I'd be grateful for a little advice on the problem I've had at work recently.
I injured my wrist in a football match in March, but carried on working for six weeks until the injury got worse and I eventually had to go to a doctor. I was signed off completely for two weeks and given a wrist splint to wear. A few days later I was due to appear in a Cup final for my football team, so I asked the doctor and he said I would be ok to play as long as I wore the splint.
My employer has a policy of four weeks full pay when signed off by a doctor - at the employers discretion. I was told by HR I would receive full pay while I was off. I was signed off on the Friday, and played football on the Monday (about 20 mins as a substitute).
The following Thursday I received a letter, along with photos from my facebook page and a match report, stating that I would not be paid sick pay as my actions were deemed 'irresponsible and likely to impinge on my return to work'. The letter said they would only pay SSP or suggested I could get my doctor to change the note to light duties and return on full pay performing light duties.
I wanted to take the two weeks off as the repetitive nature of my work in a warehouse would cause problems to my wrist, but as they refused sick pay, and I can't afford to live on SSP, I suggested a compromise that I take the two weeks as holiday before returning on light duties, to which they agreed.
In the first two days that I was signed off, my manager had viewed my linkedin profile, and I had messages from two friends at work to say they had overheard him discussing my personal circumstances with other members of staff both in the warehouse and office. He had obviously also printed photos from my facebook page and the match report which were posted to me.
During the two weeks I was off I saw a consultant at hospital and was diagnosed with a problem with my tendons and am awaiting an MRI scan to assess whether I will need surgery.
On my return to work I handed in a sick note from the hospital which put me on light duties for six weeks while we wait for the scan appointment. I have been asked to undertake telephonist duties in the office. The same day my manager viewed my linkedin profile again. (I work as a freelance writer in my spare time, so I assume he was trying to find something incriminating against me). I have been typing one-handed as I can't use my left hand.
Neither my manager nor the director who signed off the letter have spoken to me since I returned (four weeks ago), and last week I decided to hand in my notice, as I feel that it will be very difficult to return to work in the warehouse.
I don't really know where I stand here. I can understand the company's issue with me playing football, but I did explain in an email exchange that I took my doctors advice, so I don't think my actions were irresponsible.
A friend who is in HR (different company) said she thought they should have called me in for a meeting to discuss or held an investigation to establish the facts, rather than just sending me a letter removing my sickness benefit.
Just to put this in perspective - a colleague broke his wrist last year and was given a full month's sick pay. He plays lead guitar in a band and freely admitted to 'drinking his way through the pain' to perform at gigs while on sick pay. Our manager also happens to be his brother-in-law and band manager!
So I feel it is a little hypocritical to get hung up on me playing 20 minutes of football, although I would accept two wrongs don't make a right.
Sorry to ramble on so much, but any thoughts would be appreciated, thanks in advance...