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Sick watch?

Hello xoxo I have just been given a letter from work saying that I have been put on sick watch because I have had 4 periods of sickness last year and that if I have any periods of sickness this year they will have to take action? I like many do not have an official diagnosis of lupus rather undifferentiated mixed connective tissue disease and I have coeliac. I am really annoyed because I was made to take time off work by my manager even though I felt well enough but he said that some people I work with felt I had been short tempered with them, I was extremely upset as feel I did nothing wrong I even asked the people I work closely with and they had no complaints about me. Anyway I don't know where I stand with my rights and since we have converted to an academy things have gone from bad to worse so I want to make sure I know what they can and can't do? I would ask my union rep but as he was one of the people who complained I don't feel able to, any help or advice would be great thanks in advance x

10 Replies

Hi leannehowis,

It's not all that unusual for union members to prefer not to use their local rep. Your union should have a website, with contact details for advice at regional or national level. If you explain the situation to them, they should be able to find a more senior union officer to take your case on.

Good luck.

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Thanks I will look into it x


I totally agree. Get in touch with your union and have someone represent you who isn't directly involved. Also maybe write a statement, just for your own records recalling how your manager asked you to take time off as sick for your alleged behaviour.

I'm no expert on this but I used to be a manger myself and if you need time off sick you either self certify for 7 days and/or get a GP sick note.

If there were issues with your alleged behaviour/attitude, but not your health then it should be dealt with as a performance management problem, not a health related problem. I'm pretty sure your manager has nothing in his job description that can decide if his staff are medically too unwell to work. It's not within his right to send you off sick if you felt well enough to work. Maybe just write down what happened whilst it's in your mind in case you need to refer to it at a later date.

Also, there should be a sickness policy in place and a performance management policy. They should be readily available to you. If you can't access them yourself ask for a copy and have a read through. I always worry less when I have a clear idea of detail. Just a thought.

Keep us posted with this as there are loads of knowledgeable people on this site about this sort of stuff. Sadly I'm not one of them but I do wish you luck!


Last bit of advice: meant to say, do not go into any meetings without a union rep. Don't feel pushed into feeling obligated into doing that to please your managers. You are entitled to a union rep being present so ensure you have one with you at all meetings. I've been where you are and my rep was amazing. Knew so much stuff that I could have never sorted on my own.


Thanks happytulip xoxo will do all of the above advice, feeling less worried already x


Hi leannehowis

So sorry to read of your problems at work. My advice is to get in touch with Citizens Advice as they have employment advisors and they'd help as you can't speak to your union rep. They also have a good website with links to helpful info. Just pop Citizens Advice into Google.

Good luck, hope it's sorted soon for you. Last thing you need on top of being ill. X

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I am sorry to hear that you are unwell and also that your workplace is not proving very supportive which must be really stressful for you.

As others have already suggested you might want to speak to your local Citizen Advice Bureau and also contact your union for more advice and ask to speak to a different rep.

Anyone concerned about work-related issues and how to liaise with employers might find these two leaflets that can be accessed or downloaded on our website useful lupusuk.org.uk/wp-content/u... and lupusuk.org.uk/wp-content/u...

You should also ask to be given a copy of your workplace’s sickness policy and any policy relating to performance issues, if you don’t already have them, so that you are clear on what the procedures and expectations are.

It is always a good idea to keep a written record/diary of what you are being told and what is happening between you and your manager and colleagues, so that you can refer to them when liaising with HR or management.

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Thanks x I gave my manager the employers guide to lupus and he skimmed it while we talked but then just makes flipant comments such as oh is it still that lupus thing? He is the same about coeliac so I don't really take it personally as I have put up with that for years but I am just concerned about my job if they don't take it seriously. I have never had a day off until I developed lots of issues with the progression of this illness and even then I worked when I should have been taking time off and every time I have been off I have continued to attend meetings and deal with issues so off but not all at my managers request. It has become a very cut throat place to work and I don't want special treatment but do want to be treated fairly and with some respect. Sorry for rant x and once again thanks x

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Gosh Leanne you are a trooper. If you don't love this particular workplace maybe you should cast your eyes further afield. Being chronically ill and hassled is not a great combination. I know all workplaces have their problems but when I read this last posting of yours, I felt I had to say something. I feel for you.

Good Luck 🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀and 🤗......




Hello , did you get a diagnosis??


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