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  1. Hi Everyone, Apologies for jumping straight on here with a problem I am after some advice/guidance/help. Back Story (quick) I am an employee of COMPANY as a delivery driver (yes I do make sure someone is in before leaving a card). In January 2013 I fell and hurt my back whilst at home. I was in a lot of pain both in my back and sciatic pain in my leg. After several weeks off work I was referred to a specialist who arranged an MRI. The MRI took place in May 2013 and it was found that I had two disc bulges in my lower back, most probably caused by the nature of my work. I was then referred to the local Pain Clinic, who I eventually saw in August 2013 and I was booked in for caudal injections (pain relief), which I had in October. My Issue(s) In September, after seeing my GP, I was given a Fit for Work note stating that I could return on light sedentary duties as long as I didn't drive a commercial vehicle, lift heavy items and was able to move about when necessary. After so long off I was really hopeful of returning to work. However several problems arose: 1) COMPANY is part of SISTER COMPANY who use Atos Healthcare to judge employee's fitness to work. Due to this, my manager stated he would arrange an assessment with Atos to establish a return to work plan and would also attempt to find suitable work within the local area. 2) I chased this manager several times as no assessment was arranged and no suitable roles had been found (bear in mind a SISTER COMPANY sorting centre is nearby too). This manager then moved to another depot and I continued to chase other managers. Eventually I was contacted by Atos in November, 6 weeks after requesting to return to work. 3) The 'assessment' was a phone based assessment, hardly the best way to judge my capabilities, but I was later informed by a manager that the report from this assessment was not thorough enough to allow me back to work and another assessment would need to take place. 4) The follow up assessment was carried out in December, a further 4 weeks later, and within a few minutes the therapist doing the assessment stated the phone assessment was a waste of time and I would need a physical assessment. She then told me I would hear from someone within 10 days to arrange this. 5) Despite chasing, I heard nothing until the middle of January and finally had my assessment on the 20th January 2014 ... a full year from my injury occurring. I was informed by the Therapist that I could return to work with light duties, exactly as my GP stated in September and she suggested I would benefit from being put on a functional physiotherapy program. 6) Today I heard from the Physio company asking if they could get in touch to arrange a meeting yet I had heard nothing from Atos in the form of a report and nothing from my managers. 7) As of October my pay stopped though in my mind I should've been back to work by this point. What I would like to know is if there are any grounds for me to take action against my employer due to their and Atos' poor and slow handling of my situation? How can a GP who physically assessed me and who had been dealing with me for months be overruled by a company who had never met me? The past year has been horrendous but especially the past few months and I would really appreciated it if someone could either help me with advice or just let me know if I am wasting my time. Sorry of this seems a rather long message but I wanted to make sure the details were there straight away. Many thanks in advance for anyone who gives their time to help me. Kind regards Dave
  2. posting this up to resolve an argument between the wife and myself...... you're off work for a few days, then, say back for a week, then back off for a day WITH THE SAME ILLNESS, then back for a week, then off again with the same illness. Does this be classed as one period of absence or three? She says her workplace regard it as three absences, I thought there was something somewhere where it should be regarded as one absence??? It does relate to a warning a colleague received in work today, the colleague has been off with stress.
  3. my GP signed me off work for a month due to work related stress, after i sent it to my employer the nxt day i have been receiving emails from him on my personal email, also text messages. at the end of all messages he orders me to confirm receipt of the message. it has been a week that i am off sick and this is information that he has provided me: 1. not being paid in full - sickness payment 86 pound/week 2. he's going to call me every monday and thursday to check my well being (previous call he was asking me to think about if my stress is because of personal life instead of work) 3. without his agreement he doesn't allow me to go to the office: he has locked all my company accounts including email and IT facilities and also the pass accessing the company building 4. he's going to conduct an interview at the end of my sickness period, and carry out a new role for me i feel like being treated like a dog, he's messages have very threatening tone. I feel he is not supporting my recovery at all but harassment. Or this should be a normal procedure for all one month sick leaves?
