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  • FIRST POST
    • brilopad1969
    • By brilopad1969 7th Sep 18, 9:01 PM
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    brilopad1969
    Employer home visit after 4 days sick
    • #1
    • 7th Sep 18, 9:01 PM
    Employer home visit after 4 days sick 7th Sep 18 at 9:01 PM
    I have been signed of work by my Dr due to work related stress (today is my 4th day - the sick note is until the 17th,thus includes 7 days of self certification) My Dr has also referred me for counselling. I have only taken 15 days off sick in the last 4 years - 10 of those days where spent recovering from an operation the other 5 due to post operation checks - all certified - I work hard, go the extra mile and get good results. They said on the phone that they just want to check I'm Ok but part of me wonders if they're trying to stitch me up in order to get themselves of the hook. (there was a serious incident at work- they haven't done anything to prevent it happening again which as left me feeling unsafe and stressed). Is it normal for an employer to request to visit you at home after just 4 days? Should I be concerned?
    Thanks
    Last edited by brilopad1969; 11-09-2018 at 7:07 PM. Reason: .
Page 3
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 11th Sep 18, 12:14 PM
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    Undervalued
    Hello there,
    I am not getting any negative impression at all from the OP bit I wanted to chime in as I AM an employer and I had this exact situation.

    I had a "rolling sick note" from an employees doctor which meant she felt she was "untouchable" because she was off with stress. I should say the stress involved in this situation was not work related it was family/health related.

    I stayed in touch by letter and phone with this lady for almost a year. The employment contract laid out that we could stay in touch as we felt appropriate. I was recommneded to stay in touch via both ACAS and my solicitor so that I was seen to "walk the talk" of being a caring employer. I also had an employee benefit scheme which offered support in these types of cases.

    I should say I was always incredibly polite to this lady and asked permission to touch base with her. My company doesn't offer sick pay, simply SSP after 3 days but we have to administer it so it is important that we do things correctly and follow the process.

    The OP should be straight with her employer and if she feels unable to talk to them at the time of their call/visit she should advise them so and arrange a better time.

    Employers have host of things to consider - particularly if there was a serious incident and they need to ensure they're diligent in following that kind of thing up. The H&S Executive may be involved and the employer will have to meet their stringent criteria which may be why he is in touch so soon.

    ((hugs)) to you OP, I hope you start to feel safer soon
    Originally posted by Working Mum
    Quite.

    Obviously you, as an employer, will realise something that many readers here do not. It is the employer, not the government, that meets the full costs of SSP. The days when smaller employers could claim this back are long gone. So, in addition to having a job that needs doing the employer is paying c. £100 a week for nothing when an employee is off sick.
    • takman
    • By takman 11th Sep 18, 12:55 PM
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    takman
    Nope they've given the invalid opinion which under questioning has no rational basis what so ever.
    issues can be resolved with the employer after the doctor has deemed it fit for them to return to work at which time they have a return to work review as everybody knows but of course it doesn't suit your argument to acknowledge these routines employment processes. there is no, zero, never any reason for an employer to contact an employee who is suffering from work related stress at home. None zero nada
    Originally posted by ChrisK.....
    So someone is off work due to work related stress and in your own example they "feel physically sick" when they even see their workplace"

    How will they ever feel well enough to go back to work knowing that nobody has contacted them to understand the issues and make sure any problems are resolved.
    If they know nothing has changed and the cause of the stress is still there, why would they want to return?

    Having a return to work interview once they return is too late because it gives no time for any changes to be implemented before they start work again.
    • brilopad1969
    • By brilopad1969 11th Sep 18, 1:45 PM
    • 5 Posts
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    brilopad1969
    I haven't had any days off for 3 years, contract states after 28 days of absence in one year a stage 1 meeting will be requested. In fairness they haven't said it's stage one or a formal meeting, just that they wanted to visit me at home to check I was Ok. Having spoken to my Union and ACAS my employer is not supposed to come to my home unless 1 I'm unable to attend a work meeting or 2 I HAVE AGREED to the visit. Both have said after 4 days and a good sickness record a meeting so soon is very unusual/excessive but they would be highly surprised if it was anything other than an attempt to put provision in place and get me back asap.Thank you all for you feedback, much love x
    Last edited by brilopad1969; 11-09-2018 at 1:57 PM.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 11th Sep 18, 5:19 PM
    • 5,281 Posts
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    sangie595
    I haven't had any days off for 3 years, contract states after 28 days of absence in one year a stage 1 meeting will be requested. In fairness they haven't said it's stage one or a formal meeting, just that they wanted to visit me at home to check I was Ok. Having spoken to my Union and ACAS my employer is not supposed to come to my home unless 1 I'm unable to attend a work meeting or 2 I HAVE AGREED to the visit. Both have said after 4 days and a good sickness record a meeting so soon is very unusual/excessive but they would be highly surprised if it was anything other than an attempt to put provision in place and get me back asap.Thank you all for you feedback, much love x
    Originally posted by brilopad1969
    But nobody attempted to force a home visit - I suspect they simply suggested that for your convenience! I do not agree though that it is excessive. You have told your employer that something about the workplace is the sole cause of a period of a serious sickness. In case you aren't aware "stress" can kill! In that situation I would be astonished if any employer didn't want to urgently talk to an employee about what had happened and how it is affecting them. "Excessive" would be implementing a sickness absence process after a single short period of sickness which had no direct connection to the workplace. That is not the case here.
    • annandale
    • By annandale 15th Sep 18, 5:51 PM
    • 1,134 Posts
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    annandale
    I’ve been off sick with work related stress for six months. My employer ignored me for most of that time except to threaten to discipline me. In few jobs I’ve worked in has any employer ever visited someone after four days of being off with work related stress.

