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Off sick long term due to depression


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Hi,

 

I wonder if anyone can give me some advice on my situation. I have worked in my organisation for 4 years now. I am a well respected and valued member of staff (or least I thought I was!). For the first two years everything was fine, but for the last two years things have gone wrong. I developed Severe Depression and had to have time off (35 days in total) betwen December 2007 - March 2008. My organisation was fine with that and when I came back I did not have to go to occupational health, I was not asked to speak to any members of staff or anything. Unfortuanately I suffered deaths of two members of my family who raised me in the latter part of 2008. I was still working through this grave time. I tried my best to remain professional and upbeat as anyone who suffers or have suffered from Depression would know it is not an easy thing to do. During this time one of my team members who had supported me in the first instance began treating me differently. If first started with a meeting being conducted in regards to work with myself and my senior Administrator at the time and 2 other team members. In this meeting instead of discussing work they started talking about my Depression. The team member afor mentioned stated that everybody was sick and tired of me coming in looking tired all the time! I understand that everyone is entiltled to their views but for it to come out this way I feel is unproffessional. From that point 2 of my team members began to talk about me in negative ways, I would walk in on them having bitchy conversations about me and I was being left out of vital things that were to do with work going on in my department. Through the whole thing because I was severly depressed I did not tell any member of staff about what my other team members were doing to me ( I look back in hind site and regret that). This carried on for 7 months until I could no longer take it and went of work sick even worse than before with Depression. I have been off work since the end of January this year to present. Once I got myself together a bit, I began considering that maybe I should leave because I could not see the situation getting any better. So I applied for a job and was suprised to find that they gave me a conditional offer subject to satisfactory refrences. Before doing this I informed my workplace that I would be looking for a job and finally told them what had happened. They seemed very sympathetic to me and expressed that they would be sad to see me go. Once however the refrences went through to the new employer they stated that they were withdrawing my offer due to my lengthy time off and unsatisfactory refrences, even though their occupational health cleared me. This put me in a dilemma because I am desperate to work. I called up my employer to ask if things could be sorted out and that if I could come back to work, she told me that they had been managing fine without me and that I am unreliable to them. If I were to come back there would be serious reprecussions in regards to my attendance off work. I was going to also ask her if she could put me in a different department and she shut me down by saying that she hoped I was not trying to move departments because where I am working now is where I am staying and she has no intention of moving me to help my situation.

 

My dilemma is now that I am still off sick with no work to go to and knowing that my current workplace does not want me back either. My doctor is prepared to sign me back on as I have been cleared to work. I feel now that I have no choice but to hand in my resignation as the whole situation is now open and I feel I would face some kind of reprimand for raising a complaint. It seems already that my boss has cast a view on my situation. I fully understand and am aware that I have had lengthy time off, but I have always been a good employer in the first to years of me commencing work where I hardly had any time off and did not even take holidays. Still while I was going through my bad times I was the only member of non-teaching staff to come in to work on Saturday's and I would be the first one in at 6.30 in the mornings even though I did not start until 8.45. Does that not account for anything? As I said at the start, I had never had any run ins or disaplinery's or warnings of any sort. Is my employer right to be treating me this way?

Edited by Trixibell
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Sorry for all the problems you are having, but I think you have answered your own question. Reliability, the number one thing any employer wants from an employee, and also from workmates who can only cover for so long before they start getting angry that they are doing someone elses job as well as their own.

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I am not a member of any Union at all. I tried to call Unison several times in the begining and each time they said they would send me a membership pack and they never did.

 

As I said before, I totally understand that I have had lengthly time off but it has not been without very good reason. It would have been worse if the situation carried on and I kept taking time off all the time. I had to take it off so that I could sort it out once and for all.

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Thank you for the link to the website, I will look into it straight away. As I have said, I have followed up with Unison and called them up to 13 times since this all started. Everytime I had to give a brief encounter of what happened. They took my name and address each time and never got back to me in regards to the matter. They said that they would send me membership packs and never did. I also asked colleagues at work for advice on the situation and they did not want to get involved in the matter and did not give me any advice at all.

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