  4. Hi, I am looking for some advice regarding a meeting I have been asked to attend by my "so called" employer. The meeting is for a Medical Capability Hearing. Some background. In December 2011, I was rushed from work to the local A&E with a suspected heart attack. As a result, I was advised to take things easy for a while and I was signed off work for a period of 3 months. During the time off my health continued to take a downward trend, and doctors were baffled by my symptoms. It took a few months but I was eventually diagnosed with Bladder Cancer. As you can imagine, this was earth shattering, but my employer seemed very supportive during this time. I should point out that I was employed by a call centre, and they only paid me sick pay for 28 weeks. After that I had to apply for Employment and Support Allowance. However, work still insisted on sick notes being sent to them. They then started a period of calling me into work for updates on my condition, usually every 6 weeks. The cancer was being treated until doctors decided they needed to operate. This was done in December 2012, and I now have an Urostomy Bag attached. Unfortunately this major change has also taken its toll on me, and I have been having problems accepting my new way of life. I am in no way ready to return to work and my wife is now my full time carer, as I need help showering, getting ready for bed etc. My work now want me to attend the medical capability hearing, and my question is why should I attend this. I have not been on their payroll in over 18 months and I know all they will do is terminate any chance of returning there to work. They keep saying that they have to monitor me even though I am not being paid by them. Can you be medically retired by this process and if so, what are the consequences to me regarding benefits etc. Anyway, sorry for the long post, but any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  5. Just need a little bit of advice really, i have a disciplinary meeting soon for 'high sickness absence' My employer has a strange sickness policy, it is a rolling year sickness that has no set start date?!?! So they pick and choose presumably what date my sickness started for that year. I always thought it was january to december then i thought they changed it to april to april and now it seems its a random rolling year. So firstly, has anyone heard or had experience with this type of sickness? I have been employed for 5 years with this employer and probably taking 10 days sick per year roughly. (8 days allowed). Up until this year ie..2013 in total i have been off about 27 days and at any 1 time 2 weeks. Now, on 2 or 3 occasions i have doctors notes which 2 are physical injuries preventing me from coming to work and the other is work related stress with 4 days in between with other common sickness. So i have been unlucky this year. 1 of my colleagues was off with stress for 6 months but they did not give him any formal disciplinary. Also another colleague was off for around 1 or 2 months without any disciplinary. But i have 27 days and i have a disciplinary. So my question really is, can they take into account the days i have doctors notes? i have NOT had any written warning about it. Only a meeting with one of the managers who said i had taken 9 days in the last 2 months. He did not mention high levels of absence or anything before the last 2 months. The formal meeting i have, they are taking into account from dec12 to nov13 which is 27 days. I am very confused and stressed to the point i cannot even work anymore.
  6. Hi - i hope you can help. I had a long period of sickness absence which spanned across 2 financial years (jan - june). our financial year runs from april - april. I had taken very little A/L in the last financial year - so had a considerable amount to carry frward. Our sickness abscence policy states that 25 days A/L can be carried forward (NHS) - but my manager has deducted the A/L i had taken from this figure- rather the 33 days I am entitled to due to length of service . is this right? the way i look at it i am loosing 8 days A/l - though realise I may be interpreting this wrong? i would appreciate advice - thanks:|
  7. Hi I have been on sick leave from work for 6 months. Initially I had a sort of stress induced breakdown which was a dreadful time- I then had an exploratory operation and have since been diagnosed with 2 problems - one which can possibly be fixed with another operation and the other is a long term chronic disorder which makes me tired and more likely to injure myself doing the job I do which is physically demanding at times. Occupatioanl health have advised I am not fit for work at present while I try out some medication. I am having meeting with my linemanager and HR rep next week. The thing is I am not sure I can ever go back after the episode of depression I had - There is some one at work who I really not get on with and though she is good at her job in many ways and is probably also under a great deal of stress her behaviour is very unpleasant- it is mainly one of blanking me if she sees me, being unsupportive / unhelpful if I ask for guidance / advice about issues that affect my work yet she is in position where she should provide such support. I don't know how much I should mention this next week as I have not made any formal complaints about this person though my line manager knows informally.If anyone has any advice about my circumstances I would be grateful . My emplyer is large health organisation and I have been working for them for 7 years.
