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  • FIRST POST
    • Unimaginativeusername
    • By Unimaginativeusername 19th Mar 17, 2:49 AM
    • 14Posts
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    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 1
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 19th Mar 17, 8:22 AM
    • 15,174 Posts
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    pinkshoes
    • #2
    • 19th Mar 17, 8:22 AM
    • #2
    • 19th Mar 17, 8:22 AM
    Have you sent them any progress report detailing your condition?
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 19th Mar 17, 8:29 AM
    • 1,166 Posts
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    Fireflyaway
    • #3
    • 19th Mar 17, 8:29 AM
    • #3
    • 19th Mar 17, 8:29 AM
    You are not obliged to let anyone in your home that you don't want to. Maybe they want to have a catch up without making you come to the office whilst you are unwell?
    I'd agree to see them but not at home. I prefer to keep work / home separate! Call and see if you can arrange a meeting at work instead.
    • Valli
    • By Valli 19th Mar 17, 8:32 AM
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    Valli
    • #4
    • 19th Mar 17, 8:32 AM
    • #4
    • 19th Mar 17, 8:32 AM
    Have you sought advice from your union?

    If you aren't in one then maybe you should consider joining.

    My father, when employed as a school caretaker and off having had pneumonia, had a home visit.
    Interestingly, one of the visitors seemed to have "medical knowledge" and had lots to say about the medical treatment dad had received, all inaccurate and not in his remit!
    Last edited by Valli; 19-03-2017 at 8:34 AM.
    Make two - and freeze one!
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    • Masomnia
    • By Masomnia 19th Mar 17, 8:34 AM
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    Masomnia
    • #5
    • 19th Mar 17, 8:34 AM
    • #5
    • 19th Mar 17, 8:34 AM
    Get in touch and ask if you can meet at a coffee shop instead. That's perfectly reasonable.

    If they're paying you sick pay and have so far been supportive I'd strongly suggest you don't just ignore it, but continue to play ball with them. They can't force you to go to meetings you don't want to, but it's in your interests if you want to stay employed with them as long as possible, or ideally want to get to a point where you can go back to work.
    “I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.” - P.G. Wodehouse
    • keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    • By keepcalmandstayoutofdebt 19th Mar 17, 9:02 AM
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    keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    • #6
    • 19th Mar 17, 9:02 AM
    • #6
    • 19th Mar 17, 9:02 AM
    Yes they can visit you at home - my brother's did when he become paralysed. He couldn't go anywhere as he was confined to one room at the time.
    Over 10 years of service
    For all the 2 year no protection fears - Currently being dismissed on ill health, despite trying to go back to work
    "If you are caught in a rainstorm, once you accept that you'll receive a soaking, the only thing left to do is enjoy the walk"
    • custardy
    • By custardy 19th Mar 17, 9:31 AM
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    custardy
    • #7
    • 19th Mar 17, 9:31 AM
    • #7
    • 19th Mar 17, 9:31 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 want or can't? 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)I would ensure you have written/text confirmation they now have your new address. that my employer wants to come and do a home visit, not exactly sure what this is for? Well the days of people languishing on long term sick,handing in countless sick notes and being left to rot are (for the private sector at least) gone IME

    (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, Have you refused to attend meetings at work? If you can meet 'somewhere else' then why not at work?can i just ignore it and keep sending in my fit notes? Would you like to keep your job?

    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? Well if you fail to keep your side of your companies sick policy,do you feel they should keep theirs?

    Any advice would be gratefully received, many thanks.
    Originally posted by Unimaginativeusername
    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?
    Last edited by custardy; 19-03-2017 at 10:04 AM.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 19th Mar 17, 9:32 AM
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    TELLIT01
    • #8
    • 19th Mar 17, 9:32 AM
    • #8
    • 19th Mar 17, 9:32 AM
    It reasonable for an employer to keep in touch when somebody has long term absence. At my previous employer they would start doing that after 2 to 4 weeks. If you're off with depression / stress I'm guessing you wouldn't want to go into the office to discuss. If you're OK going out I would agree with the suggestion of meeting in a coffee shop or similar. That way, if things get difficult, you can walk away. You wouldn't be able to do that in your home.
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 19th Mar 17, 9:46 AM
    • 3,112 Posts
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    Undervalued
    • #9
    • 19th Mar 17, 9:46 AM
    • #9
    • 19th Mar 17, 9:46 AM
    Yes they can visit you at home - my brother's did when he become paralysed. He couldn't go anywhere as he was confined to one room at the time.
    Over 10 years of service
    For all the 2 year no protection fears - Currently being dismissed on ill health, despite trying to go back to work
    Originally posted by keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    Well, no they can't unless the OP invites them in. Ultimately it is up to him / her who can and cannot come into their home!

    That said, if they want to keep their job they will need to engage with their employer. It may under some circumstances be more appropriate to meet elsewhere but they will need to meet them somewhere unless they have strong medical evidence that they should not.

    Nearly all company sick pay schemes are "discretionary" which means the employer could easily cut them down to SSP only. Even if they have one of the increasingly rare contractual sick pay schemes they will still have to carefully comply with the terms and conditions. That may well oblige them to attend meetings, OH assessments etc.

