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sanepersongonemad

off for stress from work, need some advice please

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i am now off from work from stress as i have got to a point where i can take no more of teh bullyling, belittling and vicimisation. my employer wants me to saty in contact but i do not trust human resouces as from previous experience i have seen they are just with the company. many people and senior staff are aware of the victimisation that i am suffering but all they are able to do is infom me as tehy fear for there own job. my line manager is a bully and i have no trust in him. he is always scheming to try and get rid off me. what can i do? i am at a point of nervous breakdown. that is what tehy want so i leave but i cannot afford to leave. can they request my medical notes without my prior knowledge? iv seen it happen so many times this bullying and victimisation that i do not want them to get away with it! what is teh best thing i can do? i joined a union only on the day i went off on sick for stress. could anyone give me some sound advice?

thankyou

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First of all, beware of HR departments! Despite the impression they often try to give they are employed by the firm to "protect" them from their employees!

 

There are one or two good ones (for example some who give advice on here) but the majority are jumped up, poorly qualified pen pushers who have a chip on their shoulder feeling that they should be a solicitor but couldn't make it.

 

Anyway, to the issue in hand.....

 

The firm cannot obtain your medical records as such. What they can do is ask your permission for your doctor to write a report, which they would have to pay for. You have a legal right to see the report BEFORE it is sent and to discuss any points you are unhappy about with your doctor. If you cannot agree with your doctor about the contents he has to add a note with your comments to the report.

 

The firm could also ask you to see an occupational health physician, again at their expense. He, in turn may ask permission to contact your doctor.

 

You do not have to agree to any of the above but it is normally best to do so.

 

It would be unusual for any of this to happen until you have been off sick for some time.

 

Most GPs take a very dim view of work situations that are genuinely making their patients unwell and can provide a great deal of support. Mine for example smiled and said to me that it could easily take three months for my employers to get a report from him if I would find that helpful!

 

You must put your health first. However I understand this can be a difficult balancing act. It is important not to simply swap one problem for another.

 

From a financial point of view it is normally best not to resign for health reasons. However only you know how you are feeling and what it the best thing for you.


PLEASE NOTE:

 

I limit myself to responding to threads where I feel I have enough knowledge to make a useful contribution. My advice (and indeed any advice on this type of forum) should only be seen as a pointer to something you may wish to investigate further. Never act on any forum advice without confirmation from an accountable source.

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hi

thankyou for your reply which i really apprecaite.

HR are definatly like that and have no clue about anything in my company or even what there procedures are!

do you know if i have to stay in contact with the company while i am now of as that seems to be increasing my stress levels? i dont wan to speak to them, especially as i am fully aware they are not concerned whatsoever about my health, the just do not want me to bring about a case against the company.do i have to speak to them?

i am worried as i only joined teh union the day i went off on sick.

i have quite a good few colleagues who make me aware on a senior level what is going on. other than that, i also now fear the backlash taking this to grievance will bring. i have kept diaried account of everthing. is there anything else i can do to make my case stronger?

this manager has blocked me from promotion for last few years, ignored me , belittled me in front of other colleagues, given preferential treatment to those in teh same racial group to him, which there is proof of.

i dont know if it is just teh manager who is trying to get rid of me or the company as they want to downsiza so they can get away with not paing redundancy.

im glad they have no accesss to my medical redords as i feel its no business of theirs. as the words of one of my senior colleagues - 'they dont own me!".

Any further advice?

thanks so much.

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Hi there. I'm sorry to hear you're going through this. I've been there too.

 

Uncertain is spot on about your medical records. I was sent to an Occupational Health consultant after about 3 months. I was more nervous than when I had the root canal filling, but actually it wasn't too bad. He turned out to be on my side. Work didn't want me to see the report, but he insisted I should.

 

I also found it very hard to trust HR. I think if you find it hard to speak to them, you might ask they restrict communication with you to letters only.

 

Does anyone have thoughts on that please?

 

If you can, have someone with you, for moral support at least, when you see doctors, etc.

 

As background reading, you could go to Bully OnLine: bullying in the workplace, school, family and community, action you can take, stress, psychiatric injury, PTSD, resources, case histories, news and contact the media. It gives you a good insight into how these people think, and a few strategies that could help. You'll also realise, if you haven't already, that you are by no means on your own.

 

My best, keep the questions coming.


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thankyou for your reply. good to see the occ therapist was suppportive. i have only been off for a week, but it is hard to relax knowing whats to come.

im not sure i qualify for representation as i only joined the day i went off. im so angry i didnt listen to my peers and join before.