    As for the people saying how can the employer sort it. Are you aware that some employers don’t want to sort it and are the cause of the stress in the first case.

    Any time I’ve ever had work related stress it’s been my working conditions that’s caused it. Or managers.

    And there have been instances where a line manager who directly caused my stress would have been the very last person I would have wanted to see after four days off sick.

    Every case is different and it is not something people should be flippant about in my view
    • annandale
    • By annandale 15th Sep 18, 6:07 PM
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    annandale
    Employers don’t need to take any notice of a fit note? That’s the first I’ve heard. Employers can choose to send an employee to occupational health but I have never heard of an employer overruling a fit note.

    My gp signed me off as unfit to work. And I wasn’t fit to work.

    They can’t force someone back to work when they are unwell.

    I had an employer harassing me when I was off sick. Letters. Phone calls. Demanding that I met them.

    I was suffering with stress and had a fractured wrist as well. They caused my stress. The demands to meet them caused me more stress and when I did meet them the meeting was hostile. I was not allowed to take a witness (they demanded that. They didn’t recognise unions).

    Guess what that meeting caused me? More stress.

    Don’t assume the request to meet is supportive. It could be. It might not be.

    Certain lines of work have a huge bullying culture. And for me certainly that is the very last time I will do this job (having taken an 8 year break from it)

    I get that there are specialised people on here. But much of what has been posted on this thread to date has been nothing more than opinion.

    Apart from the people with some knowledge of the subject
    • DontBringBertie
    • By DontBringBertie 15th Sep 18, 6:34 PM
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    DontBringBertie
    People on here seem to think it’s unreasoble for an employer to get updates on their staff whilst they’re not working but still being paid.

    I worked with someone previously who was off for a while with stress. Our boss tried to contact her after a month or so. She complained saying “the LAST thing I wanted was to have a chat and being asked when I think I’ll be OK to come back”. Well if you don’t want your employer contacting you, quit your job then.
    • custardy
    • By custardy 15th Sep 18, 7:23 PM
    • 34,004 Posts
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    custardy
    I’ve been off sick with work related stress for six months. My employer ignored me for most of that time except to threaten to discipline me. In few jobs I’ve worked in has any employer ever visited someone after four days of being off with work related stress.
    Sometimes employers let an employee trigger the sickness policy, if they fail to return under their own steam.
    As for the people saying how can the employer sort it. Are you aware that some employers don’t want to sort it and are the cause of the stress in the first case.
    well strangely enough,work related stress generally relates to something relating to the workplace/employer
    Any time I’ve ever had work related stress it’s been my working conditions that’s caused it. Or managers.
    multiple times?
    And there have been instances where a line manager who directly caused my stress would have been the very last person I would have wanted to see after four days off sick.
    and what changes after 6 months off?
    Every case is different and it is not something people should be flippant about in my view
    Originally posted by annandale
    Who was flippant? You are taking this very personally,no doubt due to your own background.
    Rather than relating to a more generalised view.
    Employers don’t need to take any notice of a fit note? That’s the first I’ve heard.
    Maybe first you heard. Think about it. The doctor hears one side of the story. They dont care about the employer/workplace or whatever. They have a patient. Patient says they arent fit for work,cool heres a line.feel you can only do an hour a day? fine heres a fit note
    Employers can choose to send an employee to occupational health but I have never heard of an employer overruling a fit note.
    As above. An employer doesn't have to accommodate what is on a fit note.
    My gp signed me off as unfit to work. And I wasn’t fit to work.
    based on what you told the doctor
    They can’t force someone back to work when they are unwell.
    nope,but they can certainly use sickness policy to their end
    I had an employer harassing me when I was off sick. Letters. Phone calls. Demanding that I met them.
    You say harassing. again you are focusing on your own circumstances
    I was suffering with stress and had a fractured wrist as well. They caused my stress. The demands to meet them caused me more stress and when I did meet them the meeting was hostile. I was not allowed to take a witness (they demanded that. They didn’t recognise unions).


