Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Staff on long term sick leave


Rea
 Share

Recommended Posts

Our manager has been mostly off work since Feb with a couple of serious different things which have required recovery.

 

The last operation she had has caused a massive problem in that her arm has lost all movement from the shoulder down, just nothing!

 

She feels able to return, being quite well in herself but I'm so far not allowing it because she cant do anything with her arm.

 

She's cant do paperwork and I wouldnt want to leave her in charge of the children with one arm permanently strapped up and I cant think of anything else she could do.

 

Her current sick note runs out after half term but her arm has been immobile since June and physio is so far not having any effect. She's just text to say that apart form a couple of days, she can come back in to playgroup from next week, she said she's going to over rule the doctor! Not the first time she's said this!

 

She says she's bored, missing work and unhappy at home and while I can sympathise I have to think of the children and other staff first, who have said they'd feel so watchful of her they'd be taking their eyes off the children.

 

I'll be speaking to Lawcall in the week but I thought I'd get your views first. :1b

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dont think i would be happy either - she is not fit for the job she is employed to do really and could put children (and staff) at risk - she would not be able to stop a child falling etc and also this puts other staff in a predicament as they may feel uncomfortable/ unwilling to leave her which then puts pressure on all staff.

speak to lawcall and maybe acas might be able to help?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If she is office based has she said she carnt do admin tasks? I carnt see an issue with admin side but child side I would too get advice. I thought once a Drs note has been received by the employer you can not have them in work until it runs out unless it's a keeping in touch visit, otherwise insurance would be void - unless that's changed since my last one was off sick. The employee can choose to not submit a sick note but once you have it you have to apply it - Acas website will tell you about that bit

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you standing in for her Rea? Has this also anything to do with finances - just a thought she could have a gradual return to work, being kept out of ratios, but being a person in the room observing, I know she can't write etc. but she can "record" in her head and relate it afterwards. She can be in the reading area telling stories, you could create activities for her to carry out such as getting children to act out familiar stories etc., anything which doesn't require hands on. Of course, if all that means paying her and paying somebody to do her "normal" job, financially that might be a stretch for your group. Could she do staff training and supervisions and then you could write it up for her later? Maybe she could record her "notes" on a voice recorder for someone to type up later, could she review your policies etc, plan your next fundraiser?

 

It is boring at home when essentially you feel well, but there's not much out of the ordinary to do I can understand that, as long as legally you are covered by her return, and she is not in ratio, I would try to give it a go if I could.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

very interesting! i had a member of staff who was signed off due to a thumb injury (in no way a comparison of course) she decided to return to work before the sick note expired as she needed the money, i remember trying to research whether this was allowed and found it very ambiguous, but think i came to the conclusion that she could but it was basically on her own head, so to say, think i might try and look into it a bit further just in case something happens again in the future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This could now possibly be classed as a disability and I would do risk assessments before her return to show how you and she would deal with it.

 

Could she do some research while off into how she would manage the paperwork etc involved. perhaps find a suitable speech to text programme that she could use, there are many out there, some already installed in some cases , She will need to relearn a lot of things to cope with one hand would want a phased return to work to see what she can manage, and work out if /how the other things are possible.

If she is out of ratio then it may work better, but knowing finances these days it is unlikely that anyone can afford it.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As Inge said this could be classed as a disability. I think you need a documented conversation with her about what she can do, as well as what she can't. There are plenty of things you can do with one working arm eg organise some resources, small groups, making phone calls, observations and learning diaries possibly, talking to children, self avaluation and development planning, Only coming back into the setting will really help you both see what's possible.

A phased return is definitely a good idea and she would need to go back to the dr to request this on her fit note. The note can then indicate hat she can return to fewer duties or for fewer hours. She should not return whilst she still has a note saying she is unfit so you will need to be clear with her on that.

 

There are plenty of speech to text options out there which will record and write up observations.

 

She will need some reasonable adjustments made to help her return to work so is it possible to refer to ocupational health?

 

If her arm problem is unlikely to recover in the near future, you'll be looking at a long term plan so it isn't a case of just turning up back to work, but she'll probably be a lot happier knowing that you are getting the ball rolling to put things in place for her, and doing everything you have to so as to avoid any future (possible) problems.

 

As others have said you would need to check insurance and complete a risk assessment but it's all part of the planning for return.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone.

 

We work out of a church hall. No computer, no internet, no quite office for her to do paperwork via speech software or recording device. And finances have coloured this a bit. We only have 6 children in the morning at the moment and with 4 staff, her being off has given the bank balance a little rest to be honest. Its also another reason we dont need her back, theres not really enough work for the staff as it is!

 

Anyway, I spoke to ACAS. Lovely man told me much the same as you have.

 

She can return to work but only with a fit note. This might also tell us what she isnt allowed or isnt capable of doing.

He said to ask her to write a list of the jobs she feels she can do, reading, table top games etc This is the Capability Route.

 

We can also ask permission to speak to her doctor to find out what roles she can/cant do andto ask how long this might be for.

 

We can also use the Fit for work service. Its Govt run and offers occupational health services to small companies who might not have their own. They can speak over the phone or meet to help us all find a role she can do.

 

Failing all that, we might have to let her go! :(

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone.

 

We work out of a church hall. No computer, no internet, no quite office for her to do paperwork via speech software or recording device. And finances have coloured this a bit. We only have 6 children in the morning at the moment and with 4 staff, her being off has given the bank balance a little rest to be honest. Its also another reason we dont need her back, theres not really enough work for the staff as it is!

 

Anyway, I spoke to ACAS. Lovely man told me much the same as you have.

 

She can return to work but only with a fit note. This might also tell us what she isnt allowed or isnt capable of doing.

He said to ask her to write a list of the jobs she feels she can do, reading, table top games etc This is the Capability Route.

 

We can also ask permission to speak to her doctor to find out what roles she can/cant do andto ask how long this might be for.

 

We can also use the Fit for work service. Its Govt run and offers occupational health services to small companies who might not have their own. They can speak over the phone or meet to help us all find a role she can do.

 

Failing all that, we might have to let her go! :(

Well done Rea, I'm pleased you have found 'official' people who can help you

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have spoken to an even nicer lady at Fit for work.

I'm not sure they could help us.

They help the employer and employee to see what changes could be made to help with the return but its the kind of things you've all suggested and I'm not sure we could do a lot of it.

 

That lady suggested we contact Access to work, another Govt funded and free to use service, this one aims to help employees back to work after a disability. Contact has to be made by the employee. They can help with funding for workplace items that could help such as the software you mentioned which would be good, but we havent got a computer or internet or an office!

 

I'm sure we'll work something out even if its how to let her go :(

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's really hard. I truly feel for you. I had a staff member on long term sick who sadly died just before she was due to return to work.

 

She also was confident that she would be able to return, not realising - or admitting how sick she really was. It was a very hard time for everyone, holding a team together whilst her absence was covered, especially in view of her regular promises to return 'at the start of next half term'. It made planning staffing hours really hard, and did cause a little ill feeling as staff felt that hours would be taken off them to accommodate her return. They'd bonded with her key children too, and that was potentially very difficult.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)