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Signed off Sick

Signed off Sick

Hi everyone - hope that someone can shed some rays of light on the issue of sickness. In the past I have used my personal time and holiday to cover periods off work for dental and doctors and hospital appointments. No one else within my company does this and onlly a few give up any free time where as I come in 15 mins early only have half hour lunch and stay oter a further half hour each evening as dealing with clients or tenders sometimes means I deal outside compnay hours which is not paid for. However, November last year due to the economic crisis which effected the property market and building maintenance my employer decided to reduce the number of office staff as earlier in the year he has made redundancies from the maintenance operatives. Our MD feels that we have not won new tenders and thier is limited scope to gain more work in the area of projects and will be concentrating more on maintenance which the company was esatbilshed. We were advised that he would be selecting people for redundancy after everyone was contacted on reduction of hours to secure jobs. The points system was devised on many aspects but first item was attendance. Last year I turned down a hysterectomy which would have included 12 weeks from work as I felt that other posibilities may be available before evasive surgery. I spoke to my employer about this and he agreed at the time and so I went to hospital and this was before any issue of redundancy that I was to have an implant placed in me(sorry foks!) I had many problems and 9 months later had it removed with problems and I used up 2 days per visit (4 in all) which was calculated in the redundacy interview. I reminded the MD at my appraisal/interview that he agreed to this at the time and I did not think that this should be included in the selection process as other employees took vast amount of time off work ill or holiday and came back and booked further doctors and dentist appointments using further time off work. One of the other selection criteria was teamwork and I made a complaint some 12 months prior on a colleagues attitude towards me which was rude and his crude remarks, this was brought up at the interview which I also feel was unfair as why was this not sorted out at the time and left to linger if my colleague felt he had been unfairly complained about? We were all asked to submit ways of reducing costs and one of the items I propsed was halt full pay sickness pay which I feel is hampering the company financially. I am willing to have 3 days unpaid and have SSP or use paid holiday to compensate time off work. Unfortunately I have had a bad cold since 18th December which developed into bronchitus and the Doc has signed me off for a week. It has not helped with all the worry of redundancy and I was told selection would take place by the end of November, this did not happen till 23rd December to another colleague. I am now worried that I will be targeted for redundancy although another employee has had thier employment suspended and the Operation Direcor will only be in for 4 hours per week to do salary. I do have mortgage protection but I am so worried and the Doctor has said I should concentrate on getting better the cold weather does not help my condition but I am very worried about my job.


1/11/2010 5:01:45 PM

I'm not sure that we can offer you very much reassurance on this point in itself.

If one of the selection criteria is sickness absence then the days you were off sick will count towards this - regardless of whether your manager knew in advance, or whether it was an alternative to taking off more time, and regardless of how genuine the absence was. And if it is being used as a selection criterion then the employer is required to apply it "fairly" for all employees, and not to sift through the absences and decide which ones they will include and which ones they won't.

However, it's not all bleak. If what you say is correct, that others use sickness for hospital appointments, and have much more absence than you, then this will count against them in the redundancy selection. But it's a balance - the employer will set the criteria, weight them accordingly, and see who scored highest/lowest when deciding who to make redundant. If somebody else scores worse than you on all criteria then they should be selected, not you. And you might avoid redundancy even if your score for one criterion is worse than others, if you outscore them elsewhere.

I can't offer you any reassurance - I don't have the slightest involvement in what is going on. But there is no point losing sleep over one isolated criterion, especially one where you are saying that there are other who score much worse than you. Unless and until you are actually selected for redundancy, there is little you can do here - the employer doesn't seem to be doing anything unfair. If you are selected and the criteria used were unfair then there may be scope for further action.

monkey steve

1/11/2010 5:22:27 PM

Well I did have a chortle over the "evasive surgery" - visions of a surgeon chasing you around OR :-)

But I think that the first thing I would have to say is that whilst worrying is understandable, the doctor is correct. It won't change anything.

I am a bit unclear about the dental/hospital appointments system - such appointments are most often NOT sick leave anyway, but are unpaid or leave/flexi. But if you took holiday, how did these get counted as sick days? But in the end, whatever has been agreed, if someone took sick leave for a dental appointment then that should be on the system and counted as such. The same goes for your hospital appointments - even if they were agreed in advance, if they were sick days then that is, unfortunately, what they are. The same goes with other criteria - as long as they are applied objectively and the same with everyone, then I am afaid that there isn't a lot to go on. I would be somewhat concerned if a grievance procedure was used as a measure of teamwork, and this wouldn't be at all sensible. But in the end it will be the overall scores that matter, and IF there are questionable aspects then they only become relevant if the overall score would be changed. There's POSSIBLY some potential here - but it is only possibly - and without knowing the details (which you don't - becasue you don't know you will be made redundant yet) it's hard to say.

At a slight but relevant tangent. Would that the endometriosis? And/or adenomyosis? Because - and this is a real stretch and VERY "unploughed earth" as a suggestion, but there may be a disability angle depending on if I am correct and the severity of the condition. But that's pure speculation based on some sketchy details and a "case" which, until you are made redundant (if you are)doesn't yet exist!


1/11/2010 5:22:52 PM




1/12/2010 9:23:52 AM

You don't need a template at all.

Since the repeal of the statutory procedures in April 2009, grievance procedures aren't subject to regulation, so all you need to do is to get a copy of your workplace grievance procedure, say clearly that you wish to make a formal grievance in acordance with that procedure and state what the grievnce is.


1/12/2010 9:30:01 AM