    Guess what that meeting caused me? More stress.

    Don’t assume the request to meet is supportive. It could be. It might not be.

    Certain lines of work have a huge bullying culture. And for me certainly that is the very last time I will do this job (having taken an 8 year break from it)

    I get that there are specialised people on here. But much of what has been posted on this thread to date has been nothing more than opinion.

    Apart from the people with some knowledge of the subject
    Originally posted by annandale
    I get the sense you arent cut out for whatever sector you work in.
    Last edited by custardy; 15-09-2018 at 7:46 PM.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 15th Sep 18, 8:34 PM
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    sangie595
    Just because one person has suffered alleged "work related stress" with multiple employers does not correlate to every situation being the same. It doesn't even correlate with the possibility that the employer is responsible for it!

    Just because someone thinks a fit note is binding on an employer and "hadn't heard" that it doesn't before doesn't make it binding! Few employers do refuse to accept fit notes - but in law they are perfectly entitled to do so. Nor is it unheard of for doctors to simply write out what they are told without any evidence of fact.
    • Ozzuk
    • By Ozzuk 15th Sep 18, 11:50 PM
    • 1,433 Posts
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    Ozzuk
    Employers donít need to take any notice of a fit note? Thatís the first Iíve heard. Employers can choose to send an employee to occupational health but I have never heard of an employer overruling a fit note.

    My gp signed me off as unfit to work. And I wasnít fit to work.

    They canít force someone back to work when they are unwell.
    Originally posted by annandale
    I've just completed some HR/management training and was surprised to learn that we can indeed overrule sick notes. It is rare, but if the employer believes the employee is faking it, or has no intention of coming back to work then they can take action.

    Of course the risk is it goes to tribunal, and they would decide if on balance the employer acted reasonably.

    You would have to be pretty confident in your assertions but it does happen (I've known of a few people that see 'sick leave' as some kind of annual leave entitlement!).
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 16th Sep 18, 10:19 AM
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    sangie595
    I've just completed some HR/management training and was surprised to learn that we can indeed overrule sick notes. It is rare, but if the employer believes the employee is faking it, or has no intention of coming back to work then they can take action.

    Of course the risk is it goes to tribunal, and they would decide if on balance the employer acted reasonably.

    You would have to be pretty confident in your assertions but it does happen (I've known of a few people that see 'sick leave' as some kind of annual leave entitlement!).
    Originally posted by Ozzuk
    Yes. On the occasions when I have seen it happen, which are rare but given how many members we have I've seem quite a few, it is usually a response to evidence of some other kind. So working whilst off sick, for example. I've even, once, a long time ago, done it myself. People don't read what the doctor's note says. It says that it's advice, not an instruction. That's why, on the other side of the equation, some people continue to work despite advice not to. Although an employer doesn't have to permit that if they know about the fit note.
    • LuSiVe
    • By LuSiVe 17th Sep 18, 10:00 AM
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    LuSiVe
    Just because one person has suffered alleged "work related stress" with multiple employers does not correlate to every situation being the same. It doesn't even correlate with the possibility that the employer is responsible for it!

    Just because someone thinks a fit note is binding on an employer and "hadn't heard" that it doesn't before doesn't make it binding! Few employers do refuse to accept fit notes - but in law they are perfectly entitled to do so. Nor is it unheard of for doctors to simply write out what they are told without any evidence of fact.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    I had a back operation in May and was given a fit note to be off for 6 weeks. I went to my own doctor 2 weeks into that and he gave me a new fit note that was basically dictated to him by me for a flexible return to work on my terms. I think he'd have written anything I asked.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 17th Sep 18, 10:30 AM
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    Comms69
    I had a back operation in May and was given a fit note to be off for 6 weeks. I went to my own doctor 2 weeks into that and he gave me a new fit note that was basically dictated to him by me for a flexible return to work on my terms. I think he'd have written anything I asked.
    Originally posted by LuSiVe
    Perhaps, but itís not relevant. An employer can refuse it.
    • LuSiVe
    • By LuSiVe 17th Sep 18, 11:51 AM
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    LuSiVe
    Yes. That was replying to the "Nor is it unheard of for doctors to simply write out what they are told without any evidence of fact." bit. I was agreeing with sangie.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 17th Sep 18, 2:17 PM
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    sangie595
    Yes. That was replying to the "Nor is it unheard of for doctors to simply write out what they are told without any evidence of fact." bit. I was agreeing with sangie.
    Originally posted by LuSiVe
    Actually, my GP had been doing the same for the last three months! Although, to be fair, he'd have had a fit of I'd tried to go back to work (which is far more like me - I actually did quite a bit of working from home). But then he told me I could go back phased from today, and I forgot to get a fit note that says that. My employer forgot to ask for the fit note anyway! But they both, doctor and employer, know me well. Trust is there. Usually, when fit notes are questioned, or even required, it isn't.
    • ChrisK.....
    • By ChrisK..... 18th Sep 18, 10:24 AM
    • 218 Posts
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    ChrisK.....
    The employer can 'get an update' to WORK-RELATED stress illness ONLY if and when THE DOCTOR says so - OK