  8. Our company has had a long-standing arrangement that staff can work from home, for at least two days a month. After this it is generally at the manager's discretion, but it is very rarely declined on the basis that a home-based employee that is working is better than an employee that is not. I suffer from rapid cycling bipolar disorder, and have on several occasions had to take extra work-from-home days due to anxiety issues preventing me from leaving the house. Our systems are all online, and I can usually be almost as productive. As such, my previous line manager (who now manages the department) always recommended I work from home rather than drag myself in and make things worse, potentially leading to actual time off. The new line manager has now brought in rules for home working; the main one being that 24 hours must be given in all cases. If not, the day must be taken as holiday or sick leave. He has informed me separately that I do not need to give this notice, as I don't usually get this much myself! However, he has also notified me that my performance has to match the rest of the department to 'justify' allowing me to work from home instead of enforced sick or holiday. I appreciate that they are probably allowed to force you not to work, but I just don't understand the logic behind it - surely the company is better off with me working, albeit not in the office, than not working at all?
  9. I will try to be brief! I had a car accident 5 years ago and have been left with residual issues both physical and emotional. I have been in my current job for 4 years - my manager knew all about my accident issues - inc PTSD when I was hired. For 2 years everything at work was ok and I was offered a promotion in March 2011 - which I took. Since then - things have slowly gone down hill. The additional work responsibilities, hours and increased driving have culminated in my ill health. . . . . Last spring I was off work with stress, anxiety and depression for 7 weeks. Phased return to work followed and then from September I was back into the normal swing of things working 50 hours plus a week which was making me very unwell. I went to my GP and was put on reduced hours - 4 days a week since mid November. However I have not had a reduction in my duties, in fact there has been an increase in my tasks and responsibilities so I am no better off than I was. Work asked me to go to an OHA last week and the report said I should work no more than 28 hours a week - I was a bit shell shocked in the meeting and didn't deport myself very well. I should have said a reduction to 3 days a week as I am not coping with 4 days but I wasn't really in control of the meeting and was overwhelmed. Result is the report is quite soft and urges a "reduction in responsibilities and workload to make 28 hours a week achievable;" . . . Long and short of it is my work have asked me to suggest what reasonable adjustments they can make. I didn't think it was supposed to be that way around, but none the less! So I have made some suggestions hoping that they deem them unreasonable because really I want to leave the job. I have come to terms with the fact that my on-going issues mean it is not good for me to be in a position of responsibility it causes me too much stress and anxiety. However - I am trapped because my solicitor says that I can't resign and that I have to be medically retired or go on long term sick. I want to move on now and don't feel ethically right in dragging things out with work so I want to try and force a compromise. It is not necessarily for financial restitution - although I have been really neglectfully dealt with considering I am very much covered by the Equality Act - but more because I need for my court case to consider future loss of earnings not to have resigned. Before my accident I would definitely have had no problems dealing with the responsibility and workload but now I just can't cope anymore. . . . Can anyone advise me as to how I go about this? I have been honest with my manager and my HR director that I am really struggling with my current situation and do not think this role is right for me anymore but no one is listening to me. I think to be heard and the situation to be taken seriously I will have to raise it but seeing as I can't just resign how do I get myself out of this situation? I just want to be rid of this job because it is really making me ill - I work within child protection for a charity and the responsibility of my job is just too much - I feel on the verge of a breakdown everyday because I just can't cope with making decisions and being in charge of something so potentially serious. Thank you!
  10. Hi, A while ago I attended my GP because I was ill. They did numerous blood tests and said I was fine. I kept getting worse and going back, which only seemed to convince the GP that there was nothing wrong with me and that I was some kind of malingerer. I am self employed and was too ill to work so I asked, several times, to be signed off sick and he refused. A little less than a year passed from my first attendance and it was discovered that someone had overlooked a blood test I'd had when I first went that proved I was indeed ill. I then went to another GP and explained the problems I'd had and she agreed that I must have been unfit for work during the time the blood test had been overlooked and signed me a backdated sick note for that period. Obviously during that time, because I'd had no option, I'd still been registered as self employed even though I'd hardly been able to earn anything. Now I am being told that the sick note isn't really worth anything. That I can't claim backdated benefits even though I should have been entitled to them at the time due to my GPs oversight and in reality I was very sick indeed. Can anyone shed any light on where I could get the correct advice or help - solicitors are no good, they are only interested in 'causation' not negligence.
