STRESS AT WORK ADVICE PLEASE
I'm getting quite stressed at work as a result hating every minute that I'm there. Sorry this is so long but it's a complete saga!
To put my situation in context, I've been in my current job for 15 months and have hated it since day one. I'd come in in entirely new to the sector and department and was eager to learn, energetic and motivated. All of my fears about leaving to join somewhere new have been realised!
We have a senior manager who is despised throughout the whole sector and my immediate line manager is apathetic, unprofessional and at times incompetent. I received no training or support when I first started and was thrust into managing a team who had had no immediate line management for over 7 months. I had huge problems initially and I'd say their behaviour towards me was on the cusp of bullying and harassment. Talking in doorways, being disrespectful and giving me the silent treatment. In short they didn't like having a new boss.
I've made progress with the team but the biggest issue I have is continually being caught in the cross fire between the senior manager (I'll call Bob) and my immediate line manager I'll call Helen. They despise each other. I'm the sounding board to who they both vent their frustrations. If Bob sees me talking to Helen for long periods of time he will question me about it (even though she's my manager!) If Helen sees that Bob has asked me into his room for a meeting she will beceom paranoid (rightly) that he's talking about her. Bob puts me in very difficult situations that could be seen as undermining Helen. (ie he will ask me to correct reports she has written)
Another siuation I have is that a colleague I was initially close to is starting to make me feel very inadequate. I've made good progress in my job even though I dislike it and it's been a very difficult first year. She talks over me in meetings, is very critical of other people and has been implying on and off that my work isn't up to scratch. She has a more strategic role than me and doesn't actually manage a team. Added to this she has been in her current role for over 4 years. However I can't avoid working with her as we share projects. As a result she has really knocked my confidence and continues to do so.
Added to this I'm beginning to realise that this isn't the most creative place to work. I'm the youngest manager by a good 10 years. There's loads of slackers, people knocking on for retirement that don't seem to do any work at all. Whenever I've got an idea for something and call a meeting no one turns up and won't respond to e-mails. When I've talked to people about it they just say - 'oh it's always been like that - people just come to get paid and go home'. It's very frustrating.
All of these issues have given me sleepless nights, I'm stressed and as a result am suffering with acute anxiety. It's affecting my performance at work - especially my communication skills. I'm beginning to dread standing up in front of people and speaking which I have to do regularly. I often can't get my words out, trip over my sentences and come home feeeling humiliated and embarassed after meetings. I used to be very confident doing this before and I've developed a complex.
I would look for a new job but the plan is I'm going to leave and go travelling at the end of the year. I just need to know what to do to stick it out for the next few months. I need the money - it's a well paid job and I just can't afford to leave at the moment. I'm feeling really down and worry continously.
Judging by your post, there was misconduct which you accept, and whilst an illness may have contributed to this, it does mean that a disciplinary may well be warranted. I assume that the misconduct was not trivial in nature - it is surprising for an employer to be insistant an proceeding after a resignation and after such a long period of time off sick. To be frank, it isn't worth the bother. Which worries me slightly. Are you in a regulated profession? Because that is the only reason I can see for them insisting on proceeding, even in your absence.
However, in answer to your question about holidays, you are entitled to be paid for all accrued and untaken holidays, including any from a previous leave year, if you had not taken them due to being off sick.
If you are in a regulated profession, you might want to check out the implications of the disciplinary going ahead without your defending yourself - it could be a lot more serious than a bad reference.
