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spyguy

People on Long Term Sick

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Another week, another problem with someone being on long term sick.

How common is it?

In my work life, Ive only directly experience across two cases of LTSL - one a woman Id never met despite working for 3 years at the same company. She turned up for her retirement party. This was 98ish.

The other someone who was diagnosed with cancer and died 6 months later.

As far as I know, the woman is still alive.

Now the recent case both are public sector.

In one, a hospital nursery is closing/reducing hours due 'long term sick leave'. This has caused a few of the people using the nursery to go on LTSL due to the extra stress it caused.

The other one is a school cook.

A year ago or so, I was having a chat with a drinking associate, who was whinging about losing his job. Well, the public sector body losing a contract/money. Anyhow, the crux of the conversation was him saying 'Ive never had a sick day in my life .... apart from the 6 months I had whn I got divorced. He only worked at the place for 4 years!

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Very common & getting more popular by the day, i once took 4 months LTSL on full pay

(could have been 6 months full pay / 6 months half pay) 

I found the vast majority come back just prior to dropping to half pay at the 6 month point.

You can be sacked for fustration of contract but it is a risky bet for a company, especially if it is medically related & backed up with MED30 GP "sicknotes" 

They tried to hang me out to dry when i returned but i won out, and then the company got shut down 3 months later and i walked away with a tidy packet!!! 

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I wish I had your doctor. I'm back at work after 3 days with 'flu. The doctor said "if you are fit enough to come and see me you are fit enough to go back to work". I explained I was dosed up on high strength paracetamol but it cut little ice; plus the doc doesn't do house calls and I needed a sick note to get paid.

It is 3.10pm and I'm just waiting to go home and back to bed now.

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12 minutes ago, davidg said:

I wish I had your doctor. I'm back at work after 3 days with 'flu. The doctor said "if you are fit enough to come and see me you are fit enough to go back to work". I explained I was dosed up on high strength paracetamol but it cut little ice; plus the doc doesn't do house calls and I needed a sick note to get paid.

It is 3.10pm and I'm just waiting to go home and back to bed now.

Aren't you in France? 

I once paid a private French doctor to write me a note saying i could not fly due to a rib injury and got a 2nd weeks Ski'ing on the sick with full pay, he wanted €90 (back then that was about £60) 

Local French GP's will see anyone if you can pay.

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12 minutes ago, workingpoor said:

Aren't you in France? 

 

I am, so it cost me 23 euros up front for my doctor's insights although I should be reimbursed some/all of that.

They are all the same round here, extremely reluctant to sign people off.

I should pretend to have a bad back.

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Would be interesting to see the figures on long term sick leave.

I've not had direct experience as I have been disabled (neurological disease) for most of my life and my first employer just sacked me (as it was before modern laws).

However, it does seem common in my experience (of belonging to a group for people with neurological diseases) for employers to keep people on the long term leave even if there is little chance of returning to work or try to force them out illegally.

 

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I had my 6 full and 6 half after the stroke and by then it was apparent that I would never be well enough to return to my job, so I was retired on ill health. At least that gave me some time to rehabilitate. It was a very anxious time what with half pay and dealing with the shock of what had happened. Not recommended. I'd much rather have had no sick leave, continued my career and had a much bigger pension at the end of it. 

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Long Term Sickness is ubiquitous in the NHS.  I think much of it is attributable to poor performance management:  the poor-quality employee doesn't like having to work so goes off sick, the poor-quality manager doesn't question this because it means they don't have to appraise, re-train, discipline and/or dismiss the poor-quality employee.

The problem is exacerbated by Occupational Health doctors and nurses are often being low performers in their own professions.  

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Just to put a different spin on it, isn't 'long term sick' prevalent in those industries where there is a large training requirement and a single, huge employer?

So, NHS, teaching, local gov, etc -- these individuals feel trapped, have dreadful problems with performance management, and there are plenty of locally known instances of people in such circumstances taking long term sick due to stress (or maybe a strange psychosomatic type illness).

I guess for these people the idea of working outside of their chosen profession just doesn't appear to be an option, hence staying and getting stressed.

Normal people just get a new job.

