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Can my employer sack me with me having a sick note?


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Old 10-02-2009, 18:30
wills**01
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But are you suffering depression? You have only talked to the doctor to get a sick note, and the best he could say was 'mild depression'

Everyone gets depressed, doesn't mean we have to ignore our duties to our employer!
Wrong.

Ive been seeing my doctor regualrly since the summer, talking through my issues about anxiety and feeling down etc.

This has not just appeared out of nowhere, but has come to a head in the last couple of weeks causing me to go off sick from work. I do however accept the way I have handled this situation hasn't been great and i'll need to learn from this whatever happens tomorrow.

And to add, there hasn't been NO contact with my employer there has been limited contact with my line manager and I did say I would tell him what the problem was when I returned to work, but things have got out of hand now anyway, maybe my fault but can only go forward now.
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Old 10-02-2009, 18:30
mrsparadox
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OP go and talk to them, if you can't do it face to face, write a letter. Explain everything, apologise and either tell them what you plan to do to sort out your problems. Resigning my seem a good idea right now when you are feeling low, but, in a few weeks time when the bills aren't being paid you may regret it. Of course there is every chance you may get the sack but have the decency to be straight with people who have given you the opportunity.
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Old 10-02-2009, 18:32
version30
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Hi chaps, I'll keep this as brief as possible. Ive been off sick for 14 days, I have a Doctors Certificate to cover all of this period.

Ive only just started at my new job (not good i know) but Ive been off with Anxiety & Depression, kinda went AWOL for a bit too at work, but as said above all of my sickness is covered by the note...Can my employer get rid of me?

Ive got a disciplinary hearing tomorrow to discuss why i haven't followed the company's sick procedure i.e. not handing in a note (yet).

Im still in my prob period aswell.

Any help would be much appreciated.
As you have been in your job only a few weeks then the short answer is yes.
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Old 10-02-2009, 18:37
wills**01
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The letter states:

Dear XXXXXX

This letter is to inform you that a diciplinary hearing will be held on Wednesday 11th February at 15.30pm to discuss your failure to follow the company's sick absence procedure, including not providing us with a Doctors Certificate for your absence since 22nd January.

It goes on:

You should be aware that the allegations which will be discussed are very serious and as a result a potential outcome is that you could be dismissed without notice...

Naturally sounds very formal, I have no idea what to expect but do you think that - if it is their intention to sack me - I'll have the opportunity to resign?
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Old 10-02-2009, 18:38
Chocdoc
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Hi,

I've just done exactly the same thing - went AWOL due to stress but I went AWOL for 3 months! I didn't hand in a note until I'd been off for 6 weeks and I've just given in another certificate to cover the rest of the time I was off after returning about 1 month ago.

You can't get sacked for being off sick with a note to cover it - what you can get sacked for is not handing it in as soon as you got it.

My employers kept me on as I've been there for 15 years and it's just a blip really.

My main reason I didn't discuss my illness or send in my note was that I was very embarresed to be off with stress. Perhaps you could say something similar?

Good luck!
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Old 10-02-2009, 18:43
wills**01
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Hi,

I've just done exactly the same thing - went AWOL due to stress but I went AWOL for 3 months! I didn't hand in a note until I'd been off for 6 weeks and I've just given in another certificate to cover the rest of the time I was off after returning about 1 month ago.

You can't get sacked for being off sick with a note to cover it - what you can get sacked for is not handing it in as soon as you got it.

My employers kept me on as I've been there for 15 years and it's just a blip really.

My main reason I didn't discuss my illness or send in my note was that I was very embarresed to be off with stress. Perhaps you could say something similar?

Good luck!
The doctors not has only been issued yesterday with 'a date of signing' of 09/02/09.

It also has a "I examined you on...27.01.09"

This could be a saving grace? :confused

And yes I didnt want to mention that i was depressed and off with anxiety etc as i didnt know how they would take it.
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Old 10-02-2009, 18:43
Chocdoc
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From what I understand you can't resign as there is this 'investigation' / meeting with you and during that time you are would not be allowed to resign. At which point, you will probably be sacked and can't resign anyway.

TBH mate, if you've only just started with em, then f*** em - I mean don't get too worked up about it. As someone whose suffered from stress as well, it's best to find out why you're suffering and deal with the issues.

