Had my 2nd lap Friday 13th (of all days) so booked a week off work to be on the safe side, however it was short notice so I agreed to take it unpaid. all went well, found a small cyst on my right ovary which they removed. By the following Tuesday I was taking small steps to release some of the gas and thought walking 2 minutes up the road wouldn't be so bad. Popped my head into work to tell them that by the following Monday I should be ok to come back just couldn't risk any lifting or quick movement (work in a hotel) so shifting barrels and taking luggage up 3 flights of stairs was out of the question. On Sunday I phoned to find out my work hours to be told by the receptionist I wasn't on the rota, after much confusion I managed to get hold of my supervisor who told me because I didn't have authorisation to take the week off work (who by the way knew I was having the lap) and I'd managed to walk down with no issues on the Tuesday that I had been given a disciplinary and all my hours for that week had been taken away. Outraged!! Apparently pulling up my top to show a very black and bruised scar isn't enough proof, however my colleague having 3 weeks off after having her appendix out is perfectly fine, no questions asked.

Sorry for such a long rant, just highly annoyed that I've had 1 week off sick in the last 2 years even though I've been in constant pain and I get treated like this. So now I'm sat at home for the 2nd week (still unpaid)

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11 Replies

  • Think that you should contact the citizens advice as sounds like they are acting illegally!

  • There behaviour is totally unacceptable, it doesn't matter if your op was short notice or not you are legally entitled to sick pay be it company or statutory sick pay, did you get a sick certificate from the hospital?? I would certainly take advice on this as it sounds really dodgy. I found out on Friday (21st sept) that I would be having surgery on this Thursday (26th sept) requiring a minimum of 6 weeks off and my employers have been fantastic, I would certainly seek some advice and see if your consultant will write you a letter to back you up, good luck x

  • That's just unacceptable, and you shouldn't have had to take anything off as unpaid leave - statutory sick pay kicks in after 3 days, even if there isn't company sick pay available. I agree with batty - contact the CAB. Employers need to realise that they can't treat people in that way!

    Good luck

  • Hi

    Why didn't you just tell them you had to have an operation & get the hospital to give you a sick note. I had one for 2 wks. They can't do anything about it, I previously had had 1 day off in 7 yrs due to a really bad migraine. Yes I still had to be referred due to breaching the 7 days in a rolling year sick limit but apparently this condition is coveted by the DDA and equality law as I've suffered more than 2yrs so. So don't see how anyone can lose out just need to speak to the right people. Never take annual leave or unpaid leave always get them to give u a sick note then your covered.


  • Hi

    As the others have said, your employers approach is unlawful provided you get a sick note from your doctor to cover the full period from the date of the lap to the date you go back to work, it is completely irrelevant that you managed to pop in to tell them that you wouldn't be in this week and you absolutely do not need their authorisation for the week off (provided you get a sick note covering all the days you are off). You are also entitled to statutory sick pay for that time, which kicks in after 3 days, and I think you should demand that regardless of any previous agreement that you would take it unpaid, stating to your employer that you did not know/understand that you were actually entitled to sick pay at the time it was originally discussed. The position changes slightly if you are signed off for longer than 4 weeks but if you have 2 weeks sick and its the only sick leave you have had in the last 12 months then your employer has no legitimate grounds for a disciplinary. I am a solicitor and work issues due to sickness are my pet hate so if you need any help let me know! x

  • i agree with all the others and get a sick note and prove it and also when you are taking time off and get it in writing... which we do at work as well... years ago and i told my supervisor that i am having the op really short notice and they were fine about it... so contact the CAB as above and it is not on and they are wrong to say that hasnt had authorisation so get it sorted before it too late ok x

  • I would get hold of your policies in relation to sickness as each company works to different rulings. I agree you should not have to take unpaid leave due to an operation and maybe you need to supply your employer with some information surrounding the operation and what happens during the recovery period. A sick note is also key as your employer is not a medical professional and if a doctor signs you off regardless of whether the employer feels its right you are following doctors advice. you may benefit from light exercise but are not fit to do your job as its physical. Acas also provide excellent advice over the phone but if you are in a union I would get in touch with them for assistance.

    Another point is that if you are on unpaid leave what does it matter whether you are fit for work if they have not recorded this as sickness, check with them what they are recording it as.

  • What everyone else said, but didn't the hospital write you a sick note straight after the op and give it to you before you were discharged?

    I've always been asked what I do for a living and then had a sick note given to me. Incidentally, after my second lap the sick note was for two weeks and only that short because I was doing a part time office job. When I said work would need me back before then I was told I would have to go and see my GP to get it reduced. As it turned out, there was no way I was ready to go back after a week.

  • That is definitely not correct I would go to your gp and ask for a sick note covering your operation and check with your gp I thought it was 2 weeks recovery for lifting etc after lap especially after treatment done inside. Check your work policies even it says in your contact no sick pay you can claim s.s.p with gp sick note. That doesn't sound like the correct disaplinary procedure has been followed. I would get a sick note from gp and go to citizens advice. There is also legislation on the citizens advice website and on uk government website. From personal experience if you have a diagnosed condition the sickness related to that condition is a separate record that no displinery action can be taken or its discrimination and a separate record general sickness such as infections not related to condition. Good luck don't let yourself be treated like that after 2 years of employment. I expect the girl who had appendix had a sick note. Take care xxx

  • Sorry for the late reply ladies. Contacted acas and have a union rep coming to my disaplinary meeting with me next week. Apparently because I'm on a zero hour contract they can refuse me hours for whatever reason they see fit. I have a doctors note as back up as I was originally planning to take the time off as holiday pay. Unfortunately the company i work for don't hand out sick pay

  • Hi Carrie Just wanted to wish all the best next week. Your doing all the right things, you can't give a disciplinary to a employee for being off sick due to diagnosed condition with a gp sick note. I am sure this would count under the disability discrimination act. Let us know how you get on. Take care Isla xxx

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