HR are not neutral and do not maintain confidentiality ever. sorry if that seems like a generalisation but iv seen it and experienecd it many times.

im gunna have a look at your suggested background reading now.

i do feel very alon as i think of my manager, their manager, the companys md and hr all on one side and then me. i know its guna be a hard figh but i know i am right an dif i continue to put up with the behaviour, teh manager will keep finding false reasons to discipline me and get me out that way and that i will not allow. there is increased supervision on me, just waiting fo rme to make amistake form all the pressure, promotions have been stopped, teh company is aware of favouritism amongst the team i work in and it does nothing. they will not be happy till i have a complete breakdown.

i thank you all for your replies and it feels i do have someone neutral there for me. thankyou so much.

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You're welcome, spgm.

 

When I say have someone with you, I didn't necessarily mean the union, although that's still worth a try. Have you contacted them to see where you stand?

 

In my case, my OH came to all the meetings I had, whether it was work or doctors/consultants.

 

Have they told you, or does your contract say, what the arrangements are for paying you while you're off sick?

 

My best.


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I would agree with Honeybee and make it clear to your work that, due to your health, you will only communicate with them in writing (inc. email if you wish) while you are off sick. This has the big advantage that you can consider your response and take advice rather than having to answer in the stress of the moment. I would run this past your doctor but I'm sure he will support this approach.

 

I was very unhappy with the idea of seeing my employer's OH physician. My GP persuaded me I should, pointing out that as a doctor the OHP's first duty was to the patient and not to who was paying his bill. I made it a condition of agreeing that I got to see and comment on his report before it was sent.

 

Obviously with any medical report you cannot tell the doctor what to write. It has to be his professional opinion. Equally you cannot veto the report if you don't like it once you have agreed to it being written.

 

I found a major source of stress was wondering if the doctor would issue another certificate. Once my GP became aware of this after a number of visits he started issuing then for quite long periods even though he wanted to see me regularly in-between.


PLEASE NOTE:

 

I limit myself to responding to threads where I feel I have enough knowledge to make a useful contribution. My advice (and indeed any advice on this type of forum) should only be seen as a pointer to something you may wish to investigate further. Never act on any forum advice without confirmation from an accountable source.

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Hi Sane, I am in the same situation, so I have bookmarked this thread, and perhaps we can work through these problems together ay?

 

Same as you. serious bullying by line manager, took me from November 2006 to realise this for what it was, 23-4-09 came the final straw and I've been off work with stress ever since.

 

Got the Union involved, am still employed, but having to survive on benefits. This is my first time in 31 years - and you know what? I'm not finding it too bad. Immediately the expenses associated with working full time are gone, clothes, petrol, time etc.

 

I have to be careful what I post on here just in case anyone picks up on it. But I will tell you this, don;t resign, whatever you do, whatever they say or threaten, do not resign. And use that stress to get angry, and the free time to do all those things you never have time for when you work.

 

My case is bad, but there is a lady on here, Wally, good god its beyond belief what happened to her, hopefully she'll see this thread and join in too.

 

Think positive, if you have been wronged, then if you are prepared to be patient and determined, a lot of good can come out of it eventually!

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Thankyou for your replies. i will be calling the union in a while. i beleive i do get paid so thats a relief.

it would be so much better to communicate by email/letter as i feel under pressure when speaking to hr and dont always say 'the right things' in the sense that i waffle and reveal things i dont want them to know as of yet relating to some of the things teh manager has done. this menas the manager gets a heads up. somehow i dont think the company will agree to thsi however as they have said they need to keep in contact with the employee.

honeybee - did you have a successful outcome?

uncertain - my gp has said to switch off co. laptop and phone and get complete rest. i have expressed that in an email.

i think there banking on me leaving but as weak as i feel i will fight them all the way. i feel i owe it to myself an dother colleagues to do this.

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hi jackieandwayne. thankyou for posting. i dont want to resign, i actually enjoy my job and those i work with, apart from my manger . the company dont want to pay the wages, so they pay peanuts and get monkeys to manage us. i feel like tahts what they want and thats what they are trying to force me to do by putin gme under constant pressure till i cant take it anymore.

i can be patient, and feel like its time for payback for how much they have wronged me! how it is affecting my hair, (its falling out), my weight, my sleep, my family life, my mood, my whole self.

 

what happenin with you now? whats the company like with you?

best wishes.

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Hi there. I have sent you a quick PM about my current position. Some of it's fairly confidential.

 

Somewhere else to look for information is the ACAS website. They also have a helpline if you want to ring it.

 

It sounds as if your GP is on your side, which is a good start.

 

Guys, what can spgm do about the company continuing to harass him or her during sick leave please?

