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Truth and Lies


Stargrower
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One of my staff was off sick all of last week.

She called on Monday morning to say she had a tummy bug so I said she would need to stay off the following day and to let me know how she was. She text on Tuesday to say she had been to the doctor and got antibiotics (for a tummy bug??) hadn't been sick since that morning so could she come back the next day. She also said she had tried to call that morning but there was no answer. When I did 1471, there had been no calls since 5pm the day before. I said again that she would need to stay off on Wednesday but hoped we would see her on Thursday.

On Thursday morning her mother rang me to say she was very ill again and she thought she should see a doctor. When I asked her mother "She hasn't seen a doctor then?" her reply was "No, but I think she needs to see someone". The staff member text later saying the doctor had been out to see her and had given her more antibiotics and that she was feeling much better. I replied saying I was glad she was feeling better and that she would need a doctor's note when she came back next week.

She had a day's holiday booked on Monday as she had been planning to go to a music festival over the weekend. There are photos on Facebook of her camping on Sunday and Monday.

This morning she came back to work, looking rough to be honest. She said she had been to the doctor's yesterday (Monday) but they had told her that they couldn't give her a doctor's note and that I had to complete self-certification with her. I asked her when she had started feeling better and she said yesterday. When I said "You were away at the weekend though" she said she had just gone for a little while yesterday when she was feeling better.

I feel so frustrated by the whole thing. What would you do? :angry:

Edited by Stargrower
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Do you get staff to sign a self certification form when they come back to work? She won't be entitled to any ssp without a doctors note so I think it's just one of those very unfortunate but annoying things! We had a member of staff that had random days off but Facebook said otherwise - Facebook caught her out in the end about something else so she left but it was so frustrating knowing she was having days off as she pleased!!

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I thought self vcerts were for 7 days, i count this as 8. Am I missing something?

In reality, i don't think you can do much just now. Is he a regular sickness taker (i think you know what I mean...) Do you keep a log of all staff sickness? Can you calculate average absences and see if she is above the norm? If so, then I think you could start to take action, but you do need to be very sure of your facts and over a decent timescale. If in doubt, give ACAS a call.

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I'd look rough if I'd been to a festival all weekend........................or longer. I think she's taking you for a mug ( a tummy bug wouldn't stop her speaking, would it?....................and no, she wouldn't get antibiotics for a bad tummy.........)...........

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I guess what you can do depends on your policies. We had a clear policy stating how much absence is acceptable and what would happen if there was too much. Also we had policies on the times and dates that you should notify the nursery. If she is in breach with any of that maybe you could then give a verbal warning.

We used to keep a log on sickness. When we felt that it was too much we would speak to the member of staff and inform them that we feel there is too much absence (look up continuity of care) and it is starting to affect the children and other staff.

Then work on an improvement plan and set targets (eg. no more sporadic absence in x time) and then ask her how she will achieve that. I would ensure that even when I am in doubt about the person I will be very sympathetic and ensure that the person knows that the nursery is concerned for her health and whether she can do her job if she is feeling poorly.

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I'd look rough if I'd been to a festival all weekend........................

xDxD:oxDxD

 

Feeling your pain Stargrower - horrible situation for you to be in.......

Really like advice given by missdoofus......

Good luck with it all :1b

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I'd look rough if I'd been to a festival all weekend........................or longer. I think she's taking you for a mug ( a tummy bug wouldn't stop her speaking, would it?....................and no, she wouldn't get antibiotics for a bad tummy.........)...........

Or indeed a home visit from a GP - wow that's going something!

 

I am really rather sympathetic about staff illness and their children's illnesses but don't take the mick or think I'm stoooopid, gullible whatever cos that really makes me cross

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Thanks for all your replies and advice. I should have added she has already had a verbal warning for not coming to work and not calling or contacting me to give a reason, leaving me wondering where she was, what had happened to her and whether she was coming in or not. She did this on two occasions. It's always difficult to manage staff absence but I do always try to be understanding and sympathetic. I'm one of those people who has barely had a day off sick in 30 odd years and I know I am extremely lucky to be healthy, but it makes it harder for me to understand the days off for colds and headaches. Of course nobody can help being poorly and if you have a tummy bug, then you have to take time off. It's the lies that really make me mad. I feel it's disrespectful to me and my team and just downright unnecessary.

I know the doctor's practice won't tell me if she had an appointment, a home visit or was prescribed antibiotics, but is there any way of finding out if any of this happened without her having a doctor's note?

I posted last week about this person being on a maternity contract and that I didn't want to keep her on permanently. I think she just put another nail in the coffin, so to speak!

Edited by Stargrower
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If you don't already do them introduce return to work interviews - your recording of the interview should also be asking about any medication she may be on, whether she should be taking it during working hours and whether the medication she is taking has any impact on her ability to undertake her duties. You don't say how long ago she had the first verbal warning but if she didn't tell you using agreed sickness policy procedures about her absence then can you escalate the warnings? Would also suggest that come the end of her maternity cover contract (whether your member of staff comes back or not) you definitely don't take her.

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Thank you Sue, we don't currently do return to work interviews but it sounds like its something I should put in place.

Does anyone have a proforma they could share? Do you use them every time someone has time off sick?

Thanks everyone!

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We use the model from the PSLA publication Recruiting and Managing Employees - as you have to purchase this I think there would by copyright issues if I put it on here. I would strongly recommend purchasing this resource however as it is a mine of useful information and templates for anyone employing staff.

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