Like I said, try saying something along the lines that haven't suffered from this before, that as far as you're aware it's a 'one off' but if they won't have it and they sack you, just move on.

Don't resign etc until you've looked into what would happen to your benefits if you did. You may be able to claim some sickness benefit whilst you're off (won't be much though).
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Old 10-02-2009, 18:46
Chocdoc
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You can have the doctors write you a note saying that although the cert is dated late, you were actually off sick with depression before that and that note will cover you. That's what mine did and it cost me 13.50.

I went in January to get a note to cover me for a month (Dec-Jan) and they told me that they cannot issue restrospective medical certs, they can write letters stating you were ill with what is on your med cert before it was dated.

Hope I've explained that ok
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Old 10-02-2009, 18:48
robinsbatman
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Hi,

I've just done exactly the same thing - went AWOL due to stress but I went AWOL for 3 months! I didn't hand in a note until I'd been off for 6 weeks and I've just given in another certificate to cover the rest of the time I was off after returning about 1 month ago.

You can't get sacked for being off sick with a note to cover it - what you can get sacked for is not handing it in as soon as you got it.

My employers kept me on as I've been there for 15 years and it's just a blip really.

My main reason I didn't discuss my illness or send in my note was that I was very embarresed to be off with stress. Perhaps you could say something similar?

Good luck!
Your length of service worked in your favour, not just because it afforded you protection by law but also because your employer knew how you normally worked & could therefore see your behaviour was out of character for you. The OP doesn't have that background working for him - not only was he still on probation, his contact with the company since being off seems to have been them contacting him rather than the other way round. I understand that he's been ill, but he seems to be asking for a level of understanding from his employer that his length of service & adherence to his contract of employment doesn't seem to merit.
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Old 10-02-2009, 18:49
Chocdoc
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Yes I agree. If I'd been there two weeks or for a short space of time then I'd have been sacked.
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Old 10-02-2009, 18:54
wills**01
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Im not gunna get really worked up over it as only been there a number of weeks.

Should be easy enough for me to move on if that is the outcome. My doctors note covers me for the entire length of my absence, really it comes down to how understanding and how compassionate they want to be.

I have no idea what the 'Operations Manager' is like...he may be of the uncaring, ruthless type. Have to wait and see...

And yes, you can resign at any time during an investigation, alot of people tend to resign before any hearing to save face and to avoid getting sacked.

This happens with the police on occasions, but I'll go in and face the music for sure.
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Old 10-02-2009, 18:57
BlackOpal
 
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And yes, you can resign at any time during an investigation, alot of people tend to resign before any hearing to save face and to avoid getting sacked.

This happens with the police on occasions, but I'll go in and face the music for sure.
Have you done this before then? Where I work you cannot resign once disciplinary proceedings have started.
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Old 10-02-2009, 19:04
wills**01
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Nobody can stop you from resigning surely?

I used to work for the Post Office, and the guys under investigation used to resign before any hearing?

Thats my understanding anyway...
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Old 10-02-2009, 19:09
milagrosa
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Unfortunately people who have never suffered from depression, or dealt with anyone suffering with this illness, do not understand the full impact this illness can have on a person and their ability to function or react to everyday events, to the point that mail doesn't get opened and phones don't get answered. If you truly are suffering from depression then your employer will need to tread very carefully, I suggest you discuss your situation with them or, if you truly feel unable to, arrange for a representative to attend in your place.
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Old 10-02-2009, 19:10
BlackOpal
 
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OP, don't take this the wrong way, but I am confused why you only thought to get a sick note and sign yourself off 2 weeks after going AWOL from work?!

Your doc says he examined you on the 27th Jan, but he didn't see fit to sign you off then? So why didn't you ask?

Also your employers will see this sick note dated yesterday and realise you are covering your back because of disciplinary
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Old 10-02-2009, 19:11
devilmaycare
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I can't believe this thread .

If you worked for me, I would sack you. Not for going off sick but for going AWOL and not even bothering to let anyone know. At the very least you could have got someone to call for you, or send them the sick note. I find it hard to believe you were in such a state you couldn't put a stamp on an envelope

No doubt that this left your employer up the swanny with no cover or your colleagues having to work harder to cover your absence. All you had to do was keep them informed and show a bit of courtesy!