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Are you a lady or a guy? Only asking beforeI make a joke about loss of hair! But seriously, I do understand that one, its one of the first things I was affected with - it was called serbacious dermatitus (completely wrong spelling!) started with what felt like itchy scalp, then dandruff, then smelt, then sores on head followed by clumps of hair coming out! 100% stress

 

No, I can't help it I have to say it! Touch wood it don't come back! I bloody wish i had gone bald, I could have sued them for that as well!

 

Like you I love my work, but I've been so badly affected by constant bullying, that I don;t know if i can ever go back to it again - I've been left very badly affected by sudden noises, or people shouting, raised voices etc.

 

In a few weeks time, you will get over the initial shock of this, its a bit like a bereavement in a way if you can understand that, you go through those processes. You need to wait for the anger to kick in and then put the brakes on!

 

My employer is bumbling around and on 23-4-09 I complained, for the second time, about bullying. It made me genuinely ill. I could noo longer work with the woman for my own sanity. Employer then decides to tell me she has been sacked (without hearing a grievance) I thought I was going back, turned out to be a lie by the HR manager, who suddenly left. Then my complaint was filed away and forgotten about until 1-10-09 when the new HR manager was appointed and suddenly twigged - oops! Now they are doing everything they can not to sack me as I've got them if they do. Neither will I resign. They offered me no counselling, OH or anything else until October, the matter is still unresolved as I write and I now have to go and see a private OH at their expense, and believe me, he'd better have a packed lunch with him, he's going be there for a while!

 

I do really feel as if I've done my time now (31 yrs) with people and social problems, although I will always remain interested in it. Shame really though, as I had another 18 years in my chosen profession and I just don;t feel, after this bullying, that I can ever go back to it again. Doc said last week I might be suffering from PTSD. Well, oh dear, none of it my fault is it?;)

 

I will say to you though, you are probably going to have to go back into the workplace with these people at some stage, if your grievance is not upheld, or perhaps even if it is. I know you will find this very hard, but you must do it, if you wish to show that you have done all that you can to stop the bullying, and your employer needs to show it has assisted you. You have to go through this yet, I've done that bit.

 

Just stay strong, forget about it for now, until something arrives in the post, when it does, deep breath, deal with it with venom and common sense, then go back to relaxing.

 

Keep posting up.

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Hi Sane

 

Honeybee PM'd me about this thread. I am truely sorry to hear about what you are going through, and hopefully all of us here can help you get a stop put to this.

 

I wont advise about whats already been said as the advice you've been given so far by honeybee and the others has been execellent, so i would only be repeating what has already been said.

 

One thing i will ask though - Have you actually put a greivance in about the way you have been treated? This would make them investigate and if as you said the higher mangement know about it, it will give them the foundations they need to discipline the supervisor for gross misconduct with the need for themselves to issue statements. One thing i dont understand though is why they are so scared of losing their jobs if they were to give statements about this supervisor? what hold does he have over the higher management if any?


Please note that this advice is given informally, without liability and without prejudice. Always seek the advice of an insured qualified professional. All my legal and nonlegal knowledge comes from either here (CAG),my own personal research and experience and/or as the result of necessity as an Employer and Businessman.

 

By using my advice in any form, you agreed to waive all rights to hold myself or any persons representing myself of any liability.

 

If you PM me, make sure to include a link to your thread as I don't give out advice in private. All PMs that are sent in missuse (including but not limited to phinishing, spam) of the PM application and/or PMs that are threatening or abusive will be reported to the Site Team and if necessary to the police and/or relevant Authority.

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As has been said before on other threads, if an employee suffers bullying or harassment by colleagues or management because of starting a grievance procedure, then this is victimisation.


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi

Thanks everyone for posting, has made me feel so much better. some of you have even made me laugh. i will be putting letter of grievance in the next few days and feel better to know that i am doing something about it.

no doubt my manager will fake being nice to me for a short while if i am made to work with them again, which i hear i probably will as the co. will try to build relationships first and foremost. this is not good for me but atleast i can show i have tried with the manager.

in terms of my hair loss, i am female and alot of it has been falling out which further causes me stress. hence the vicious cycle.

at what point does anyone think a emloyment lawyer would come in handy?

i need to write a grievance letter but want it to be very clear, attention gripping and effective. im going to check if my union can help me with it.....

i have been suggested by acas to add in that i feel this manager has been trying to get rid of me, whic apparently even if it is true, the co. will deny profusly but it will give me some rpotection for the next few months at least cus then if anything does happen, i will take it to tribunal for unfair constructive dismissal....

what a headache all this is.

the senior colleagues will not stand up for me because teh way the compnay is, its head office versus us. no matter if we are right, teh compnay would repremand and head office memebers if they 'went against' their own 'pack' and stuck up for one of us. see it happen before. they are not patted on teh back for doign whats right, but are given a hard time for siding with us workers.

thanks to everyones post, really helps me. thankyou xxx

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