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Staff Issues!


kristina
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Hi Everyone

 

We had a new member of staff join us in January, very nice lady quite new to the area. We were aware there were a few issues with a recent split from partner etc but seemed up beat and has fitted in really well. Until this week!!

Didn't come in Monday (unwell over weekend) came in yesterday quite tearful but got on with the job, didn't turn up today and txt another member of staff (not me!!) to say wouldn't be in as having an off day and has just been seen shopping down the supermarket!!

I know I need to handle this delicately but at the moment feeling quite cross about it all :o

There are 3 weeks left on her probationary period, thing is when she is on form she is brilliant!!

Any advice?

 

Kris

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Hi okay, so she got seen down at the supermarket but she may well need provisions, but my query would be who should she contact if off from her job, and if thats you why didn't she.

We have a clear procedure for all staff including myself regarding sickness absence or for other personal reasons, and who they must notify.

Might want to evaluate her probation period at the end and extend it if you deem necessary giving your reasons for this. This will allow you more time to see her committment to this role, whilst showing your compassionate side, honesty costs nothing.

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As someone who has been on both sides of the fence I can honestly see both points of view.

 

As a manager I understand where you are coming from, but as bridger said she may well have needed provisions, and you need to know you can rely on your staff.

 

As someone who has suffered a breakdown of the marriage I completely sympathise with your colleague. I had days when I thought I was coping then I had days were I struggled to get out of bed, then I had days were I couldn't have cared less that the marriage had broken down. You really don't know from one days end to the next how you are going to be. Maybe the enormity of what has happened has just hit her?

 

As I said I thought I was coping really well until my boss told me to go home for 2 weeks; that really was the best advice I had; I needed it but didnt know I needed it!!

 

Your colleague needs understanding and support, yes remind her that she has a job of work to do and ask does she need some time off to come to terms with it all (she could see a doctor for a sick/fit note). Extending her probation would be a good thing given the circumstances. Give her chance to showcase herself in a better frame of mind.

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The fact she was at the supermarket wasn't really the issue, not ringing me was the main bug bear and the fact that she didn't contact anyone until 8.20 (starts at 8.30)!

I realise the need to be tactful as I dont want to be the one to push her over the edge!

At the same time I need my staff to be reliable and able to carry out their job, apparently the doctor has perscribed sleeping pills for her (not sure how I feel about that!).

The advice about extending the probationary period seems to be a good solution, so thank you!

 

Kris

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You could always bring in a new level of management here and say anyone returning from sick leave - no matter how long- has a back to work interview. That way you get to discuss what has happened, how you need to be informed, and by what time and if any medication is on going how that is likely to impact on her abilities to do the job. Could offer her some unpaid compassionate to sort herself out.

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Agree with Panders , I would do a return to work interview, check out the pills situation , and offer the unpaid compassionate leave, if she is so good you don't really want to let her go.You do have to be a bit careful about supporting staff who may potentially have mental health issues, and this may be one of those cases. As for the not contacting issue - we have a very firm sickness/absence policy where my staff know if they, or thier representative ,if they are so unwell as to not be able to use the phone, haven't contacted me at least hour before thier shift they can't expect to get paid for the shift. They have all got the message now and all comply. :o

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I would also agree that back to work interviews should become standard practice.

 

I would not bring up her medication unless she does. You don't know what they are, or how they may or not impact on her ability to work. Obviously she has told you this, so has been quite open about it, but I don't think she has to tell you unless it is likely to adversely affect her work or she is asking for adjustments to be made.

 

You will need to be seen to support her at this time, because if you do decide to let her go after her probation you will need to have the evidence about her work in case she claims discrimination on grounds of health.

 

On this occasion, from what you have said, it looks like a temporary thing due to the events in her life (my GP calls this reactive stress), and with support will probably settle out in time. Work my be the thing that keeps her going.

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