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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46224
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I returned to work on Thursday 2nd June after being off work

Resolved Question:

I returned to work on Thursday 2nd June after being off work covered by a sick note till 1st June. I got a very frosty greeting by most members of the team...making me feel very uncomfortable and to be honest quite upset. I went into work on Friday 3rd June to be greeted in the car park with the person I job share with who simply said I want a meeting with you at 11am...to which I agreed...we had a meeting and she just verbally attacked me for being off sick...I'd had surgery on a pilonidal abcess which happened to be the same weekend I should have been on a hen weekend in Benidorm so obviously I didn't go as I was in hospital...the following weekend I had planned to go away with a group of very close friends to Chester...I was unsure whether to go as I was off work sick and didn't know whether I would be well enough to go...my friends and family thought it would be good for me to go...so I did...my friends were very helpful and made sure I was comfortable at all times...however one person posted me on Facebook in Chester...so my colleague said if you were well enough to go to Chester why weren't you well enough to come to work...she was angry because she was covering my days...I did say I could see it from her point of view...however I probably rested more going away with my friends than I would off at home with my children...this discussion went on for just under an hour...i became very emotional and upset I did cry...I now feel I can't go back to work on Tuesday as I feel so distressed by the whole situation...could you advise me where I stand please...thank you in advance
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

How long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Feburary 2016
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I don't want to pay anymore Ben as I'm only part time and only got paid half my salary due to my surgery. I hope this is okay.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Thank you, don't worry about extra payment that is only if you want a phone call. Leave it with me for now please, I am not on much today as it is the weekend but I am travelling later and will get a chance to get my response to you, hope this is ok?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
That's no problem Ben...thank you...would it be possible to get back to me before Monday.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

oh of course, it will be today, just later on, thanks

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Brilliant...thank you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Many thanks for your patience. If you are genuinely off sick then that does not mean you have to be home-bound and not be able to do anything outside of your house or go away anywhere. Depending on the reasons for absence, you are entirely free to do as you please. Of course, there are times when your employer or colleagues may get suspicious or upset based on what you did whilst you were off sick. Regardless, the main thing everyone has to remember is that being off sick means you are unfit to work, not unfit to do anything else. If you were off with back pain but then went on a skiing holiday then I would understand if there were unhappy people in the workplace. However, there are many types of absence which would not affect you going away and in fact may be beneficial to your recovery.

So you have not done anything unlawful and the reaction is also somewhat understandable if someone believes you have taken advantage of the situation, even if you genuinely had no intentions of doing so.

In terms of taking this further, if you believe that you cannot return then you obviously do not have to, but as you have less than 2 years’ service you cannot take that any further. This is because you need 2 years’ service to make a claim for constructive dismissal, which occurs when you are forced to resign. Instead you can try and resolve this with the person involved, wither informally with them or by involving the employer, such as by raising a formal grievance. I would say that this is probably not as bad as it looks though and was as a result of emotions running high so it is up to you to decide if it means things are sufficiently bad for you to leave. You may also find that letting things cool down for a period of time or involving the employer as a mediator may resolve things without the need for you to leave.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your response Ben...I do feel that I can not continue to job share with someone now our relationship has been compromised...the thought of going to work makes me feel physically sick...I'm thinking of going back to the doctor tomorrow and getting signed off so I don't have to work my notice...is this lawful?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

yes you may certainly do that, it is not uncommon. So if you felt that you could no longer continue there you are able to consider getting signed off for the duration of the notice period. It is juts that you cannot take the matter any further after that as you do not meet the minimum criteria for a claim. Hope this clarifies?

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46224
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
It does Ben...thanks again for you time.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

You are welcome all the best

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