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  • FIRST POST
    • Unimaginativeusername
    • By Unimaginativeusername 19th Mar 17, 2:49 AM
    • 3Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Unimaginativeusername
    Employer home visit whilst off sick?
    • #1
    • 19th Mar 17, 2:49 AM
    Employer home visit whilst off sick? 19th Mar 17 at 2:49 AM
    I've been signed off sick from work by my GP for almost 9 weeks now with depression, something I've suffered with for many years but the loss of my only parent last year sent me over the edge and my job was just exacerbating the problem. I'm taking my medication as prescribed but i feel no better and certainly do not want to go back to work yet. This week i have been informed (via text, apparently they've sent a letter to my old address even though i updated my details when i moved) that my employer wants to come and do a home visit, not exactly sure what this is for?

    (Not sure if I'm allowed to name my employer, it rhymes with bapita)

    I find it very difficult to talk about my issues with people and the fact my flatmate is always in the house and i am now panicking about this home visit. Do i have to agree to this, can we agree to meet somewhere else, can i just ignore it and keep sending in my fit notes?

    It's payday on the 27th and I'm worried if i haven't spoken to them and arranged this visit that i wont get paid (i get company sick pay). Can they do this?

    Any advice would be gratefully received, many thanks.
Page 2
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 20th Mar 17, 12:26 PM
    • 2,612 Posts
    • 2,332 Thanks
    Undervalued
    Please can I reframe this. I do appreciate that you probably feel crap, and that your anxiety levels are likely to be raised.

    Your employer is actually behaving immaculately by keeping in touch. It is reasonable (and in fact may be helpful to you*) for them to see you. Please do reply, explaining that it would not be helpful for them to see you at home for personal reasons, but that you are happy to see them in a neutral venue such as a coffee shop. You can suggest somewhere (you are likely to know better than they do whether your local coffee shop is quiet or busy at various times of day) or leave them to suggest somewhere.

    *If you are anything like me, you would find it quite stressful returning to work after an absence. Keeping in touch really does help to reassure you about what's going on - it is helpful to you as well as them, even though it feels scary before it happens.

    PS - if your contract states that you will be paid x amount of sick pay whilst employed, then they have no reason not to pay you. BUT if you don't respond to their reasonable requests to keep in touch, they are more likely to speed up any attempts to dismiss you on capacity grounds (not being well enough to do your job). The fact that they have asked to see you means that they are following their own procedures, not that they are determined to get rid of you, by the way.

    Do think about whether something like an hour in the office each day might help your recovery. This is what phased returns are all about.
    Originally posted by jobbingmusician
    Virtually all company sick pay schemes (even the rare ones that are not "discretionary") will require the employee to comply with the company's policies. That may well include attending meetings, staying in regular touch and agreeing to occupational health referrals.

    The company very much has the whip hand, if they are not happy they can just stop paying anything beyond SSP. Even if they are wrong to do that, the employee is then in the very difficult position of having to make a claim against their employer at the very time they need their support and understanding.
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 20th Mar 17, 1:22 PM
    • 14,670 Posts
    • 8,099 Thanks
    motorguy
    I've been signed off sick from work by my GP for almost 9 weeks now with depression, something I've suffered with for many years but the loss of my only parent last year sent me over the edge and my job was just exacerbating the problem. I'm taking my medication as prescribed but i feel no better and certainly do not want to go back to work yet. This week i have been informed (via text, apparently they've sent a letter to my old address even though i updated my details when i moved) that my employer wants to come and do a home visit, not exactly sure what this is for?

    (Not sure if I'm allowed to name my employer, it rhymes with bapita)

    I find it very difficult to talk about my issues with people and the fact my flatmate is always in the house and i am now panicking about this home visit. Do i have to agree to this, can we agree to meet somewhere else, can i just ignore it and keep sending in my fit notes?

    It's payday on the 27th and I'm worried if i haven't spoken to them and arranged this visit that i wont get paid (i get company sick pay). Can they do this?

    Any advice would be gratefully received, many thanks.
    Originally posted by Unimaginativeusername
    As an aside, if your medication isnt working after 9 weeks, you need to talk to your doctor. Whilst depression may be a long term illness, you need to be able to function.
    Regards

    Paul
    • jbond
    • By jbond 21st Mar 17, 1:45 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    jbond
    I have been more blunt that most likely will be.
    I speak from experience of managing sick absence. So I'll be honest its less touchy feely.
    You have been off 9 weeks,you are on prescribed meds and say you are no better.
    From a well being point of view,what you have done so far hasnt helped( I appreciate grief is individual and 2 months isnt long) so why would you think continuing the same will help?
    Originally posted by custardy
    You might have experience of managing sickness absense 'custardy', but that does NOT mean you were particularly good at it, does it?
    I'm not saying that you weren't good at your job, but this line:

    "Have you refused to attend meetings at work? If you can meet 'somewhere else' then why not at work?"

    Indicates to me a slight lack of awareness of people who develope psychological issues (possibly due to work being a contributory factor). I don't think someone who was fully aware of issues like that, would really have to ask that type of question?
    • custardy
    • By custardy 21st Mar 17, 5:23 PM
    • 31,895 Posts
    • 26,618 Thanks
    custardy
    You might have experience of managing sickness absense 'custardy', but that does NOT mean you were particularly good at it, does it?
    I'm not saying that you weren't good at your job, but this line:

    "Have you refused to attend meetings at work? If you can meet 'somewhere else' then why not at work?"

    Indicates to me a slight lack of awareness of people who develope psychological issues (possibly due to work being a contributory factor). I don't think someone who was fully aware of issues like that, would really have to ask that type of question?
    Originally posted by jbond

    Chip on your shoulder much?
    The OP hasnt given the info. If they have been asked to attend meetings at work,then if they refused it is very pertinent to their course of action and options available.
    The OP hasnt quantified if a meeting at work was even offered. The OP works for a large employer with multiple offices. Workplace doesnt have to mean where they usually work.
    As I said,drop the chip and deal in facts.

    Given you are obviously better at this than me,whats your advice for the OP?
    Last edited by custardy; 21-03-2017 at 6:08 PM.
    • Kynthia
    • By Kynthia 21st Mar 17, 5:59 PM
    • 4,835 Posts
    • 6,819 Thanks
    Kynthia
    A good employer will keep in contact with staff who are off sick. It shouldn't be too frequent as that could feel like harassment, but too infrequent can feel like being ignored. This contact helps keep you in the loop, let's them know how you are doing, and hopefully helps you ease back into work when the time is ready.

    My work policy states that the meeting doesn't have to be in the employee's home if they'd prefer somewhere else so that shouldn't be a problem. Just explain about the fact you have a flatmate and that work or a quiet cafe might be better.
    Don't listen to me, I'm no expert!
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