[Clearly I'm not talking about real life-changing illness, such as Bossybabe -- it is difficult to know what the real instances of this are, though.  In my life at the civil service (about 5 years) I knew 4 people who went on long term sick.  3 were because of stress -- each one was laughing about it, that it was just a strategy to get early retirement.  OTOH, I knew one instance of a real debilitating disease, a guy who went blind.  He hung on for years, trying to use whatever tech he could to stay at work.  I spoke to him on the day he left, said something nice to him (he was a nice guy -- I liked working with him) and he cried in front of me at having to leave work.]

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Touch wood never been a sicky person so very grateful for that.....the problem with long-term sick people is those that are left have to pool together to do their own job as well as the sick persons job, cause nobody knows they will be long-term until they end up being long-term so not replaced.... therefore they should share the absent persons wages between those left to do their job. ;)

 

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7 minutes ago, dgul said:

Just to put a different spin on it, isn't 'long term sick' prevalent in those industries where there is a large training requirement and a single, huge employer?

I'm not sure.  Amongst my friends who work for 'big four' accountants and banks (who are highly homogenous in their employment practices) there doesn't seem to be much long-term sickness.  If the employee wants out they walk and if the employer wants them out they are performance-managed out, whatever the reported state of their health.

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2 hours ago, Bossybabe said:

I had my 6 full and 6 half after the stroke and by then it was apparent that I would never be well enough to return to my job, so I was retired on ill health. At least that gave me some time to rehabilitate. It was a very anxious time what with half pay and dealing with the shock of what had happened. Not recommended. I'd much rather have had no sick leave, continued my career and had a much bigger pension at the end of it. 

That's similar to my own experience of it. A colleague was too sick to work (I think it was a stroke meaning he couldn't drive or walk very well) and we kept his job open and he had the 6 months full / 6 months half. It became obvious there was no likely prospect of his returning in the near future so we had to let him go as we needed to appoint somebody into that job.

When he came in to say goodbye his wife had the most awful attitude like we'd stitched him up when in fact there had been a genuine desire to see him back and we'd done all that we realistically could; and he had had nine months' pay for sitting at home.

As I said he was genuine and he would have happily kept working if he could have done so.

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Yep, getting benefits "for life", it even continues after I get the state pension to a certain extent.

I too had a stroke which left me undamaged.

Actually I went Hunstanton in the early summer. The place was full of stroke survivors and carers all wearing `stroke survivor` T shirts. I felt like saying `pull your selves together !!` 

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25 minutes ago, council dweller said:

Yep, getting benefits "for life", it even continues after I get the state pension to a certain extent.

I think most people don't know the difference between Employment Support Allowance (being 'on the sick') and Disability Living Allowance/Attendance Allowance, now becoming Personal Independence Payments, the payment of which have nothing to do with whether the claimant is well enough for work or not.

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1 hour ago, council dweller said:

Yep, getting benefits "for life", it even continues after I get the state pension to a certain extent.

I too had a stroke which left me undamaged.

Actually I went Hunstanton in the early summer. The place was full of stroke survivors and carers all wearing `stroke survivor` T shirts. I felt like saying `pull your selves together !!` 

Kirk Douglas I see was a stroke survivor, and he looked decidedly damaged on his 80th birthday with a dropped mouth and slurring. Still made 100.

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1 hour ago, dgul said:

Just to put a different spin on it, isn't 'long term sick' prevalent in those industries where there is a large training requirement and a single, huge employer?

So, NHS, teaching, local gov, etc -- these individuals feel trapped, have dreadful problems with performance management, and there are plenty of locally known instances of people in such circumstances taking long term sick due to stress (or maybe a strange psychosomatic type illness).

I guess for these people the idea of working outside of their chosen profession just doesn't appear to be an option, hence staying and getting stressed.

Normal people just get a new job.

[Clearly I'm not talking about real life-changing illness, such as Bossybabe -- it is difficult to know what the real instances of this are, though.  In my life at the civil service (about 5 years) I knew 4 people who went on long term sick.  3 were because of stress -- each one was laughing about it, that it was just a strategy to get early retirement.  OTOH, I knew one instance of a real debilitating disease, a guy who went blind.  He hung on for years, trying to use whatever tech he could to stay at work.  I spoke to him on the day he left, said something nice to him (he was a nice guy -- I liked working with him) and he cried in front of me at having to leave work.]

TBH most employment law is informed by how the public sector behaves then foisted on the private sector, as well. to pretend it's all normal.

