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Shocking work situation - update on page 5

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Osagi
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2009/07/16 21:06:01 (permalink)

Shocking work situation - update on page 5

Hi guys

Felt the need to post for some views on this shocking work related situation.

As most of you are aware by now, my health is not the best at the moment as a result of my recently diagnosed heart condition. Overall the prognosis doesn't look too good and subsequently my partner and myself have been struggling to cope with this situation and the fact I may not be around very much longer.

Add to this the fact that neither my partner or myself have any family or close friends to help us through this and I have to admit that it's been tough, extremely tough, for us to find the strength to keep going.

And just when you think things couldn't get any worse - we lost our beloved pet dog at the start of this week, dying quite suddenly as a result of an undiagnosed stomach tumor.

As fellow pet owners and dog lovers will appreciate, the death of a family pet can be hard enough to deal with for anyone, but happening at this time and given everything else that is going on, it appears to have come as a the proverbial 'straw that has broken the camel's back' as far as my partner is concerned and she has completely fallen to bits.

Already feeling she was losing me, the dog appears to have been the only thing keeping her going, indeed, given that it has been only her, me and the dog for the last 11 years, it's feels pretty much the same for myself.

But, with him gone and fearing that she may soon be losing me, as she has put it she feels like their is nothing left and literaly begged me at the start of this week to drive the car off the road on the way home from the vets so we could all be together once again.

Since then she hasn't eaten or slept, is crying constantly and appears absolutely inconsolable. I also concerned that any thoughts of suicide are no longer crossing her mind. At a loss as to what to do, Ive obviously got her to see a doctor, who has given her some sleeping pills and is arranging for her to speak to a counsellor to discuss all the issues that are troubling her, including the loss of our dog.

Given the state of her emotional health, the doc has also given her a sick note for one week and asked to see her again in a weeks time.

She's actually on annual leave this week and is due to return back to work on Monday. Not wanting to leave them in the lurch she called her boss today to give her some warning that she's not likely to be in on Monday so she could arrange the necessary cover.

Her bosses response;

"We've all lost dogs *****, but you're a member of a team and whilst you've been able to enjoy your holiday, you need to get back to work on Monday so that other members of staff can enjoy theirs."

My partner - "But I've been to see a doctor, I really don't feel well enough to return and I have a sicknote..."

Her boss - "Well if you hand the sicknote in that's your choice, but I'm expecting to see you at work on Monday and if I don't, well, you need to think about your continued employment..."

End of conversation.

Overhearing this conversation and gobsmacked with her employer's response, I gave her boss a call back myself to ensure that she fully understood the situation and how my partner was feeling, i.e. near suicidal.

When I eventually got through, I calmly explained just how my partner was feeling, explaing it appeared to be more than the loss of our dog that was troubling her but that this had appeared to act as the trigger bringing to the surface a whole load of issues that had been troubling my partner for some time, including my ppor health.

Her response?

"I'm not bothered by that, if she has problems she needs to speak to her doctor and get the appropriate help. You're call is not helping and I don't appreciate you getting involved, in fact I'm not preapred to dicuss this matter with you any further other than to say, I have a business to think about and I have to be firm."

(it's an NHS doctor's surgery)

"I have to draw a line and I can't afford to support a 'problem' employee with a history of repeated and prolonged absence"

(she's been absent two days in the last year taking care of me when I came out of hospital and was last absent for a 'prolonged' period of time of three weeks a year ago which was actually the result of work place related stress, harrasment and bullying by this very same manager!!)

"I've already spoken to ***** and made it quite clear that I expect her to return to work on Monday and if she doesn't, I'll have to be firm and take the appropriate action"

To which I asked will that be to get occupational health involved?

"No, that will be to dismiss her"

Me - "So even though I've gone to the trouble of explaining the current state of her emotional and mental health to you and that her doctor has deemed her unfit to return to work and given her a sicknote, you want her to return to work on Monday regardless? I'm sorry but that is unlikely to happen"

Her - "Well if you're telling me now she won't be returning to work on Monday then I'll get her file out right now and start the appropriate proceedings, but again I'm not prepared to dicuss this any further with you, I want her to call me herself tommorow to let me know her final decision"

End of conversation.