Before people say I am being unsympathetic due to the nature of your illness - I have suffered from severe depression and anxiety for a number of years and would never treat anyone I had a responsibility to like this.

What to do now - have the courage to go to the meeting tomorrow. It will be hard but you will feel better for having done it. Write a letter explaining if that helps you, as you may be too nervous to remember everything you want to say. Just tell the truth and maybe, just maybe someone in there will give you a second chance.
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Old 10-02-2009, 19:14
wills**01
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Your doc says he examined you on the 27th Jan, but he didn't see fit to sign you off then? So why didn't you ask?

Also your employers will see this sick note dated yesterday and realise you are covering your back because of disciplinary
They will see that, however, the initial date of examination was 27.01.09 - the doc did say that he would issue a doctors note if required, however this was a telephone appointment and i was not there in person.

At the time I intended to go back to work and informed my L/M of this straight after the call with the doc, hence the reson for no doctors note. I hope that makes sense.
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Old 10-02-2009, 19:16
robinsbatman
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Nobody can stop you from resigning surely?
Yes, they can in certain circumstances. Once a disciplinary investigation relating to gross misconduct has started with my employer, you can't resign. What some people have done though is apply for early retirement on medical grounds, not an avenue that's likely to be available to you.

While your employer can't just sack you for being depressed, they can request medical reports. It would then come out that you'd been seeing your doctor since the summer, well before you started your job with your current employer. Depending on the nature of your illness, how often you saw the doctor, whether you were prescribed medication etc, your fitness to start the job in the first place may be questioned. If your concern about how they'd take you saying you were off with depression/stress stopped you telling them why you were off sick, I'm not sure how well you'll cope with such a report on your record. If they don't sack you, that information will be on your personnel file - while your line manager might not have immediate access to it, your history of health concerns will be there & it could come up at a later date.
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Old 10-02-2009, 19:18
LizC
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.......... look im sorry for whats happened, have any of you suffered from depression and tried to hold down a job?
Yes.

I suffered with clinical depression some years ago (diagnosed) but I still had to go to work, take care of my house and family as well as look after my mother who was very ill.

It was hard, very, very hard and looking back I don't know how I coped - but I did.

The doctor prescribed Flueoxetine (sp?) and that did help but even so they were dark days.

So - next question?
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Old 10-02-2009, 19:21
wills**01
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Yes.

I suffered with clinical depression some years ago (diagnosed) but I still had to go to work, take care of my house and family as well as look after my mother who was very ill.

It was hard, very, very hard and looking back I don't know how I coped - but I did.

The doctor prescribed Flueoxetine (sp?) and that did help but even so they were dark days.

So - next question?
Everybody deals with depression in different ways, do they not?

If I had a mortgage and kids to feed I may have acted differently, the fact is i dont.
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Old 10-02-2009, 19:26
devilmaycare
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Everybody deals with depression in different ways, do they not?

If I had a mortgage and kids to feed I may have acted differently, the fact is i dont.
You have an employer who is reliant on you to turn up to work and keep them informed when you can't. Having depression doesn't absolve you of your responsibilities. It's not a "Get out of jail free" card.
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Old 10-02-2009, 19:28
wills**01
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You have an employer who is reliant on you to turn up to work and keep them informed when you can't. Having depression doesn't absolve you of your responsibilities. It's not a "Get out of jail free" card.
I know its not.

Its not going to happen again. believe me.

And whats all this stuff about 'blacklisting' isn't that illegal and in what sectors does this take place?
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Old 10-02-2009, 19:29
BlackOpal
 
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Hang on OP, you haven't even seen the dr? A telephone appointment is very tenuous!
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Old 10-02-2009, 19:29
cressida100
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I do believe this is another 'joke' thread. Here we go again.......
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Old 10-02-2009, 19:33
wills**01
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Hang on OP, you haven't even seen the dr? A telephone appointment is very tenuous!

Not at all. It was an emergency appt as my parents phoned up the surgery saying that i "didnt want to be hear anynore". Nowhere does it state that it was a face-face meeting or a telephone meeting.

My last face to face meeting with the Doc was 1st week in Jan.

Why would it be tenuous?
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