I have been on long term sick since January of last year after allegations were made against me. I have been diagnosed with Cyclothymia which is akin to BiPolar disorder which I believe was a major contributory factor in my misdemeanours.I am on medication from my GP,who has resigned me off for another 13 weeks. My medication is CITALOPRAM 40mg at night which is an anti depressant as I have been suicidal in the past. I worked shifts and overnights and found the work very stressful and tiring. I have not been back to work since and have made the decision to resign, which I have already done ( last Monday ). The company want to pursue a disciplinary in my absence as I really dont want anymore to do with them. What are my rights, if any, to holiday pay etc. I am at the end of my tether and really need some good solid advice.
as an employee of a British Gas, i would advise you to steer well clear if you want a role in IT there. makes me groan every Monday morning i walk over the rug that says "Sunday Times top 20 employers"
1) poor working conditions - broken chairs (six months) 2) i suppose if you measure success by management style then British Gas IS is the leader, it really is cutting edge in its "management by stress" 3) politics - british gas is world leading in its implementation of politics would make the Thick of it characters balk
makes me chuckle when they laid off all the Union chaps, i am a member, the Union is pretty useless waste of money as well.
I financed my own part time degree at a well known London University and i would recommend others in similar circumstances to do so as well. British Gas is a boys network and as someone who is a black woman i would urge you to skill up and move on!
SHAME ON YOU BG!!
How long have you worked there? Have you got evidence of your contacts with the office (who you spoke to, time, date)/ copies of letters etc.?
Please can you help, i have now been off work from 1 sept 09, with depression. I have been staying with my mum as she was worried about me, however i have kept my employer updated with frequent letters & also provided a return to work date of the 30th Nov. The letter states i am in breach of my contract because i haven't phoned him, even though i have made consistent contact, he has suspended my pay. His letter says he hasnt had contact with me since the 3rd sept, all my letters are recorded so i know he has signed them. it says:
as a result to maintan regular contact with me your occupational sick pay has now been suspended and may lead to gross misconduct. The he says if i've decided to leave (can't afford to) to send a resignation letter in. Prior to my sickness my employee had been loading the work on me, i tried to talk to him and he said at my level i should be doing the work. This is why i went off on stress leave, he was getting to much. I sent an 8 page letter off to his superior about 5 weeks ago and the only response i got was she would be happy to speak to me on my return, the letter outlined how he was treating me, with several complaints in it. This man has a track record of putting undue pressure on staff and on reflection i realise now why he has a high turnover of staff. I was due to get my salary on Friday and now will ahve nothing to live on, is there anything i can do, is he not supposed to give notice this may happen or at least a warning?
I know my complaint won't go anywhere, people don't care when he is bringing the results in. & i know my life will be made extremely difficult when i return.
Please help with any advice you can, this is making me feel worse.
I'm very sorry for you - but what legal action do you think you could take? The employer does not appear to have done anything wrong here. I am also not entirely clear - are you based in the UK? Because over here few people would related "being out of medication" (which is available through the NHS) with having had insurance provided through work terminated. It sounds to me that you may be in the USA or Canada? And if that is the case, we are all UK based and cannot advise you on the law where you live.
If you are UK based, I'm afraid that you would have to explain to us why you think the employer has done something wrong before we could really give you any advice.
I have been employed with the same company for two years but have recently switched departments. The new department I'm in has elevated my stress levels way beyond the norm. Work is the only stressful thing in my life and as a result I started self-mutalating. I hit a vein and had to see a doctor and was diagnosed as a manic deppressive with an anxiety disorder. I am on five different medications for this. My employer is well aware of my illness and has documentation as well. When I was first diagnosed, I had to be off of work for a few days to be sure that I would not have any bad side effects and when I returned to work I was suspended for two weeks. Now, I've been back at work for a few days, and I'm out of my medication. I have insurance through work but since I was suspended they discontinued it. I've been out of it for a few days and have been sick because of it. I had to call in today due to uncontrolable shaking and vomiting. Is there any legal action I can take here?
Any advice we can give you is limited by the fact that we don't know anything about the disciplinary, but given what you have said I assume that the matter is serious and that you believe you are guilty of whatever you have been accused of (becasue you haven't denied it and you think it will lead to dismissal)? A disciplinary is not halted by maternity leave. You are in no different position in this than someone who is "ill" (and yes, I know the two are different!) - so if you are not fit to participate in the investigation and/or hearing at present then you will need a doctors letter to say this. And employer does not have to accept a Gp's opinion, or may get their own opinion, and if you must co-operate if they seek to do the latter.