Needless to say, I ******* fuming with this response and her attitude and right now, my partner is thinking she has no choice but to return to work on Monday or face losing her job, which to be honest we could not afford, as well her employer knows.

I'm by no means any expert on employment law but surely this kind of behvior can't be right? Pressuring a sick employee to return to work, particular one in such an obviously poor mental state (as explained by myself and my partner was also in bits when she spoke to her on the phone herself) for threat of losing her job.

I'm hoping to speak to ACAS about this tommorow and we're also going to self refer my partner to the NHS's occupational health team who have had previous involvement last year with this employer relating to the stress at work case, again this being the same manager that was responsible for that (which makes me even angrier at the fact that she's now trying to hold this stress realted absence which she caused up as an example of my partner's poor attendance).

So, once again I find myself stuck between a rock and a hard place knowing what best to do - allow my partner to return to work on Monday (which quite frankly she's not fit to do) with a possible larger impact on her health or stay away from work, lose her job and face the consequences of that financial loss. A bit screwed either way methinks!

But you have to agree, given the circumstances this is an absolutely shocking response from her employer, no?

Osagi
post edited by Osagi - 2009/07/20 20:00:27
#1

112 Replies Related Threads

    Reborn
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    Re:Shocking work situation 2009/07/16 21:14:35 (permalink)
    Firstly very sorry to hear about your continued troubles buddy, really.

    Secondly, thats a disgusting attitude they have taken and in breach IMO of a number of employment laws. I know added stress isnt what you want at the moment but if you have the strength do so, you have a strong case building for constructive dismissal.

    My username has nothing to do with my religious beliefs.....
    #2
    wailsy
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    Re:Shocking work situation 2009/07/16 21:14:40 (permalink)
    Had too much to drink right now to give a considered response , but honestly best wishes to you and your missus, you obviously don't need this crap, but good luck and God bless.
    #3
    Sheeps_Clothing
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    Re:Shocking work situation 2009/07/16 21:14:46 (permalink)
    Almost certainly some employment law issues there, unfair dismissal most probably, but I haven't studied employment law in detail.

    Hope it works out ok.
    #4
    1ManRiot
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    Re:Shocking work situation 2009/07/16 21:16:59 (permalink)
    Sounds like disgusting behaviour on the employers part, but as she is part of the NHS, is going to the next step up an option?  IE, speak to the boss' boss?

    Unaffiliated. 
    #5
    1ManRiot
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    Re:Shocking work situation 2009/07/16 21:17:27 (permalink)
    And RIP Sabre.  Feel awful for you man I really do.

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    #6
    dempsey
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    Re:Shocking work situation 2009/07/16 21:18:02 (permalink)
    You need to go over this womans head, she is out of line and you need to make a formal complaint.
    #7
    tac
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    Re:Shocking work situation 2009/07/16 21:18:57 (permalink)
    Shocked and saddened.

    Im no expert on employment law, but I know for sure that its not legal to pressure an employee back to work when a doctor had signed them off sick with threat of sacking.

    Take legal advice mate, and good luck.


    #8
    cu3ed
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    Re:Shocking work situation 2009/07/16 21:22:49 (permalink)
    Medicali diagnosed sick notes for leave time, are stronger than most laws in theis country, report it immediatly, even the slighted hint of her losingher job over this lands companies in huge sh!t, im fuming with ya, that so out of order.

    Glad to hear from ya tho, ya aint far from my thoughts mate.
    #9
    1ManRiot
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    Re:Shocking work situation 2009/07/16 21:25:31 (permalink)
    Get down the Citizens Advice Bureau, I'm sure they will help with this

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    #10
    James
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    Re:Shocking work situation 2009/07/16 21:27:08 (permalink)
    Here's what I think she should do (as well as speaking to ACAS).  She should go to work on Monday with the sick note.  She needs to go to the manager with a whitness (someone else who works there). Tell them that she is handing in her sick note and ask them if this is she does this are they terminating her employment?  They wil say 'yes' in which case she must say, 'in that case, you have given me no choice but to withdraw the sick note where the doctor says I am unfit for work and to carry on working.  You are aware that this is illegal and potentially dangerous?'