  11. I am currently off work on SSP been 4 months now. My employer has asked me to give them a decision by the end of this month on wether i will resign due to illness or wether they will dismiss me due to illness. they said I am better to resign as it looks better on my work record. I am not sure what the best option is I have or even if i would be able to claim benefits till I am 100% back to health to be able to work again. Any advice would be appreciated
  12. I looking for a bit of advice. My husband has been unwell for the last 18 months and last year had spinal surgery to correct the problem. Since he had the surgery he has suffered blackouts. He went back to work in June but is still suffering. Work has paid for him to have a medical and while the report says he has problems, the company should try and make allowances while the cause is found out. The report also says his problems are covered by the Disability Act. What I'm wanting to know is can they sack him. He has a stage 3 meeting next week to discuss his level of absence and the letter does say that as part of company policy he could be dismissed. We are both worried as if he is dismissed we are not entitled to ESA contribution based and I earn just over the limit for income based. Any help would be appreciated. Joanne
  13. Hiya all. The company I work for has a sickness policy which means that if you are off for 3 short periods (2 days or less) or 2 long periods (3 days or more) within 6 months then you receive a verbal warning. This is the only information provided in the employee handbook and on the employee website for HR queries. Okay, my problem is that I was off for 3 weeks (signed off by the G.P.) in August and again for 2 days on the 7th and 8th of January. Obviously these two periods are within 6 months of each other but one is a short period of absence (2 days) and the other a long period (3 days +). I was told by my manager today that I would have to attend a meeting with her a week Friday where I would be given a verbal warning for my absences as there were these two periods in 6 months and the first one was a long one. Is this right? No documentation that I have ever seen states what happens if there is 1 short and 1 long absence in 6 months so are they allowed to do this? Thanks for any help (hope it all made sense)
  14. Hi I was wondering if anyone had come across this situation before. Can I claim Sickness Benefit without it affecting my Reduced Earnings Allowance, payable through my Industrial Injuries Benefit ? I've tried looking all over the web for info but come up blank. I know I could claim this new EAS benefit but can't find anything about it affecting Sickness Benefit. For that past few years I've been told I can't claim either being self-employed,but now my condition has increased to the stage I may now have to give up Self Employment all together.
  15. I am posting for some advice. I have been off sick since 9th August 2012 and I have requested to my employer whether they agree or not for me to work from home for 2.5 days a week instead of working full-time. I am worked for my employer now for just over 10 years. My sickness is due to depression but I also suffer from crohns disease and diabetes which are covered by the Equallity Act. The question I am asking is that my employers have requested an informal meeting to discuss ending my employment through a compromise agreement and I was just wondering what kind of payment I can request. Is there any recommendations or is it just a matter of what they offer me. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Regards Sandra
  16. just seen this? Good or bad ?? http://uk.lifestyle.yahoo.com/sickness-benefit-crackdown-25m-trial-040852302.html
  17. I know they base my payments on the year befores salary, but I have been off a year in total with PTSD, am hoping to return in December. I am appealing an ESA decision, and I also receive the lowest rate of DLA. Would I be entitled to tax credits to help me, as I have only had SSP and OSP, which isn't very much, and I will only receive a big tax credit next year, when I won't need it so much. Any advice?
