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  1. #1
    Indigotwist182's Avatar

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    Default probation extended due to mental health sickness

    Hi,

    I have suffered with mental health problems for many years and have always been open and honest about it with employers.

    I started a job in Nov 2016 and had my probation extended for 3 months until may16 due to sickness (vomitting bug)

    I was due to pass my probation this week however I had 2 days off due to my bad depression. Doctor has been consulted and am due to receive treatment, I take my medications and everything I'm supposed to do but I couldn't help that I felt so awful and suicidal that I couldn't face my sales based role.

    Due to these 2 days absence (which is out of my control) I have had my probation extended for another 3 months with no absence or further holiday bookings allowed

    I have always been eligible for the equality and disability act 2010, should my employer have made acceptances for my absence which is related to my long term disability which cannot be helped?

    Just wanting some advice as I'm concerned now that if I have another mental health related absence (you never know when it's going to pop up) that I will fail my probation leading to dismissal.


    Could anyone possibly shed some light in what my rights are and what should be expected by myself and employers?

    Just to note again the recent sickness was due to my mental health and I went 3 months sick free apart from that. They were informed all along about my mental health ect and always keep them updated on appointments and medications ect

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Kati's Avatar

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    Default Re: probation extended due to mental health sickness

    I'm tagging @Ula @mariefab (our employment gurus) for you @Indigotwist182 ... welcome to LB xx
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  3. #3
    Ula's Avatar

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    Default Re: probation extended due to mental health sickness

    Hi @Indigotwist182. When you went for your interview with your current employer it seems from what you have said you let them know about your condition. Did they at the time or once you were employed by them ask whether there was anything that would make it easier for you to do the job. An employers should make reasonable adjustments for disabled people who would otherwise find it hard to work or apply for jobs. There is no set list of what reasonable adjustments can be but they can include:

    • allowing you extra time off work,
    • allowing flexible working,
    • changing your role, or
    • offering counselling or mentoring


    How many days did you have off for the sickness bug and was it just this time and the recent 2 days which were directly related to your condition?

    I know that some companies do have criteria about successfully completing probationary periods and sickness absence is something that can be taken into consideration. However I am thinking that maybe for you a potential reasonable adjustment would be the first point above which is consideration to allow some extra time off work if it relates to your condition.
    Last edited by Ula; 17th May 2017 at 22:26:PM.
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  4. #4
    Indigotwist182's Avatar

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    Default Re: probation extended due to mental health sickness

    Quote Originally Posted by Ula View Post
    Hi @Indigotwist182. When you went for your interview with your current employer it seems from what you have said you let them know about your condition. Did they at the time or once you were employed by them ask whether there was anything that would make it easier for you to do the job. An employers should make reasonable adjustments for disabled people who would otherwise find it hard to work or apply for jobs. There is no set list of what reasonable adjustments can be but they can include:

    • allowing you extra time off work,
    • allowing flexible working,
    • changing your role, or
    • offering counselling or mentoring


    How many days did you have off for the sickness bug and was it just this time and the recent 2 days which were directly related to your condition?

    I know that some companies do have criteria about successfully completing probationary periods and sickness absence is something that can be taken into consideration. However I am thinking that maybe for you a potential reasonable adjustment would be the first point above which is consideration to allow some extra time off work if it relates to your condition.
    First of all thank you for your reply.

    I let them know from the interview of my condition and that I had previously struggled and had some time off and they took me on. When I joined the job and had my first meetings and first probation meetings no efforts were made to make any adjustments(as I mention in a point below)

    It wasn't until I had my first 2 bouts of sickness:
    I had one and a half days off because I had mouth ulcers and flu like symptoms but came back to work that week. No return to work interview.

    I did try to explain that I had depression over the previous months which can make me more subseptable to picking up illnesses.

    Second time was about 2 months later and I had a sickness bug that half of the office had been off sick with and they were aware of it going around. I had 2 days off and tried to return early as I felt an icy reception about the sickness from them. Again I consulted a doctor twice, got 2 sets of anti biotics and it took me a month to get better(whilst working as I was concerned about being sick again and loosing my job)

    This time I had a 'return to work' where they essentially said because the days off I had were a 'pattern' to previous days off they accused me of moon lighting at another job in the evenings leading to me taking another bought of sickness. I had already confirmed to them months before that I had left my second job. This was put down to hear say. I had information that my team and line manager were asking a very close colleague about my sickness as I was due to take holiday at the time, which I had to cancel, nethertheless everyone decided to gossip and speculate.
    I was tarnished with the usual brush of a 21 year old going out and getting drunk every night which was not the case seeing as I was very depressed and anxious at the time I barely attended to social gatherings.


    The recent occasion, I went home 1.5 hours early on a Friday because I was lying on the disabled bathroom floor not being able to breath because of my anxiety and feeling overwhelmed with suicidal thoughts. I emailed my line manager who said it was ok to go home. I grew worse over the weekend. Monday and Tuesday I couldn't physically get out of bed And struggled with my self care and sanitation. So I went to my doctors to do the correct procedure and they have now come to the conclusion that I may have Bi Polar disorder. I have been on medication for many years and seen many doctors for my anxiety and depression.

    The problem is that after my first probation being extended I then let them know I am protected by the equality and disability act about 3/4 months into my employment.

    I have a CBT session on Monday where my doctor told me to describe my symptoms to see what the outcome is and I should be referred to a psychiatrist.

    I am under the impression had I not had the recent two days off I would have passed my probation seeing as I had no sick days and I was told my performance was great for 3 months.

    I feel I have an unfair advantage at hitting the same targets as everyone else who although they have time off can still hit, I've shown I can make the sales and steps towards target which they have said I would have hit target had I not Been sick, twice. I'm very suited for the role by the problem is that sometimes my mental health gets in the way of me doing my job.(I have been reassured I'm right for the role many times)

    I was told in my initial probation meeting (Feb) would have monthly meetings with my line manager and sales manager to monitor my progress which never happened.

    It was only because I brought up the fact that my probation should end soon which sparked the recent meeting in addition with my current time off.

    In my first meeting I was accused of moonlighting at another job and how disappointed they were with me although I had been sick at work and now they have a policy (after me) that if you're sick you have to be off for 24hrs. Was a shame this was brought in after me.

    I've basically told them everything they could know about my mental health, i just feel I've been doing my absolute best and battling with this condition in a sales based role is incredibly difficult for someone in my position and I have showed them I can do amazingly well which they have certainly praised me for.

    I just feel sometimes my mental health stops me from making the same targets as everyone else so I get paid less based on my performance and sales because one week I may be down and can't perform the best.

    It's upsetting as I love my job so much and I know I'm good at it

    Please let me know if I can provide you with any further information,


    Thanks again,

    IT182x

  5. #5
    mariefab's Avatar

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    Default Re: probation extended due to mental health sickness

    Are you missing out on any potential contractual benefits by being on probation?
    I ask because, for the purposes of many employment rights, all employees are effectively on probation for the first 2 years of service.

    Are you expected to hit the targets every single week? Or are they averaged over a period?

    Did they raise the possibility of dismissing you if you have further sickness absence? Does your employer have a documented policy about sickness absence?

    I would suggest that you don't mention probation in August.

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