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Returning To Work Really Worried Please Help

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Hi there

 

Im really glad I have found somewhere to seek some advice

 

My partner has been employed full time on a 40 hour contract with a private coffee shop since November 2011

 

October 18th 2012

 

Unfortunately she fell from a horse in October last year fracturing her pelvis.

She was signed off from work for a initial period of 6 weeks from October 18th 2012.

Her employer was made aware of the accident on the day of the incident and later informed that she had been signed off for a minimum of 6 weeks

 

She was kept in hospital for a week and advised that she would recieve a letter from the hospital within 6 weeks for an appointment to be re scanned and hopefully signed back to work.

 

As the weeks past my partner recieved a few emails from her employer asking for updates on her condition and mentioning things like "You need to keep us informed of your progress as we have not heard from you and you arent keeping us up to date" etc etc etc

Even though they were well aware that no progress could be reported until the 6 week scan had taken place...During the course of this incident she attended the doctors twice and reported back to her with the outcome and that her progress was going really well etc

 

Just after the 6 week period elapsed leading up to christmas she had still not recieved any letter from the NHS with her appointment date? I kept telling her that she should have got in contact with them sooner as she hadnt recieved the appointment letter,Let alone the actual date of her re scan.

She then contacted the hospital who gave her an appointment for around 4 weeks later! Which happened to be christmas eve.

 

5 weeks after the accident She feels completely fine,Has no pain,Is walking the dog for miles a day and in generally fine health.

She sends her employer a email stating that she is feeling great and is looking forward to returning to work.

 

Her employer replies in a rather negative tone stating that

 

"We have taken on temporary staff in your absence as we did not know when you would be returning to work and we have to think about them...We cannot have you back until you are signed back to work from the hospital" etc

 

Although this is more than likely true that her employer would not be able to take her back to work without the re scan being done and her being signed back to work due to insurance purposes,The emails she recieved were all written in a negative tone which made it sound like they didnt really want her back (Just that feeling you get)

 

December 17th App.

 

She emailed her employer again stating that she is feeling fine and will be returning to work after recieving her fit for note work on christmas eve and will drop it into work on her way back home.

 

Her employer replied by saying

 

"Do not drop the note in on christmas eve as we will be too busy.We will also need to arrange a welfare meeting before you return to work to so we can discuss how we proceed and what you can and cannot do with regards to work and duties,The meeting will be on January 9th please bring the fit for note work with you then"

 

 

 

December 24th

 

Me and my partner fell out and she stupidly sent an email to her employer stating that she is resigning and moving back to Scotland.

Within a few hours she retracted her resignation by sending a text message to her employers personal mobile with no reply to either her resignation or her text message.

 

 

Christmas Eve

 

We attended the appointment at the hospital,She walked in and spent 10 minutes being examined by the consultant,No need for a scan and was told that she is fit to resume work with no restrictions.

When we returned home my partner found a email from her boss which reads along the lines of

 

"We are sorry to hear of your resignation,The standard procedure is to work your notice but we will over look this on this occasion,We also feel let down as we have been paying you sick pay during your time off from work"

 

(Even though the goverment actually pay for statutory sick pay and claim it back from the goverment,It also confirmed my fears that they were never really interested in her returning to work by saying that she didnt need to work and notice and to basically go)

 

 

I did some research online and found some advice which stated that if you withdraw your resignation before your employer formally accepts your letter of resignation then you can legally withdraw your request to leave and the employer must honor this.

 

My partner walked down to her place of work and entered the premises to speak with her boss regarding the situation.

When she walked in the door the shop was empty and her employer saw her and ducked down hiding behind the counter,Her husband (Joint owner) walked over and said

 

"She will not be seeing you today,Come back in the new year"

 

 

Apon returning home my partner drafted a text message to her employer and sent it to her stating that she will be seeking advice from ACAS after christmas as she had sent a message to her personal mobile stating her wish to withdraw her resignation and disregard the email that she had.Which she is within her right to do by law,Also the fact that she had attempted to come and speak with her regarding the issue to which her employer declined

 

A few hours past to which my partner recieved an email from her employer stating that she had just noticed the text message on her phone (some 12 hours later) And that she had accepted her request to withdraw her resignation and to come in on January the 9th for the welfare meeting.

 

Her employer does not seem the best at knowing what is required by law and doesnt really seem to know what she is doing with regard to rules and regulations contracts etc and apparently does alot of research online as to what the rules of being an employer are.

I imagine she spent those hours researching online only to find out that we were in fact correct and back peddled to accepting her withdrawl.

