, another long commute home and
having a lie on, going for a short stroll to the shops or to a local cafe, then going back home to rest.

Being able to do the latter in no way implies your up to the former in my opinion.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

810 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
WhentheRabbitsWentWild · 29/12/2019 11:03

Yanbu op

ohwheniknow · 29/12/2019 11:05

Had anybody actually used the phrase in your title to her?

Duchessgummybuns · 29/12/2019 11:05

It’s not like they caught her out at the pub, tell her not to worry

MirriMazDuur · 29/12/2019 11:07

I don't think anyone need worry about this until something is actually said.

Misscromwellrocks · 29/12/2019 11:15

No one's said anything to her but she's heard it said around her workplace, as have I. "I see Sarah's still off sick. Funny she had no problem being in the shopping centre yesterday'" kind of thing.

OP posts:
lazyarse123 · 29/12/2019 11:16

Any doctor i've seen has always recommended going out for short periods while recuperating. So your sister inbu.

MirriMazDuur · 29/12/2019 11:17

But what can one do about general office gossip? Not much. And you don't even know if anything has been said.

CoffeeCoinneseur · 29/12/2019 11:18

Yes lots of people do have that mentality.

Yes the colleague might well go back to work and tell everyone they saw her at Tesco.

There's nothing your sister can do about that.

PitterPatterOfBigFeet · 29/12/2019 11:19

YANBU. I'm very much against the idea that if your physically capable of dragging yourself to work that it's a good idea. Walking to the shops and back for an hour then sleeping off the exhaustion isn't the same as doing a commute and full day's work.

sixtimes · 29/12/2019 11:19

My son was off school for nearly 3 weeks with a chest infection - it was awful & we were back & to to the doctors trying new medication. Only now is he going out for short walks to the shop etc and this was recommended by our doctor too. Tell your DS not to worry & hope she feels better soon.

NotAgainEar · 29/12/2019 11:22

Personally going to tescos is fine as she still needs to get groceries and medication. I wouldn't be going to a coffee shop though, at the very least in not wanting to infect others for something non essential.

Pinkbutterfly79 · 29/12/2019 11:24

I have been off work for a couple of weeks after falling ill at work and being in hospital for a week. This has triggered severe anxiety and every day is a struggle. My doctor advised me to try and go out somewhere every day which I have been trying to do but there is no way I would be able to work. I do feel like I am looking over my shoulder when I am out and feeling like if I can go out (for a walk with the dog, with ds on his bike, into the supermarket for a couple of bits) I should be able to go back to work Confused

ThePlantsitter · 29/12/2019 11:25

Honestly at this stage of a chest infection she probably looks bloody awful so it won't matter anyway.

OhTheRoses · 29/12/2019 11:28

My view is that if I'm well enough to get up, showered, dressed, have tea and toast then I'm well enough for work. If I can't do that by 7.15am, I'm not. I might however catch up on emails from home if up to it.

DailyMailcanfuckthefuckoff · 29/12/2019 11:36

Utter bollocks, and it makes me angry that people make assumptions like this. Your sister could have been buying some medicine!

I had a colleague "spot" me at a supermarket when I was off work - I was in fact very sick, but had run out of food and had to go pick up a quick shop so I could eat (no friends or family could go for me). I got back into bed straight after coming home!

Thehop · 29/12/2019 11:37

She gets sick pay I bet.

I don’t so yes as soon as I can walk I’m in work. I was in hospital with flu in November and was back in work after a week off and I’m still recovering financially so have worked through a chest infection I got in December. No choice.

Honeybee85 · 29/12/2019 11:40


You are right, at home you can go back at any moment that your condition is getting worse again.

Plus there is the issue of not spreading bugs to others if you don’t go back to work until you’re recovered.

Lllot5 · 29/12/2019 11:40

If she has a dr certificate surely she can stay off until it runs out.

ForalltheSaints · 29/12/2019 11:41

A short walk to get medicine or things such as milk is fine in my opinion, going to an evening at the cinema (for example) is not.

Though that may not stop comments being made.

PlomBear · 29/12/2019 11:45

Wait for the stories about people being in ICU and then going back to work the next day, if you’re well enough to breathe unaided you can go to work.

PlanDeRaccordement · 29/12/2019 11:48

If she’d been out clubbing all night, yes she’d be well enough to work.
But a quick trip to get food and medicine does not. YANBU

gamerwidow · 29/12/2019 11:51

If she has a fit certificate saying she is currently unfit to work then at my work (nhs) she would not be allowed to comeback before the certificate expired unless she had visited occupational health and they had agreed she was well enough to be at work. You can’t stop gossip but no decent employer expects people to return to work unless they have fully recovered.

daisychain01 · 29/12/2019 11:52

Your sister does not need to justify her existence nor her medical history to anyone.

If some idle gossip at work decides to squeal to your sister's manager, then great, your sister just needs to politely point out to the manager that she was formally signed off as being unfit for work, but is now deemed fit for work, which is why she is back at her desk working. Going to the shops was a legitimate thing to do, but if there is a problem, please can the manager clarify what the actual problem is.

Being off sick from work does not require the person to be under some sentence of punishment, locked in a dark room, in sackcloth and ashes.

justilou1 · 29/12/2019 11:55

You always need groceries... and there are always gossips

mumwon · 29/12/2019 11:55

if you live by yourself & need food or medicine what are you suppose to do - starve? I have this comment made to once when I was a young single girl - people who make these comments forget that you may have to struggle out to get things like antibiotics or milk or bread & that you may collapse later back into bed. Struggling in with an infection which you can re-gift to others is the height of selfishness & impractical because it can cause an outbreak of more people being off sick which causes more problems for the employer

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