In all respects, whilst suspended your contract runs as normal - so you will get maternity pay, sick pay etc - and you must abide by your contractual obligations in relation to notifying the employer too.
The disciplinary etc can continue whilst you are on maternity leave and the employer will possibly not wait until you return from maternity leave - they can insist that you co-opertae with the investigation etc after the birth if they wish. They MAY be cautious because any dismissal at this time could be severly tested in law - but if they have evidence of misconduct on your part and if it is serious enough then a dismissal would be upheld as lawful. But they would have to be careful as the slightest slip could result in it appearing that they have dismissed someone because of maternity leave.
One piece of advice you didn't ask for. If you did it, consider resignation. It may not be your favourite option, but you have a once in a lifetime chance (so to speak) - it will instantly reduce the stress of worrying what will happen, and it would be your best chance to get away with the line "I resigned becasue I wanted to spend time with my new baby". You would still have to rebuild a reference etc - but most people don't have such a "convenient" excuse helping them half way along the way! It's cold comfort I know, but it gives you a fighting chance at repairing the damage.
I currently suspended from work pending investigation and probably disciplinary. I am quite sure that the outcome of this will result in Dismissal.
My issue at the moment however is that i am 32 weeks pregnant and the whole situation is obviously causing great stress. I do not expect my employer to leave this situation however, as a result of the stress i have been in hospital having the baby monitored and i am now solely concerned for the welfare of my child.
I am due to take my matrnity leave soon and seek advice on what exactly i can do at the moment??? I would like investigations to continue but feel that the stress caused to my baby is too great so would rather contiue assisting after the birth.
Am i allowed to take my maternity leave now with this going on and how to i go about letting them know?
I am so confused but need to make sure that the most important factor is my child.
I would appreciate any advice x
With regards to the query about the insurance company, Short Term Disability coverage is a US term - in the UK it is known as Permanent Health Insurance (PHI) or PDI or a variation on those.
If you are not in the UK them we can't help as we're all UK based. But let me know if it's just some confusion over terminology.
I had to go out on Short term disability due to the abuse and harassment that I was subjected to by my supervisor. Basically when I blew the whistle on his lack of work and other unethical things that he was doing, he placed me on the fast track to termination. First by putting me on an informal counseling then a second informal counseling and then a PIP (personal improvement program). He gave me several objectives on the PIP that not even he could do so that he could fire me. Between the formal counseling and the PIP I basically had a nervous breakdown. He followed me everywhere I went and insisted on holding 2-3 1:1 meetings every week to tell me about everything I was doing wrong. He even started recording who I was talking to and accused me of talking about him(which I was not because the last thing I wanted to do at work was think about him).He was consistently late or absent, took 2 hour lunch breaks and harassed people who did not report him. A lot of hostility was built up in the work place because of him. Things became really bad when it came to the attention of his managers that he had sexually harassed another coworker. His managers dismissed it saying that he was a valuable employee and did nothing to reprimand him and basically told everyone without saying anything that what he does is OK. I was told by upper level executives that by him being a supervisor he could pretty much do anything he wanted (Not said in those words but applied). I went out on STD in August and was recently denied because the insurance company said my doctors did not say why I could not work. I was diagnosed with extreme anxiety and severe depression. After not having any income for two months I went back to work and was placed on the PIP. I then resigned 3 days later. My question what can I do to appeal the decision of the insurance company so that I can get the money that I deserve, what rebuttal can I give to the PIP to place in my personnel file and what should I say in my exit interview?