The public sector, like the NHS and schools tends to be very hierarchical so you get a power mad headteacher or NHS manager who ignores the employment laws and it ends at a tribunal. Which is inevitable, as being public sector, they'll all almost certainly be unionised.

One of the worst employers for paying women less than men was local councils which are also one of the worst places for workplace bullying.

It's certainly the case, as you say, few could achieve the same salaries on merit elsewhere.

 

 

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56 minutes ago, Will! said:

I think most people don't know the difference between Employment Support Allowance (being 'on the sick') and Disability Living Allowance/Attendance Allowance, now becoming Personal Independence Payments, the payment of which have nothing to do with whether the claimant is well enough for work or not.

I`m on IIDB (industrial injuries disablement benefit)

Something different.

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There has been a drive to reduce short term sickness in the NHS with performance management. Three episodes in a year and you're sacked. 

Result...long term sickness has gone up.

It's pathetic. 

 

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32 minutes ago, crashmonitor said:

Kirk Douglas I see was a stroke survivor, and he looked decidedly damaged on his 80th birthday with a dropped mouth and slurring. Still made 100.

Yep. Many people take 5 years to recover even if quite elderly. The brain is truly a wonderful thing.

I was one of those (5%) who got away scot free.

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2 hours ago, winkie said:

Touch wood never been a sicky person so very grateful for that.....the problem with long-term sick people is those that are left have to pool together to do their own job as well as the sick persons job, cause nobody knows they will be long-term until they end up being long-term so not replaced.... therefore they should share the absent persons wages between those left to do their job. ;)

 

I once had 3 consecutive days off in 1999 due to gastric food poisoning having done 2 back to back 20 hour days on a merger. Someone went to get Pizza, and made the whole team ill.

So far those are the only days I have ever had off sick - touch wood.

Since the I have always been really paranoid about food hygiene. 

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3 hours ago, Will! said:

Long Term Sickness is ubiquitous in the NHS.  I think much of it is attributable to poor performance management:  the poor-quality employee doesn't like having to work so goes off sick, the poor-quality manager doesn't question this because it means they don't have to appraise, re-train, discipline and/or dismiss the poor-quality employee.

The problem is exacerbated by Occupational Health doctors and nurses are often being low performers in their own professions.  

Jm not sure. I just seems to be an option that people take.

My friend is unsure whether the person i the Nursery is ill, or just having a strop. My friend is a Nurse. But the knock on has been 3 people she knows of taking ltsl. Theres probably more. 

It just seems like a default reaction to taking a break for a bit.

Another friend works in another Northern hospitsl.The problem is not so much ltsl, its people taking loads of short term sick. Average sick dats is 20 days/year. Add in paid leave of 25 days, a shift system letting people wprk 3 12 h dats a week and you get people disappearing for months at a time.

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I always took sick leave (paid) in the past up to the wire ie. nothing the employer could do about it. The reason was I f***ing hated the jobs I've had to do over the years. I ended up being signed off sick for months while pregnant and then getting a fat redundancy payment which suited me at the time.

Still hate the jobs I have to do but no pay if I don't go so I go. Fortunately not every day now.

Some people will always try and get away from the world of work. Work is not great for everyone despite effort and trying to get something you actually enjoy or find meaning in doing it!

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I had to have an op on my foot a while back. Obviously couldn't get into work as it was on public transport and the surgeon said not to try it as it might get kicked or stamped on.  

Explained to boss but said I was happy to work from home via computer   Boss replied, no you will have to be signed off sick.  Oh, but I'll send you work to do.  Er no, I'm either signed off or working from home.  Your choice. 

He thought I was being unreasonable    :lol:  had a very nice two months off. 

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22 minutes ago, One-percent said:

I had to have an op on my foot a while back. Obviously couldn't get into work as it was on public transport and the surgeon said not to try it as it might get kicked or stamped on.  

Explained to boss but said I was happy to work from home via computer   Boss replied, no you will have to be signed off sick.  Oh, but I'll send you work to do.  Er no, I'm either signed off or working from home.  Your choice. 

He thought I was being unreasonable    :lol:  had a very nice two months off. 

A lot of especially older managers are just going to have to adjust their attitudes. I don't like working from home but I do see others who are moaned at for no reason when they try to do it. Managers just can't let go, they can't accept that you will do your job anyway even if they are not there to glare at you all the time.

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