 

Since then her boss has been very rude to her on a few occasions when she has asked why her sick pay hasnt been paid in,On the last occasion she got the reply

 

"We are in Spain with the family and we are closed hence why you havent been paid,You should know this!"

 

So my partner had to go for 2 weeks without sick pay because her employer didnt pay it in or inform her that there would be a delay.

 

Where we stand now

 

My partner is going to attend the welfare meeting on January 9th although she is very hesistant to do so due to the awful atmosphere caused by all this mess.

The people she worked with who were her so called friends no longer speak to her and I honestly do feel so sorry for her as she has done nothing wrong apart from fall off a horse and try and return to work...I have had to pay for her keep since the accident and we are really struggling financially and its hard to know which way to turn as we need her in employment asap but she is really worried about this meeting and the atmosphere as it may be unbearable

 

Could you give us some advice on how to proceed?

 

*I can provide exact emails from her employer if required

 

Kindest Regards

 

J

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Hello there.

 

I expect the guys will be along over the course of the day with advice for you.

 

*I can provide exact emails from her employer if required

 

I'm not sure this is a good idea, in case the employer spots them. If the guys need chapter and verse, they'll ask you.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Ok honeybee,Many thanks

 

Im awaiting responses :)

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First off all, I do not think you are going to like my response, but as I believe it to be honest and truthful, I am going to give it anyway. Ignore it if you do not like it, it is written with the best of intentions to genuinely help.

 

I think your partner has been a bit of a PITA and a bit less banging on about rights and a bit more humble pie is going to get you further. She's done plenty wrong other than falling off a horse!

 

Didn't make great efforts to secure hospital appointment, didn't keep in touch (a weekly or fortnightly "in less pain, looking ok for coming back!" would have been the approach), flouncey resigning and retraction, communicating resignation by text (very amateur, text messages get lost in transit all the time), turning up unannounced at the shop when she had a date for the next discussion. I'd be looking to let go and get someone more calm and reliable if it were my business. So how about acting like an adult from now on?

 

First off, text messages are no way to conduct business! Email is passable, paper letters are better. Especially when establishing an audit trail!

 

What does her contract say about sick pay?

 

Bottom line, she's messed up the trust in the employer employee relationship. So apologetic on the 9th while job seeking with some degree of urgency elsewhere. As a friend the kindest thing to do is give her a dose of reality. She is in no way blameless and needs to stop being fed the line that she is.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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pS on reflection - no SSP payable after xmas eve as there was no sick note? What is the usual holiday arrangement if the shop is shut, holiday pay?


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Hi Emmzzi

 

I do agree with some of what you have wrote,She was told that she should chase up her appointment by myself and other people close to us on countless occasion but she relied on the fact that the NHS would send her appointment on time and didnt need to do anything about it (Although we did tell her differently)

 

She did infact keep in touch with her employer on a weekly,2 weekly basis via email stating her appointment dates and outcomes when she had been to see the doctor.

 

In regard to her contract she was only recieving statutory sick pay as per her contract,Nothing more than £80 per week.

 

We have both been under alot of stress and pressure during the time she has had off with having issues with our neighbour making problems for us ontop of the accident and financial difficulty.

 

The main point I was trying to get across is the fact that my partner did make the effort to keep in touch with her employer and give regular updates but every email she recieved from her employer was negative or pushing her return date to work further and further back...Mentioning that they needed to think of the temporary staff they had hired in her place and they would be staying until January and implying she wouldnt be able to return to work straight away

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Her sick note was valid until this week,I am unsure of what the arrangement is but she pays them all when she feels like it during the week via internet banking,Sometimes Saturday sometimes Sunday sometimes Monday depending how she feels....It is one thing to say they are shut but why not pay it in before they shut or at least inform her that she wont recieve it as she is in Spain

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how can her sick note be valid until this week, when the appointment on the 24th said she was fine to go back?

 

second unrelated question - every time your partner has a problem is seems to be you sorting it... we can give you all the advice you like but she seems reluctant to take it from what you tell us...? How about your partner posts and tells us her concerns? It is difficult to help second hand.

 

I'm also not quite sure what you are looking for advice on. Pay arrears? Rebuilding trust? Something else?


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Hello again.

 

I have to agree with Emmzzi, I'm afraid, I think apologising is the way to go.

 

Looking at it from the employer's perspective, it sounds like a small business and they've lost someone with no notice during a busy time of year. Until they've seen your partner, they won't know whether they need extra help if she can't carry out her full duties.

 

I can't remember if the employer pays all of the SSP or not, but even though it's not much to you, they're paying for extra staff and the SSP out of the business.

