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Work Related Stress - Sick Leave – Redundancy
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# 1
BOB_BOB
Old 09-07-2008, 12:26 PM
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Default Work Related Stress - Sick Leave – Redundancy

A bit of background…
Have worked for current employer for almost 10 years. Since start of 2005 I have been in an unhealthy situation with regards to my managers, I feel they have been trying to manage me out of the company. Moved (without any input from me) to a new team/role I have been denied training, any assistance and whilst the company has a formal two step performance review process (Set expectations then later review against expectations) this process has either been denied or only partially completed and abused. Other nonsense has taken place over this time. This has resulted in my absence from work for most of this year due to work related stress. Redundancies have now been announced for August and let’s face it this will include me. Since 13 weeks, sick pay has been withdrawn and I fear I must return to work on financial grounds rather than medical.

I have an appointment at the end of this month to discuss what legal options I have with regards to the abuse I’ve suffered over the last 3.5 years but feel free to chip in with any suggestions on this front.

As far as I can see I have 4 options now and I’m trying to weigh up the pro’s and con’s.
  1. Remain on sick leave and resign
  2. Remain on sick leave until made redundant
  3. Return to work, resign when it gets to much again.
  4. Return to work until made redundant
Which do you recommend?
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# 2
therealdessie
Old 09-07-2008, 12:35 PM
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If it were me, work until redundancy. I do appreciate how hard it can be to suffer under those circumstances, but you have to think of the next step - having a proven track record of employment and no reason for your employer to try and diddle you out of anything.

See the redundancy as a light at the end of the tunnel!
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# 3
dmg24
Old 09-07-2008, 12:43 PM
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Have you ever put in a formal grievance?
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# 4
going2die_rich
Old 09-07-2008, 12:44 PM
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Or you go back to work, keep your head down and look for a job else where. Take as much of your staff with you as you can when you do
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# 5
McKneff
Old 09-07-2008, 12:52 PM
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return to work, see how it goes.
go off sick again if you have to.
Wait for redundancy - no point in throwing away at least 10 weeks redundancy pay.
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# 6
BOB_BOB
Old 09-07-2008, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmg24 View Post
Have you ever put in a formal grievance?
I have raised these issues with HR repeatedly over this time, including a formal appeal against my performance reviews for 2005 & 2007.

The company even provided counselling and ordered me to attend (mid-2005), who found I was being "bullied, marginalised and intimidated" which when fed back to the company was dismissed as "just one persons opinion".
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# 7
Got2change
Old 09-07-2008, 1:17 PM
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Just a little contribution -
Are you well enough to look for another job? The thing is that the stress that is caused in a hostile and poor working environment CAN be mitigated by finding another job.
Don't let the barstewards grind you down or affect to you any longer term that you already have, if that's at all possible for you.
If you can, I would suggest best plan is to go back to work, follow all procedures that you can to protect yourself (i.e. greivance, appeals et al) - bearing in mind that any HR bod will be interested in protecting the employer from litigation, not you (sadly).
Brace yourself for redundancy (check out all your rights on this - with the help of here/ACAS/CAB ETC) and again, make sure that prodecures are followed - consultation, fair selection etc etc.
In the meantime, make sure that you can present yourself as a good candidate for other jobs - sadly, that will mean preferably being in employment/made redundant/having (reasonably) resigned, rather than getting into (if at all possible to avoid) a situation where you are fired.
I wish you lots of luck and strength. Take care.
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# 8
Horace
Old 09-07-2008, 1:29 PM
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Hi Bob Bob and welcome to the forum.

I know exactly where you are coming from because I was in this situation last year. You need to make a formal grievance against the perpetrators of the bullying, keep all evidence of bullying, write a timeline as to when the bullying started right through to present time and keep it going.

See your GP and he/she can sign you off with work-related stress. Hang on in there if you can and force them to make you redundant. I did this with my last employer, they kept dropping hints about the job not being suitable and suggesting that I should leave if I didnt like it - I had no problems with the job per se just my boss. Eventually I was made redundant in August 07 and am now taking them to a tribunal for unfair dismissal, unfair selection for redundancy, disability discrimination. My solicitor has told me that I did a good thing in keeping all the evidence and even obtaining further evidence in the form of emails that had been sent inter-department about me after I had left (I made a subject access request under the DPA).

As you are having problems with your current employer, do what you can to find alternative work - use newspapers, register your CV on the internet etc. etc and do what you can to get out.

It will be difficult, however to bring a case of constructive dismissal (which is what it would be if you just chucked your job in) if you haven't gone through the grievance process.

HTH and good luck for the future.

PS. If people ask why you are leaving your current job, say that you need a new challenge.
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# 9
BOB_BOB
Old 21-07-2008, 9:29 PM
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AN UPDATE

Thanks for all the useful input thus far.
I have a meeting with a CAB Employment Lawyer next week.

I planned to return to work (to get back to full pay) and stick it out until the inevitable redundancy. However, having contacted the company I was told that I'm not allowed to return until my GP signs me off as fit for work. This is going to be difficult as I'm returning for financial not medical reasons plus I'm not sure I want to make any statement that I'm 'well' again.

Any advice?
Should I get signed off as fit for work? Not sure how this will affect me with regards to any claim/grievance.
If I wait a further 2 weeks when my current sick note runs out, will I still need to be signed off to return or can I just simple return at that point?