    And assess the response.

    I would also speak to senior management asap.

    #11
    JK2
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    Re:Shocking work situation 2009/07/16 21:29:41 (permalink)
    Sad to hear about the dog for one thing. That's enough to be dealing with without some 'business-first' cow flaunting her lack of humanity because of her ego.

    You and your girlfriend seem to be dealt unfair blow after unfair blow so her response is entirely understandable.

    I'd suggest locating this office woman's line manager and submitting a written complaint. Her behaviour is beyond inappropriate and she can't be allowed to get away with it.

    #12
    Osagi
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    Re:Shocking work situation 2009/07/16 21:33:20 (permalink)
    26
    Sounds like disgusting behaviour on the employers part, but as she is part of the NHS, is going to the next step up an option?  IE, speak to the boss' boss?


    Agreed, that would be a good idea, however the way GP's surgeries work within the NHS is that they are run as 'private businesses', meaning the doctors can make up their own rules and regs and what the practice manager says goes as she's 'top dog' and unfortunately it's the practice manager that we're delaing with here.
     
    Really, as experienced as I am in my dealings with other professionals, I have never spoken to any one so thoroughly unpleasant to deal with. Her rudeness knew no bounds and as far as compassion was concerned, well lets just say, speakingover someone when they are trying to relate that they partner (their employee) has expressed a wish to take their own lives really says it all.
     
    Again bearing in mind, this woman is the practice manager for an NHS doctors surgery from whom you'd surely expect a more sympathetic response, management concerns or not.
     
    However what we have here is the latest incident in a long history of victimisation and bullying by this manager against my partner simply becuase she can get away with it, my partner being one of the nicest and quietest people you could ever hope to meet.
     
    Again in terms of absence, my partners had two days off in the last year, whilst other employees have on average racked up several weeks each in the last six months alone. Yet she is regarding my partner as a 'problem' employee with regards sickness absence, threatening to sack her if she dares take even another day off?!
     
    Can't be right but unfortunately being the practice manager she seems able to do what she wants!
     
    Osagi
    #13
    Blue_Lagoon3000
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    Re:Shocking work situation 2009/07/16 21:35:46 (permalink)
    Im really really sorry to hear your situation it must be horrible to see your partner so upset, not nice at all and hope you sort it out as best you can mate.

    Her work, no they can not do that 100% not i know abit about employment law as i used to sell Employment Law and Health & Safety packages some years ago, its just a no no. If it got taken futher your wife would win without a question of a doubt. My advice is to not let it get that far as it will just make her workplace an unpleasant environment as she would win and her manager would be pissed off, the fact its NHS means the employer has to be very very careful on how they treat their staff.

    post edited by Blue_Lagoon3000 - 2009/07/16 21:36:51
    #14
    tac
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    Re:Shocking work situation 2009/07/16 21:35:48 (permalink)
    Osagi

    26
    Sounds like disgusting behaviour on the employers part, but as she is part of the NHS, is going to the next step up an option?  IE, speak to the boss' boss?


    Agreed, that would be a good idea, however the way GP's surgeries work within the NHS is that they are run as 'private businesses', meaning the doctors can make up their own rules and regs and what the practice manager says goes as she's 'top dog' and unfortunately it's the practice manager that we're delaing with here.
     
    Really, as experienced as I am in my dealings with other professionals, I have never spoken to any one so thoroughly unpleasant to deal with. Her rudeness knew no bounds and as far as compassion was concerned, well lets just say, speakingover someone when they are trying to relate that they partner (their employee) has expressed a wish to take their own lives really says it all.
     
    Again bearing in mind, this woman is the practice manager for an NHS doctors surgery from whom you'd surely expect a more sympathetic response, management concerns or not.
     
    However what we have here is the latest incident in a long history of victimisation and bullying by this manager against my partner simply becuase she can get away with it, my partner being one of the nicest and quietest people you could ever hope to meet.
     
    Again in terms of absence, my partners had two days off in the last year, whilst other employees have on average racked up several weeks each in the last six months alone. Yet she is regarding my partner as a 'problem' employee with regards sickness absence, threatening to sack her if she dares take even another day off?!
     