  18. I am a support worker working with nhs for 7 years. I have had numerous sickness with depression, for which i have had for 30 years, and a back problem. I returned back in march on a staged return and at mt sick review was put on stage 2. I have had no sickness with these 2 debilities since then. I did have some sickness with irritable leg syndrome. I was put on strong medication to help this, but it only caused my insomnia. I had about 4 or 5 days sickness with this. This problem is now resolved through myself researching it and finding out it was a magnesium deficiency. So no sickness with this problem since end of june. My other sickness which is about 3 days is due to my menopause symptoms. Periods stopping, then starting heavily. My sickness since march has improved a great deal, but my manager is totally disregarding this. She is taking my sickness for the whole 7 years into account. She also said we should have been at stage 3 over a year. But because she kept sending letters to my ex's house i never got them until too late. I corrected her on the address numerous times and still she failed to get them to me correctly. It turned out to be a mistake by a new office worker and they did in fact have the correct address all along. I am appealing against the decision on the grounds that my sickness has improved, a great deal over the last year, and also this is my first time at stage three. Other members of staff have been at stage 3 numerous times and never terminated. This is the very first time in my department that this has happened. Any advice anyone can give me on winning my appeal with be greatly appreciated.Thanks x
  19. Hi there, I have been called forward to a final stage sickness meeting and im terrified that i am going to be fired, i have been sent a document from the HR department outling all the days that i have been off, many of them relate to migranes, something that i have been bugged with for years. Both The OH doc and my neurologist have said that these are disabilites and are covered by the DDA, however going through the list, i have noticed lots of inaccuracies especially regarding the number of days i have been off. There have also been recent events where people have reported that i havent been at work when i actually have but have been told to go home. could this be called medical suspension? Luckily i have people that saw me. Many of the times that i have been off sick i have not had return to work interviews with managers does this mean that they havent followed the process properly? Also at the last meeting i had to raise with the management that they had infact got my score wrong and that they were not taking my disability into account. The OH doctor informed management that it is a matter for them to decide how much absence to tolerate as a "reasonable adjustment" so far they havent!. They also have documented that i have been removed from shifts between 11pm and 6am then why is it that i was forced to be on call up until midnight? is this a breech of the adjustment? He also recommended that i returned to ward based duties which i was told was out of the question! Recently i have had two collapses which at the time i did not know the cause of, but having spoken to my neurologist and GP who provided a fit to work note stating that she was concerned about my duties to work in the community due to risk of collapse, they have been found to be linked to my migranes. My neurologist has written to confirm this and has changed my medication, and due to see my GP again this week. Again i have been forced to go home by HR telling my manger this and stating that i was not to return until i had seen the OH doctor. I have had trouble with my absences in the past but i am actively trying my hardest to reduce this, i have even gone to the lengths of having surgery in my annual leave as to not increase my sickness anymore. What can i do at the meeting and where do i stand legally? would i be able to proceed with a tribunal if the worst happened?
  20. Hello all.. This is my first post on here and i'm after some advice please I have been off work sick for a few days, and every day that I've been off, i have phoned my manager to keep keep her informed/updated with whats going on, yet she still called my mobile? Today i got a doctor appointment and was given a sick note to cover the few days, and when i got back from the doctor she had called my house phone to speak to me, And then she questioned what went on at the doctors and asked what they had said, I told her i have been given a sick note and i will post it first thing.. (sorry for going on and on..) my main question here.. Even after i have contacted her every single day that i have been off and kept her informed, Is she still allowed to call me?? I'm almost sure this isn't allowed but really wanted to double check Thank you in advance
  21. I had to go to a meeting with a manager due to me exceeding the permitted level of sickness. I have already been given a written warning for this and now I have been told my case has been referred to a decision maker (senior manager) to see if my sickness level can be supported. I have passed the mandatory period of 6 montghs without any sickness, but my employer has what it calls a ''backsliding period'' of 12 months. During this time if I exceed the permitted period of sickness, the next stage comes into play. Which is what has happened to me. I have suffered with depression for the last 7 years and have had several periods of sickleave from work, the most being 6 months. I recently returned to work after 9 weeks off again. I had been told by my line manager that if I didn't return, my case would be referred to a panel, to see if my absence can be supported. This is something I would not be allowed to take part in. The outcome of this would be either demotion or dismissal. Following continuous pressure from my line manager I felt compelled to return to work, even though I wasn't ready to return and against my GP's opinion as well. I have been taking part in regular stress risk assessment meetings to try and help me stay in work, which have worked to a point. I have to be honest and say I find it very difficult to do my job and be in the building. I have told management I put on a mask for the sake of getting through the day, but I am finding it increasingly difficult to go in each day. I have told management I am looking for another job. I have a letter from GP to help me fight my corner but feel work won't take much notice of it. When I explained things to my GP he offered to sign me off again, but I had to refuse it because it would have resulted in me being dismissed. What I want to ask is can I be dismissed due to my level of sickness, even though I have returned to work? If so, what rights do I have? I am finding this whole situation very stressful and it is not helping my depression at all.