Thanks
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# 10
CFC
Old 21-07-2008, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOB_BOB View Post
AN UPDATE

Thanks for all the useful input thus far.
I have a meeting with a CAB Employment Lawyer next week.

I planned to return to work (to get back to full pay) and stick it out until the inevitable redundancy. However, having contacted the company I was told that I'm not allowed to return until my GP signs me off as fit for work. This is going to be difficult as I'm returning for financial not medical reasons plus I'm not sure I want to make any statement that I'm 'well' again.

Any advice?
Should I get signed off as fit for work? Not sure how this will affect me with regards to any claim/grievance.
If I wait a further 2 weeks when my current sick note runs out, will I still need to be signed off to return or can I just simple return at that point?

Thanks
When your sick note runs out, you should be able to just return to work. However doubtless you will be asked when you return whether you feel fit enough to return or not, so you need to consider how you will answer.
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# 11
Got2change
Old 22-07-2008, 10:43 AM
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As far as I know, you have to be "signed off" by your Doctor before going back, so your employers are right on that score. Even when the sick note expires, I believe that your Dr has to confirm that you are OK to return; whilst it is implying that you are well enough to return, you don't have to sign any declaration.

This protects them more than you I think but you still have to do it. You can't be at work and signed off sick, there are bound to be implications.

(A few years ago, I was off sick with work-related stress/anxiety - yes, bullying and my poor reaction to it - and when I said I was OK to go back [and got a Dr's note that over-ruled the one that had signed me off (wrongly) for six months], we "all" had a meeting and I was fired...)

Being off sick shouldn't necessarily affect a grievance - apart from you still being seen as the victim of something.

Hope this isn't bad advice - most of it is based on my own (awful and lose/lose experiences)......
x
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# 12
lexa34
Old 23-07-2008, 6:44 PM
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wait for lawyer's advice or look on ACAS website as there is lots of useful info on redundancy.

was the one person's opinion your or the counsellors that they ignored???
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# 13
BOB_BOB
Old 28-07-2008, 2:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexa34 View Post
was the one person's opinion your or the counsellors that they ignored???
The counsellors
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# 14
londondulwich
Old 28-07-2008, 3:19 PM
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The selection criteria for redundancy must be transparent and reasonable. Criteria include things like attendance, meeting performance targets, appraisal reports, disciplinary action etc...

Likewise, grievances must be addressed in a transparent and reasonable way.

If you raise work place bullying as the root of ill health and have medical reports which confirm this and in response you are ignored and then fired, management are opening themselves up to a host of claims.

Mismanagement of procedures, which are put in place to ensure a fair process, are viewed dimly by tribunals. A company cannot successfully argue that incomplete, secretive and unfounded behaviour which results in damaging an employee's health is justified. The worse they behave towards you the better it is for any claim.

The question is how much do you need a reference?
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# 15
Hawksmuir
Old 28-07-2008, 3:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horace View Post
See your GP and he/she can sign you off with work-related stress.
I didn't know GP's were qualified to diagnose work related stress, as surely they are only taking your word for it, and there is no thorough diagnosis of your workplace made by the gp.

Just a thought.
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# 16
floss2
Old 28-07-2008, 8:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawksmuir View Post
I didn't know GP's were qualified to diagnose work related stress, as surely they are only taking your word for it, and there is no thorough diagnosis of your workplace made by the gp.

Just a thought.
Your GP will be able to determine if you are clinically suffering from stress, and during a conversation with the patient, any GP should be able to determine at least one cause of the stress that has been presented in the surgery.

If the predominant topic of that conversation is issues / problems in the workplace, it is reasonably likely that the GP will state work-related stress on a sick-note.

If that stress is caused by related issues at home or elsewhere, then it may well say stress-related illness on the sick-note.
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# 17
dmg24
Old 28-07-2008, 9:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawksmuir View Post
I didn't know GP's were qualified to diagnose work related stress, as surely they are only taking your word for it, and there is no thorough diagnosis of your workplace made by the gp.

Just a thought.
I agree with floss2 on this, a GP is qualified to diagnose stress. As with many mental health conditions, the GP has to rely on the word of the patient when making a diagnosis. The patient has to rely on their own conscience in telling the truth.
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# 18
BOB_BOB
Old 21-01-2009, 9:23 PM
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Just to close this one off and say a BIG THANKS to all those that responded.

Took the gamble and got the doc to sign me back fit for work in the hope I'd be made redundant. Was in formed (by lunchtime) that I was 'under threat' of redundancy. Endured a tense one month 'consultation period' but was indeed made redundant. Obviously this left me needing to restore my health and also find a new job but actually the best outcome I could hope for at that stage.

I almost immediately started to feel better (stress was work related) and after six weeks found another job, same pay, more interesting work and nice people. Fair bit of my redundancy money left over too

All in all, a nice bright light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

Once again, thanks.
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# 19
Horace
Old 21-01-2009, 9:34 PM
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Congratulations Bob Bob on your new job and for keeping us updated. At least you managed to get some money out of your old employers too which always goes down well

Glad you are now stress-free and are a lot happier and wealthier - good luck for the future.
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# 20
ceridwen
Old 22-01-2009, 7:09 AM
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Nice to see a positive outcome to a situation.

Good luck in your new career.
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