 

Hopefully they can reach some sort of agreement on the 9th.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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She was given a sick note which covered her up until this week by her doctor,Her employer has yet to recieve the fit for work note as she hasnt seen my partner.

 

I do agree with HoneyBee with what she says,It is true that it was all very sudden and it is a small business which by all means isnt doing tremendously well.

 

I think the reason I am here is because my partner loved her job,loved her workmates and respected her employers during her time there...She never had one day off sick until the accident which is nearly a year and was never late for work and really did enjoy the work she did.

 

She understands she has done wrong but she is a talker and not a do-er and this is why I felt the need to post on here as I would like to pass some advice onto her for when she attends this meeting on the 9th

My partner never ever wanted to be in this position,All she has wanted is to return to work at the earliest opportunity....Its very hard without having her employers emails in front of me to quote anything specific but everyone who has read them (close family) has mentioned that it sounds like they dont want you to come back or are trying to get rid of you and I have to agree.

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Im sorry if it is difficult to understand the situation second hand but I am trying my best

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Im sorry if it is difficult to understand the situation second hand but I am trying my best

 

I'm sure we all appreciate that, I hope your partner does. :) Are you going to tell her what the advice is?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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We just want things to return to normal you know?

She regrets handing in her notice then retracting it,She was just very stressed over other issues and felt like throwing in the towel (dont we all sometimes lol)

 

My point regarding SSP was that I dont feel it fair that her employer try to make her feel guilty for claiming what she is entitled too by law

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Obviously that isnt the main issue of this thread however

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When she attends this meeting and given the fact she has accepted her withdrawl of resignation does this mean that her employer would need to take her back or could they just get rid of her?

 

I guess her main concern if returning there is that they might make things difficult for her.

We live in a small town and she doesnt drive so it isnt just a case of hopping into another job as there just arent that many available in the local area.

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She can retract her resignation, but he does not have to accept it.

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Then maybe it is a good sign that her employer is willing to accept her retraction.

God I cannot wait until the 9th has come and gone :roll:

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Hi jay, you are explaining it fine. I am just worried about YOU because you seem to be the one carrying the stress all the time. If yur partner was properly concerned I think they would be the one asking for advice....

 

The employer may now be looking for a legal reason to get rid so it's time for extra sharp timekeeping, friendliness, and no cash errors i.e. model employee!


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Thanks Emz

 

Im fine she just doesnt like forums,She is keen to ask other people for advice or assistance outside of here but in my opinion here is the best place to seek advice.

 

Its probably better that I explain it anyway as she may have missed half the detail :p

 

Anyway I will advise her to just stay calm and when in the meeting explain her reason for her hasty resignation and the stress she has been under with other issues outside of work including her accident...She just has to go back there on the 9th and be open and honest with her employer.

Before all this happened they had a good relationship and she got on with all the other girls and went on nights out together with them etc,I just hope she can get back to that place again

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Hello J2012. I agree with some of the above comments but I also don't believe that the employers are blameless. They cannot delay your partners pay, it is a statutory right to be paid on time and employers cannot delay your wages (even SSP) just because they are on holiday! They claim almost the full amount of SSP back from HMRC anyway so it would not have a financial impact on their business to be paying somebody to cover your partners shifts. The resignation withdrawal has been accepted by them so your partner is employed. The welfare meeting is unusual at this stage that she is signed as fit to work, more appropriately would be a normal return to work to see if any reasonable adjustments need to be made. If your partner was medically signed as fit to work from Christmas eve, they had no right to delay her return and leave her with no pay until after 9th January. Even if they had temporary staff in, a weeks notice was all that was needed to let them go. There could be two approaches here, either go in for the meeting and apologise for events, and request that things get back on track as a good working relationship is the goal. However, even though they have issues with your partner, they have done a few things wrong themselves and your partner could take the approach that she accepts some fault, has looked into her rights and has a valid grievance for some of their actions but that she will leave things as they are in order to create a workable relationship again. If they realise that she is aware of their failings too, it may balance things. Don't let them delay the return any longer.

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Hi there a quick update

 

My partner attended the meeting on the 9th and from what I can gather has been told she is being welcomed back to work.

She was told that due to taking on other staff she would need to look at the rota and fit her in.

 

It is 2 days later now and still no email from her employer of when she is returning,How many hours or what day she is to come back in...

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My partner had told me she is going back next week but today is Friday and still nothing from her employer,She is refusing to contact her employer as she doesnt want to cause her anymore hassle

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you have a problem with your partner then. can't help someone who will not help themself.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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A quick polite phone call isnt going to cause a major problem if its just to ask when they are expecting her next


If I have been of any help, please click on my star and let me know, thank you.

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