Hi,i am in a kind of similar situation, i was diagnosed with lupus last year, and my employers asked me to resign as i had been signed off for 6 weeks. In my current job, i am supervisor and only 21, getting paid peanuts, all the normal staff are a lot older than me and i find it really difficult for them to listen to me and to have authority over them. I get told off if their work isn't done, and i can't seem to "make" them do work!! Anyway, due to all this stress, my lupus symptoms have been coming back, the doctor advised me to take a week out, so i am signed off for a week. As i had been thinking for a while how i am being taken advantage of, i have decided to hand in my notice. Anyway, to the answer to your question, i think you may need to work your notice, you can "work" your notice period, but not the other way around, someone else on here had answered that for me, you may want to find out more info tho. x
Ihave worked for my company for 13 years and just over 18 months ago after a long build up had a total breakkdown.
Was signed off by my GPand referred for psychiatric assessment, I wa diagnosed with severe depressionwith somatic syndrome and severe social phobia and agraphobia. spent months tying to get the depression under control with different drugs and eventually found the right ones ,Ihave been under going CBT therapy and also referred for psychotherapy.
Ihave been through the DWP ;s ATOS pca test and have been found exempt until december 2010. I am on I.B. and classed as disabled due to severe mental illness.
when I went off sick I filed a hasty complaint ,as I was in no state to be exact.
I have been unable to progress the complaint as its only now I feel even slightly capable of dealing with them at work.
They have just contacted me again to see what progress I am making, and to deal with complaint, I told them soon after leaving that I will need to ammend the complaint to reflect all the problems over the years that led to my present condition .
Can I because of my continuing illness and fear of dealing with them go for suing them for psychiatric injury instead of keeping this an internal matter?
I am in the process of trying to compose my full complaint letter , is there anything I need to include to protect myself .like saying "without prejudice" for example?
How should I approach them with regard to this whole situation?
any help really appreciated.
I have been off on long term sick for 9 months now. I finally had my contract terminated through capability this month on ill health grounds. This was after seeing occ health 3 times and going though exactly the same stuff you did.
Do not resign as you won't get health benefits or any contractual payments like pay in lieu of notice, accrued hol pay or toil. Mine added up to a nice sum......which I can put toward living off and retraining.
I am considering re-training in the long term so I don't get ill again. I had a break down in the new year and have been on medication for high blood pressure since nov last year and anti depressants since January.
Sadly this is probably the most practical, real world answer.
Your options are basically limited to internal complaints - discussing your situation with your boss initially (do you have annual appraisals?), then discussing things with more senior management, and if nothing happens then raising a grievance.
With no breach of legislation, any grievance will only sort things out if the company wishes to do so. It may be that if this is brought to HR/senior management's notice that they do something, but if they don't you are out of options. You also raise the risk of things becoming worse if your manager takes exception to you bypassing them and raising a grievance. This is unlikely to be a simple process of raising a complaint and watching everything change - your stress levels may get worse before they get better, if they improve at all.
We can't tell you how the employer will react to this - you will have some idea about their culture, and how likely they are to take notice of this sort of thing (for example, if they have bent over backwards to make a point of graduate recruitment and having qualified people in these positions then they might be disposed towards your complaint).
But, without trying to be too negative, if their culture is to let this sort of thing happen and to let managers manage as long as the department gets results then no amount of grievances are likely to make them change. I suspect that us telling you to keep an eye out for another job won't be news to you.
You haven't really got anything to fight about! Sorry, but that's the fact. You can certainly do what you suggest and tell the boss to "**** and refuse to do your job - and get dismissed! But you have been doing this work for two years now, and even if it wasn't the original job description (which isn't a legal contract in any sense anyway - it can include lots of tings that aren't in it) you have, in law, accepted the change by doing this work for two years. Sorry, but I'd have to say that your best option is find another job.