    Ultimately people are employed to work. "Management" of sickness absence gets ever tighter and is perfectly lawful if done correctly.
    • jobbingmusician
    • By jobbingmusician 19th Mar 17, 10:49 AM
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    jobbingmusician
    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.
    Last edited by jobbingmusician; 19-03-2017 at 10:54 AM.
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    • ohreally
    • By ohreally 19th Mar 17, 11:19 AM
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    ohreally
    Put it to them that considering your personal circumstances you feel that a referral to occupational health may be better suited to both parties at this point.
    • Unimaginativeusername
    • By Unimaginativeusername 19th Mar 17, 1:12 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Unimaginativeusername
    Have you sought advice from your union?

    If you aren't in one then maybe you should consider joining.
    Originally posted by Valli
    The company does not recognise any union. A while ago i was talking to a few of my colleagues about it and that we should have a union, management overheard and threatened me with dismissal.
    • Unimaginativeusername
    • By Unimaginativeusername 19th Mar 17, 1:16 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Unimaginativeusername
    It reasonable for an employer to keep in touch when somebody has long term absence. At my previous employer they would start doing that after 2 to 4 weeks. If you're off with depression / stress I'm guessing you wouldn't want to go into the office to discuss. If you're OK going out I would agree with the suggestion of meeting in a coffee shop or similar. That way, if things get difficult, you can walk away. You wouldn't be able to do that in your home.
    Originally posted by TELLIT01
    Thank you, I wouldn't actually mind going to the office for the meeting.
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 19th Mar 17, 1:40 PM
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    theoretica
    The company does not recognise any union. A while ago i was talking to a few of my colleagues about it and that we should have a union, management overheard and threatened me with dismissal.
    Originally posted by Unimaginativeusername
    I bet the unions would love to hear about that!
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 19th Mar 17, 4:34 PM
    • 7,233 Posts
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    kingfisherblue
    The company does not recognise any union. A while ago i was talking to a few of my colleagues about it and that we should have a union, management overheard and threatened me with dismissal.
    Originally posted by Unimaginativeusername
    Your employer does not have to know that you are in a union. My daughter pays her union fees via direct debit and her previous employer did not know that she was a member until she needed some support after witnessing an attack from a client. I don't think being in a union can go against you. However, you can't usually join one once you hit a problem and expect immediate support, you usually needd to be an existing member, otherwise people would join just for the duration of any concerns and then leave again.
    • custardy
    • By custardy 19th Mar 17, 4:39 PM
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    custardy
    Your employer does not have to know that you are in a union. My daughter pays her union fees via direct debit and her previous employer did not know that she was a member until she needed some support after witnessing an attack from a client. I don't think being in a union can go against you. However, you can't usually join one once you hit a problem and expect immediate support, you usually needd to be an existing member, otherwise people would join just for the duration of any concerns and then leave again.
    Originally posted by kingfisherblue
    Joining an unrecognised union simply gives some support with regards to legal rights IMO.
    From what the OP has posted,there is nothing illegal or even questionable in their treatment under their sick policy at this point.
    • Valli
    • By Valli 19th Mar 17, 4:57 PM
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    Valli
    and a union would be there to advise you on your next steps and suggest what requests you might reasonably make in order to support a return to work.

    While it may be true that your company does not 'recognise' a union, the employment rights you (and every other employee) are now enjoying (sick pay and the freedom of not being at risk of summary dismissal) were fought hard for by trade union members in the past.
    Make two - and freeze one!
    Don't put it DOWN - put it AWAY!
    DEBT ATTACK - Debts to attack 1-£6150.87 24/04/2017 £5303.03 22/07/2017 BT -
    £5342.65
    2 Virgin CC £585.88 31/7/2017 £494.88 11/8/2017
    • -taff
    • By -taff 19th Mar 17, 5:01 PM
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    -taff
    Do you have a copy of your company sick policy? If you haven't, can you get one?
    Do you know if you are complying with the policy?

    In my old place, they had an extensive policy, which covered times when they could contact you, when they felt it appropriate, such as 2 weeks is termed long term sick, and resulted in a meeting, either at work, or at home if you couldn't manage to get in, phone updates, and Oh meetings, and regular communication from the person who was sick regarding doctors notes etc.

    One of the managers did take it way too far though, and start texting all the time, which was definitely not in the policy.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 19th Mar 17, 7:59 PM
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    TBagpuss
    It's quite common for an employer to visit you at home, if you can't come to the office - they should be trying to work with you to support you to return to work, but can also visit you as part of starting the process to seeing whether you are capable of doing the job.

    It may be that the letter the went to the wrong address explained things more clearly.

    It would be reasonable for you to contact them to arrange for the meeting to take the place either at the office or at a alternative location (so you could propose a local cafe or coffee shop, if you would be more comfortable there than at your home)
    • Bath cube
    • By Bath cube 19th Mar 17, 11:51 PM
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    Bath cube
    It's your home. If you feel uncomfor table and I would too why don't you suggest a local supermarket cafe?.
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