  22. Hi, I have been asked by a colleague to be their witness/note taker at Disciplinary meeting and am looking for a little advice to pass on as to how to approach the meeting. The background is as follows; My colleague has already the investigative meeting and was suspended because their actions potentially are gross mis-conduct and they had admitted to it. Upon suspension, they went to their GP and have been diagnosed as suffering with depression for at least the last 4 years. They have submitted sick notes and have been on sick leave for the last 6 weeks. They have been to counselling sessions and prescribed anti-depressents and the current sick note expires on 30th June. On 1st june my colleague sent in their written resignation with the required 30 days notice to end their employment on 30th June. The company have "refuse to accept this", and have invited them in to a disciplinary meeting next week. My questions are as follows; As my colleague is currently receiving treatment for depression and has a current sick note, are they obliged to attend? If they don't attend, can they be dismissed without attending the disciplinary? Can an employer refuse to accept an employees resignation? During the meeting can we ask for an adjournment as my colleague is not up to the stress of such a situation? If the date to reconviene is after my colleagues apparent leave date i.e. 30th June. What is the obligation af the employer and my colleague? Thanks in advance for any advice.
  23. I was called today by my manager and told not to return to work pending a meeting with occupational health that he has just requested. Nothing received in writing. I have been in the role for 8 months. During my employment, there has been a series of health incidents and I have had way more time off and medical appointments than ever before in a role (or my life!). Essentially: 1) 1/2 day hospital appointment 2) two days off for a diagnostic operation under general anaesthetic 3) two weeks after this - diagnosed with DVT, one day off, week or so of daily hospital appointments that involved my getting in late, but time made up, and some working from home during this period. Treatment for DVT is now complete - confirmed at the weekend. 4) Last week - five days off - migraine. I have had no previous history of this aside from one migraine about 17 years ago. Saw my GP twice during the week, and he has referred me for a brain scan, I think as a precaution because of DVT and susceptibility to head injuries on Warfarin. Provided a fit note from GP, although didn't strictly need one until Monday, Migraine resolved itself Friday/Saturday. 5) Sunday - Admitted to hospital for heavy bleeding, related to the warfarin, which has now been stopped, discharged Monday (yesterday), felt OK to go in for a half day Tuesday & full time from Wednesday. My contract is v. brief, and handbook of policies about 4 sides of A4. Suspension not covered, sick pay entitlement 1 month in first year. My initial reaction is to request confirmation that i have been suspended in writing does anyone have any other advice?
  24. Let me give you some background, I hit a trigger point when I was off for an extended amount of time due to stress, I returned to be told I was due a capability hearing - 7 month down the line this capability has still not been carried out and I have been off sick twice since then. What I'm concerned about is that could they use the 2 recent illnesses against me if the capability does go ahead? And how long is a reasonable time to delay a hearing? This is causing me more stress now having to think about it!
  25. I work for one of the big 4 accountancy firms and resigned to join a competitor on 15 June this year. I am on a 13 week notice period and it was mutually agreed that I could leave on 9 September. Last Wednesday I was suspended on full pay following an allegation that I had downloaded a large volume of confidential data (client and firm data) and the firm is now conducting an investigation which will involve, amongst other things, the Forensic IT team coming to my house on Wednesday to scan my home PC for the files that I am believed to have taken, email accounts to verify that I have not sent them to a third party and then to delete the files to their satisfaction. I have told them that the reason for the download was to back up files as a precaution when I believed that my work laptop was about to fail. This happened a) before I resigned and b) before I even had an offer from my new employer. I am confident that none of this has been sent anywhere and I am really not bothered about the data at all - they are welcome to that. What concerns me most is that this may be followed by a disciplinary hearing and dismissal for gross misconduct. What I am hoping for is to be able to delay any disciplinary hearing beyond 9 September as I know that they can't sack me after I've left. I want to use any legitimate means possible to achieve this. I am helped by having w/c 15/8 and w/c 22/8 booked as holiday and can't be contacted during that time. Realistically they will not complete the investigation this week so that leaves w/c 29/8 and w/c 5/9 (9 working days) for them to get me to a disciplinary hearing. I have thought of the following: Sickness - I am able under the firm's policy to self certify myself sick for 1 week. I understand that they should re-arrange once if I am off sick. Companion - If my chosen companion for the hearing is unavailable they have to rearrange if they are available within 5 working days. I suspect that she is on holiday during w/c 5/9. Extended holiday - is there anything to stop me extending my holiday or shifting it to eat into more of the time at the end of the notice period? This would be easy to do as it not something that has been booked. Any other suggestions? Given that I am going to a competitor I'm not convinced that they will be willing to believe my reason for taking the backup in the first place. Thanks.
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