Colds and work places: Just a little... - British Lung Foun...

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Colds and work places

Wanttobehapppy profile image

Just a little moan I hate it when work colleagues come into work full off cold there’s one here now full off it not covid she’s had the test, now for me a cold will always go to my chest almost certainly a chest infection follows have in the past been ill for weeks just by catching a common cold, I know my own body. for her it will be the sniffles I just get fed up with it.

So mask on for me but that’s not full protection in my experience.

Maybe it’s just me not having the best off times off late just been diagnosed with having bipolar type 2 and been diagnosed with a altered spinal curve as well waiting for a referral for that, the heat is doing a number on my chest as well have copd and asthma.

19 Replies

Why are people catching colds if they have been following rules. I haven't had one for 18 months now. I have heard of a few people who have said they have colds having negative lateral flow tests who go on to have positive pcr test. The government have not informed population that common symptoms of covid are cold and hayfever symptoms. I'm with you, anyone with cold symptoms should be staying at home. Especially to keep people like you who have to go to work safe.

I hope you stay safe, keep wearing your mask

I agree with you. We are so vulnerable! However,when I worked I wouldn't have been so aware of how I could affect others.Also,employers frowned on people being off for ,in their eyes, a common cold. The saying of walking a mile in our shoes is so true!

I know exactly what you talking about. When I was still working at a call center and of course that's the best place for infection LOL but I remember in winter time when everyone had catched something, I got always the worst chest infections. Always like if I have hold my finger up and shout "here" I take it"for free. Was always the worst time for me to work that I left later because I was getting to many times now sick.

So I know what is is with people who come in with a bit of a cold, will end up for us different. Best wishes 🌺🌺🌺🌺

Thank you 😊

No it isn’t just you. It is these selfish people who give us their colds and chest viruses without a thought and most likely without a mask. I am sticking to wearing my mask despite the ridiculous premise that it only protects others. Anything between me and other people’s germs has to protect me.I am totally with you.

As others have suggested it can be extremely difficult in some work places to be off work due to a cold. Management and HR can make life difficult for those. Even to the extent of some work places not initially giving sick pay!Am not saying it’s right indeed my last serious chest infection resulting in my ill health for over a year and many months off work sick was as a direct result of this. Am even pretty sure who it originated from!! And yes I was angry about it.

Just making point that in some cases people have no choice as to whether or not to work with a cold.

Yes I agree with the others. In an ideal world employees could take time off with a bad cold instead of risking infecting others. But we don't live in an ideal world and taking time off could result in losing your job. This has certainly been the case for me in some of my jobs.

In my last place I had to go in with severe chest infections where I was on ab's and steroids. I couldn't take time off as we were only allowed 8 days in a year. It was either go in like that or lose my job - I went in.

Patk1 profile image
Patk1 in reply to hypercat54

Your right hypercat and not everyone can afford time off work.i think the country would fail to work if everyone with a simple cold stayed at home!we are the ones with issues - it's up to us to protect ourselves

Not in any way meaning to be critical or offensive to anyone making comments on this post, but the unfair practices pointed out by Bevvy are a lot more common in the workplace than perhaps imagined. This is also something that has been happening for many years now. It was designed to deter people 'from swinging the lead' and had a purpose but which has terribly backfired for people with legitimate illnesses.

I have indeed been witness to and attended tribunals with workers who have been given unfair warnings, dying to speak up for them but of course not allowed to. I have even seen the members of staff carrying out these procedures, squirming because they know what they are having to do is not only unfair but in some cases cruel! This has now progressed to the schools when parents keep their children home because of illness (unless it's called an authorised absence because the school determines it!) and they are threatened with being penalised. Then if the children have to stay home then a parent also has to obviously and the list grows longer for these warnings. We've all said I'm sure, what is the point of allowing illness to be spread in the workplace and schools but in the grand scheme of things this will continue as long as these unfair work practices continue. Most people don't have the luxury of choice when it comes down to going to work with a cold or risk losing their job which may well be the only source of income.

MoyB profile image
MoyB in reply to Annie31

You make a fair point. xx Moy

Reading though the reply’s and I realise how lucky I am to be in a understanding work place we do get sick pay and a very understanding director, it’s only a small company very ‘family oriented’ place.It’s why I’ve been there 17 years I couldn’t cope with working any where else, they have been very understanding with my health conditions and other peoples conditions think that’s why I was a bit miffed when she came in I know they would be ok with it and we don’t work Fridays so one day off wouldn’t off been a issue.

Again I’m very lucky to be working in such a brilliant company.

I'm glad you are working for such a nice company and as you imply, employ good working practices with good old-fashioned values and loyalties on both sides. Sadly these have been lost over the years and I do understand the need for control when it came down to people taking 'sickies' for nothing but it should be dealt with on an individual basis surely. If the job is done properly by HR, it is easy to spot the pattern of behaviour and there usually is one. The other instance where this is totally wrong is when a Drs note is presented and thrown out. How can this be allowed to happen? Companies that do this are putting themselves above the expert opinion of a medical professional and get away with it! It's crazy and I get so mad about this kind of thing! Have a good day!

The other scary thing is staff not being paid for having to isolate when 'pinged'. So having to reluctantly work.

Annie31 profile image
Annie31 in reply to Karenanne61

Quite! Also nothing to do with the pandemic but I don't think people realise quite how many companies these days do not have sick pay schemes for certain members of staff and I'm not talking about temps either. There are permanent jobs with no offer of sick pay too, in fact too many of them!

Karenanne61 profile image
Karenanne61 in reply to Annie31

My daughter had to have time off for a hip replacement, then had covid. Only had sick pay for a few weeks. I remember struggling into work with chest infections as I didn't want to burden my colleagues with extra work. It's a very difficult call to make.

Annie31 profile image
Annie31 in reply to Karenanne61

Indeed it is! ......and as we've said, too many people haven't even got that freedom of choice, it's so wrong on so many levels! Hope your daughter is well now.

Ironically when I was a teacher long ago one's colleagues did not like it very much if someone took time off for a cold. They had to give up their precious free periods to babysit the absentee's classes. If you were ill you came back to a huge mountain of marking.😂😂😖

Basically on the ward I would send any member of staff who came on the ward with symptoms of cold etc down to occupational health. Simply saying if they say you can work come back. Very few did. What can seem to be initially a cold can turn quickly into something far more serious as symptoms can often be the same for various conditions in the early stages.

I used to share a very small office with two colleagues. We had a very small opening window and the inspectors had designated the space as being big enough for two - not three! However, our managers decreed that as we were often out of the building, there were rarely three of us there at the same time, so they would ignore what the inspectors advised.

One of those colleagues was a die hard 'I will come to work if my head's hanging off' person who would roll up sniffing and snorting and playing the martyr!

End result would be that I would be off with a chest infection, use up my sick leave and get called in for 'the talk' because I'd had three absences within a given time frame. (These three absences might be completely unrelated and include such things as investigative procedures at the hospital, but three was the number and so I got 'the talk' followed by 'the warning'!)

I could not get anyone to understand how selfish the person with the cold was to come in and spread it around the building and to the clinically vulnerable families she went calling on saying, 'It's ok, it's only a cold! I'm alright. Take no notice of the coughing and sneezing!'

Bloody selfish, thoughtless, inconsiderate and downright rude, in my opinion!

I'm sorry you're having to put up with this too. You really do have my sympathy!

Hope you don't catch it!

xx Moy

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