    People on here seem to think it’s unreasoble for an employer to get updates on their staff whilst they’re not working ..
    Originally posted by DontBringBertie
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 18th Sep 18, 10:30 AM
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    Comms69
    The employer can 'get an update' to WORK-RELATED stress illness ONLY if and when THE DOCTOR says so - OK
    Originally posted by ChrisK.....
    No, the patient. The doctor has nothing to do with data access
    • LilElvis
    • By LilElvis 18th Sep 18, 11:05 AM
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    LilElvis
    The employer can 'get an update' to WORK-RELATED stress illness ONLY if and when THE DOCTOR says so - OK
    Originally posted by ChrisK.....
    Shouting doesn't make you right.
    • annandale
    • By annandale 18th Sep 18, 2:20 PM
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    annandale
    The employer can send an employee for a medical. To occupational health. Some employers do this after six months. I have referred myself to oh in the past as well.

    I post as someone who has suffered from work related stress. Before I did I didn't understand how it can make you feel.

    I had one ex employer who gave my address out to tenants of a supported housing project. So people could harass me.

    They were also harassing me. They actually suspended me while I was unwell for raising a grievance. They are the very last people I would have wanted at my door.

    I've currently just left a job and I'll be starting a new one shortly. Not in the same line of work.

    I've been off sick because I was being harassed. We all were but it was more difficult for me to leave like others did.

    I'm on universal credit and if I had resigned it would have gone to a decision maker.

    I put in a letter outlining my concerns. They had a reaction to it I was told by another worker and for the last 6 months they've ignored all my communication and any attempts to resolve the issue.

    Everyone else left. The job was only five hours a week paid and other hours that they didn't pay us for.

    They have eventually agreed to terminate my contract by mutual agreement and I'm going back to an ex employer this week.

    Work related stress is horrible. It can make you unwell. And some employers would try and visit someone at home as a supportive measure. Others would not.
    I was as I said before subjected to letters demanding that i meet with my employer. Horrible hostile phone calls and when I met them they were also hostile. And I was denied a witness. Who wants to be subjected to that when they are already unwell?

    Some of the advice on here has been opinion dressed up as fact.
    • custardy
    • By custardy 18th Sep 18, 2:26 PM
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    custardy
    The employer can send an employee for a medical. To occupational health. Some employers do this after six months. I have referred myself to oh in the past as well.

    I post as someone who has suffered from work related stress. Before I did I didn't understand how it can make you feel.

    I had one ex employer who gave my address out to tenants of a supported housing project. So people could harass me.

    They were also harassing me. They actually suspended me while I was unwell for raising a grievance. They are the very last people I would have wanted at my door.

    I've currently just left a job and I'll be starting a new one shortly. Not in the same line of work.

    I've been off sick because I was being harassed. We all were but it was more difficult for me to leave like others did.

    I'm on universal credit and if I had resigned it would have gone to a decision maker.

    I put in a letter outlining my concerns. They had a reaction to it I was told by another worker and for the last 6 months they've ignored all my communication and any attempts to resolve the issue.

    Everyone else left. The job was only five hours a week paid and other hours that they didn't pay us for.

    They have eventually agreed to terminate my contract by mutual agreement and I'm going back to an ex employer this week.

    Work related stress is horrible. It can make you unwell. And some employers would try and visit someone at home as a supportive measure. Others would not.
    I was as I said before subjected to letters demanding that i meet with my employer. Horrible hostile phone calls and when I met them they were also hostile. And I was denied a witness. Who wants to be subjected to that when they are already unwell?

    Some of the advice on here has been opinion dressed up as fact.
    Originally posted by annandale
    would you like to show which is which?
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