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resigning whilst on sick leave with stress

resigning whilst on sick leave with stress

Hi Sorry if this has been answered before but I don't know to go for advice.

I have been working for a very small company (to do with occupational health!) and a manager that I have to work closely with constantly nags and nags for me to do things that are not urgent. for example - I'm doing the bookkeeping and VAT returns and all I get from her is for example 'have you ordered this from the stationers', 'have you got me this form out' etc etc - all important but not at the time and she is capable of opening a filing cabinet herself! I explain nicely that I will do it but at the moment im up to my eyes etc etc but it just goes on and on day after day! when you get this (there's only 2 of us in the office now) all day it really drags you down and you end up jumping from one thing to another and not really getting anything done but getting extremely stressed out as you then have the other manager asking why this is not done and what have you been doing all day! anyway..... they pulled me about how my work is not as good as it used to be and I tried explaining that things were getting on top as I didn't have 'quiet' and time to do them. this resulted in me going home upset one day and them offering me time off. I said at the time i didn't want it but then the next day when back in work asked if I could take annual leave.....3 weeks later I was allowed 4 days annual leave. i feel sick and go to pieces just at the thought of going back and have seen my GP who has signed me off for a month with stress and anxiety. Last week was my first week off (the week before was annual leave) and all they have done on both my sick week and annual leave week is text me and phone me. i have asked them not too but they say 'well there's things we need to know!' I have just been offered a new job in a totally different sector and I have accepted it - but need to know if I can resign whilst on sick and if I should state the reasons that I can't go back and work notice - I have to give a month's notice but still have a sick note for this week and the next two weeks. I don't want to screw up my chances of a good reference and Im fine until I think of the place I currently work and I go to pieces. I hate confrontation and just want to go quietly but hubby is insisting that I should tell them the real reasons. Also one other member of staff has given her notice in as she hates the company for the same sort of reasons. PS - whilst typing this guess who phoned! they questionned me on why im stressed and were extremely surprised to find out it was work when they thought it was my daughter (adult aged 24 and not been very well lately) that was causing the stress. Any help / guidance would be greatly appreciated. thanks Autumn


6/8/2009 3:55:10 PM

The first point to answer is that you can resign at any point - you being signed off sick makes no difference. You will need to "work" your notice but you might still be signed off sick for this - your notice would not extend because you are off sick for part or all of it.

So, the quicker you resign, the quicker your notice starts, and if you are signed off sick then you have every incentive to do so as soon as possible so that as much of your notice period is offset against your sick leave.

Your employer is under no obligation to allow you to choose not to return. You might ask them to agree to shorten your notice period, or you might go back and get signed off again when your current sick note expires (it sounds like you are no better, but that's for your GP to assess). Faced with an employee who is likely to stay off sick for the whole notice period it might be easy to agree to shorten your notice period, but depending on your sick pay arrangements you may be better off financially to remain signed off sick. But you may want to check your contract to see if your sick pay changes while service notice.

As for what you say in your resignation letter...well, it's up to you, and there is no right or wrong here necessarily. However, it is worth thinking through the possible effects of sticking the boot in.

There is something of a myth that resignation letter is the ideal time to air all your grievances, and that this will somehow put a bad manager in their place. It is far more likely to upset the person that may be responsible for writing your future references, and comments given by somebody who is leaving are going to be viewed as sour grapes rather than constructive criticism - after all, the obvious question to ask is why these complaints were not raised before now, and genuine or not this is how they are likely to be viewed. If you have any genuine grievances (and I would tend to agree that you do) then the time to air them is while you are still working for the company and might benefit from things being changed. As it stands you would have very little to gain from doing this, and possibly something to lose. Even if your complaints are taken seriously you will not benefit from any changes that your employer makes.

Far cleaner to keep it simple and sweet, and to part on the best terms possible. But if you feel that things do need to be addressed then any complaints you make in your resignation should be treated as grievances by your employer. But you'll need to decide on how seriously this will be taken.

monkey steve

6/8/2009 4:55:45 PM

You certainly can resign whilst on sick leave provided that you serve your full notice period (and not less, unless your current employer agrees to let you leave earlier). But I ought to ask whether the new employer knows about your sick leave and has made an unconditional offer (i.e. they have taken up your references and have agreed that they are acceptable. Because if they have not, and your current employer does not know you have been offered a new job. then gets a reference request and tells them that you are off sick, or mentions poor performance, etc...well, the job offer could disappear in a puff of smoke. You should never resign unless you have a firm and unconditional job offer - that is still not a guarantee that you are "safe", but it is the best you will get until you have 12 months employment under your belt.

Whether you tell them why you are leaving or not - well, it's up to you. If they aren't told, then they will never know; but on the other hand they may take it badly and put it down as sour grapes since you are leaving (and you never know when you might want a reference from them again). But it is personal choice - you don't have to explain.


6/8/2009 4:58:52 PM

Thank you very much. Will keep it short and sweet and do the letter now. your help was much appreciated. Autumn


6/8/2009 5:01:20 PM