    Can't be right but unfortunately being the practice manager she seems able to do what she wants!
     
    Osagi


    She cant mate, she's still answerable to employment law



    #15
    Jim2007
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    Re:Shocking work situation 2009/07/16 21:37:15 (permalink)
    Sorry to hear about your situation mate.

    The end of the day if she has been signed off by the doctor and can prove it that's all the proof your partner needs. If she subsequently gets sacked they need to provide a reason for this they cannot say it's due to the absence this time around. Did she get signed off by the doctor last time she was off? If you can prove this then I can't see how they have a case. Just make sure they don't try and start to say that her work was not up to scratch as that can be an employer clutching at straws for a reason. If they tried to do this then check your partners employment contract about disciplinary stages and procedures i.e warning,  official verbal warning, written warning, dismissal as they can not sack her unless they follow the correct procedures this then means that they have broken their employment contract.

    Im not expect in this field and don't know the full picture i.e how long has your partner worked there for? What the employers terms of contract are? etc

    I would suggest you get as much information or proof you can so you can to cover yourself if she does get sacked. If she does don't worry as it sounds like you have a good case and would probably get some kind of compensation. Seek legal help or contact the 'consumer action group' they offer a free online forum to post your problems and have many people in the know (just copy and paste your first message to save time)

    Good luck and hope all goes well

    "you cannot get results for the work you didn't put in"
    #16
    Blue_Lagoon3000
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    Re:Shocking work situation 2009/07/16 21:38:38 (permalink)
    tac

    Osagi

    26
    Sounds like disgusting behaviour on the employers part, but as she is part of the NHS, is going to the next step up an option?  IE, speak to the boss' boss?


    Agreed, that would be a good idea, however the way GP's surgeries work within the NHS is that they are run as 'private businesses', meaning the doctors can make up their own rules and regs and what the practice manager says goes as she's 'top dog' and unfortunately it's the practice manager that we're delaing with here.

    Really, as experienced as I am in my dealings with other professionals, I have never spoken to any one so thoroughly unpleasant to deal with. Her rudeness knew no bounds and as far as compassion was concerned, well lets just say, speakingover someone when they are trying to relate that they partner (their employee) has expressed a wish to take their own lives really says it all.

    Again bearing in mind, this woman is the practice manager for an NHS doctors surgery from whom you'd surely expect a more sympathetic response, management concerns or not.

    However what we have here is the latest incident in a long history of victimisation and bullying by this manager against my partner simply becuase she can get away with it, my partner being one of the nicest and quietest people you could ever hope to meet.

    Again in terms of absence, my partners had two days off in the last year, whilst other employees have on average racked up several weeks each in the last six months alone. Yet she is regarding my partner as a 'problem' employee with regards sickness absence, threatening to sack her if she dares take even another day off?!

    Can't be right but unfortunately being the practice manager she seems able to do what she wants!

    Osagi


    She cant mate, she's still answerable to employment law


    The fact she is a manager for a NHS based company and her staff will be contracted means she should be 10 x more answerable to employment law
    #17
    Osagi
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    Re:Shocking work situation 2009/07/16 21:40:22 (permalink)
    Thanks for all your response guys, it was a huge post so thanks for reading and responding. Athnaks too for all the well wishes and messages of condolence, this is indeed a difficult time for both of us and this isn't making it any easier!

    Osagi
    #18
    JK2
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    Re:Shocking work situation 2009/07/16 21:43:15 (permalink)
    tac

    Osagi

    Can't be right but unfortunately being the practice manager she seems able to do what she wants!

    Osagi


    She cant mate, she's still answerable to employment law


    Too right.

    Your girlfriend should get in touch with her union. They're there to protect her interests in this sort of situation.

    #19
    Suspirio
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    Re:Shocking work situation 2009/07/16 21:44:22 (permalink)
    JohnKerr2

    lack of humanity



    Yep, that's what this is.

    I've been an employer and I know that running a business can be extremely stressful. You often have to be firm, and on very rare occasions even a little nasty.

    However the way your partner has been treated is a fcuking liberty!!

    Best of luck to you and your missus.


    #20
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