Just discovered this site, I feel right at home here :) Im am currently going through hell in my job. I was hired as a Purchasing Officer 2 years ago and have done very little "Purchasing". I took the job as a career move as I was in my second year of college (I have since gotten my degree). All I ever seem to be doing is clearing invoices and a good bit of MANUAL HANDLING. I am actually out injured from manual handling at the moment. There are four people in our department, my boss and three of us. My boss is a nobody that got the position by default (old manager left through illness). He likes to throw his weight around belittle people and dictate. I am given the worst (non purchasing) duties while my other colleagues do very little if any manual handling and do purchasing related duties. And now (get this) I have to do the manual handling for our other departments aswell. Its so humiliating. What Im wondering is, is this even legal? Can I tell my boss to **** off and refuse to lift boxes? There wasnt one mention of this on my contract nor job spec. Also the three guys in my department have internet access for sourcing etc yet I am denied it. I was told to use the phone book by my boss. I am also constantly belittled and degraded by my boss. I am the only qualified person in my department and I suspect my boss has a problem with that if you know what I mean. Recession or no recession . .I have to leave as my health is startign to deteriorate. .my question is, should I leave without a fight? Id really apprecite any advice. Thanks a lot for reading.
Hi there no it is not an isolated problem. As a Domiciliary Care branch Manager I TUPE transfered to a company that was successful in a council contract and the successful company kept encouraging me to tranfer over to them (knowing full well that if I did not do so very few of my staff would either)saying we would be very happy for you to join us we have great plans for you etc so I tranferred, taking 90% of my staff with me, only to find that they had already employed a manager and what could pass for an assistand manager, leaving me with no job basically.I was expected to in fill in all over the office doing odd work here and there not utilizing my knowledge or experience, to the detriment of my staff and clients in my opinion. The manager they had employed was not experienced in the field and sapped all of my knowledge and and then turned on me, saying I was not completing my duties, disobeying orders (when she did not even know what needed to be done) etc.
The company suspended me, I attended numerous meetings (the new manager was not present at any of these) and after 5 weeks on full pay they suggested in a roundabout way that I take a payout to eleviate any further stress.I was of the opinion that they would have kept me on suspension indefinetly.(I was itching to get back to work to support my staff and clients through a very difficult transfer).
The company offered me a very small payout which I refused, I sought legal advise and finished off with a good payout but felt awfully sorry for my staff and clients, I was informed that I was not to contact anyone once I had been suspended.
Suffice it to say the new manager only lasted another 2 months and got the same treatment but without any payout, "Swings and Slides"?.
And dont get me started on working in a private household for the wealthy, they are a law unto themselves (And still living in Victorian times ServantSlaves etc) with what seems like very little legal control?. Hope this helps you to seek legal advise and get everthing you are intitled to.
In feb I was suspended from my duties pending spurious allegation of gross misconduct. I had made an error admitted to it and was in middle of retraining. I had a letter off director acknowledging my openess and honesty in admitting to the error and that I would retrain over 2 days. This was half completed and a colleague of mine asked had I passed I said yes and she went to manager and told her this and misunderstood me as a result the next day I was suspended. Prior to all of this I was under occupational health since oct 08 due to work related stress issues including bad shift pattern, bullying manager etc which had taken its toll on me. I became burntout. I discussed all this with management but nothing was resolved. OH Dept wrote to senior management and requested they carry out stress risk assessment on me and meet with me regularly and provide support. This never happened . My shift pattern became worse working 7 day stretches sometimes 14 hr days and too many nights. I could not sleep when back on days. Managers were aware of my difficulties but chose to ignore. I approached a manager re SRA and she said shed passed it on to another manager as she did not deal with this 3 months on and Im still suspended . I have submitted a grievance re Sra and bullying from manaager but feel this was there excuse to get me out the way. I love my job but I am now on medication due to stress overload and I am mentally ill I have grievance hearing next month that I dont feel strong enough to face as I have to face the bully and her alliance that suspended me My union are involved. What are your thoughts on this case and do you think HSE /ACAS/SOLICITOR should be involved due to the unfairness of the case . I sent several emails to my manager prior to this happening and warned her that I would be burnt out . What would you do?