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Workitis, excessive sick leave requested


O'Sullivan Bere

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
14,650
Last night I was yet again discussing aspects of red tape and abuse that helps kill job growth, creates inefficiency, etc. One example was mentioned that 'Public Sector Employee X' just returned to work. X had an affair with a married person, claimed depression and stress because that person did not wind up leaving the spouse, got a doctor's note and took 4 months leave of absence of 'sick time' given the person's alleged doldrums, and now has returned trying to get others to do X's work and, failing that, has the union on speed dial to complain and/or claim it's causing 'stress' etc...rinse, wash, repeat.

We've all seen this kind of tripe ourselves, and I frequently get questioned by American interested investors about these kinds of abuses. Excessive sick leave and abuse should be a cause for concern, e.g.,

Recession 'leads to rise in stress and sick days' - Health News - NHS Choices
Two months of sick leave for one in 10 civil servants - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk
BBC News - Northern Ireland civil service misses sick level target

I'm certainly not against taking days off for legitimate health related reasons, e.g., you have the flu, but IMO the system is currently rank with abuse with contrived excuses by lazy employees, resistance to accept obvious or reasonably foreseeable conditions and expectations of the job at issue, etc. Abuse also wastes (actually steals IMO) taxpayers' money, creates inefficiency by thinning any necessary staff and overloading others with their workload, etc. What are your thoughts on how sick time ought to be addressed and balanced for legitimacy and abuse, efficiency over inefficiency, etc?
 
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J

Johnny Boy

The age profile of those off ill long term would be interesting. I get the impression that there is a high percentage of over 40's in the public service these days, because the government seem to be downsizing by natural wastage gradually. It is only natural there will be a lot of genuine cases among that group. I know of two public servants who have been off work for 4/5 months recently as a result of hip replacements for example and another lady who has considerable time off as a result of a hysterectomy.
 
C

Castle Ray

What are the sick leave terms in the civil service? Presumably SSP kicks in after a number of days off or is sick leave on full pay?
 

vinoboy

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Joined
Jul 29, 2010
Messages
10,954
What are the sick leave terms in the civil service? Presumably SSP kicks in after a number of days off or is sick leave on full pay?
6 Months full pay ,then half pay for another 6 months - many stage a recovery after 5 months and 28 days ,return for a month ,then suffer stress and go off again.Many go on holidays as apparently that could relieve stress !
I heard from a public sector manager today that somebody on a final written warning ,took 2 days off without approval and he was told by HR that he could not sack her .Public sector HR is risk averse ,absence rates are shocking across all sectors. Stress has replaced the bad back as the most common reason for absence.Middle management is demoralised dealing with such a culture .
 
C

Castle Ray

6 Months full pay ,then half pay for another 6 months - many stage a recovery after 5 months and 28 days ,return for a month ,then suffer stress and go off again.Many go on holidays as apparently that could relieve stress !
I heard from a public sector manager today that somebody on a final written warning ,took 2 days off without approval and he was told by HR that he could not sack her .Public sector HR is risk averse ,absence rates are shocking across all sectors. Stress has replaced the bad back as the most common reason for absence.Middle management is demoralised dealing with such a culture .

SSP is there for a reason and should apply to public sector workers. In most companies sick pay entitlement extends depending on length of service, presumably there is a qualifying period in the public sector for such slack terms? Otherwise someone could work a month every year for 40 years, receive full pay and pension so long as a GP, who couldn't give a fiddlers fokk as he's risk averse and anyway he just has a target to meet, signs the person off????
 

O'Sullivan Bere

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Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
14,650
6 Months full pay ,then half pay for another 6 months - many stage a recovery after 5 months and 28 days ,return for a month ,then suffer stress and go off again.Many go on holidays as apparently that could relieve stress !
I heard from a public sector manager today that somebody on a final written warning ,took 2 days off without approval and he was told by HR that he could not sack her .Public sector HR is risk averse ,absence rates are shocking across all sectors. Stress has replaced the bad back as the most common reason for absence.Middle management is demoralised dealing with such a culture .
Spot on as to that aspect. Frivolous and abusive 'stress' and 'depression' claims have become perfect catchalls for manipulators. Slackers have the routine worked out well how to game the system by milking the excesses to the max within the rules, siccing the unions on managerial watchdogs and objectors to intimidate them and/or get away with more, finding a wink-and-nod doctor who will sign off on any quackery for his/her own gain in the game, etc. Given the clogging red tape and rules and gamesmanship, management all too often just throws up the white flag to it, especially if they feel they themselves will be harangued by the slackers and/or their unions with frivolous and abusive disciplinary claims, get abused by such employees they can't actually or constructively fire due to rules, gamesmanship and/or red tape, see their efforts to crack down get overturned and/or just see slaps on the wrist.

This needs to be reformed IMO, but how and upon what new terms to make it more honest and efficient?
 
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O'Sullivan Bere

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
14,650
The age profile of those off ill long term would be interesting. I get the impression that there is a high percentage of over 40's in the public service these days, because the government seem to be downsizing by natural wastage gradually. It is only natural there will be a lot of genuine cases among that group. I know of two public servants who have been off work for 4/5 months recently as a result of hip replacements for example and another lady who has considerable time off as a result of a hysterectomy.
There will be legitimate cases of extended leave for sure. Employees nearing retirement age obviously have an elevated risk of having the kinds of health issues you cited. Asking someone who just had open heart surgery to report to construction work within 72 hours of surgery isn't going to fly and shouldn't, although it raises an issue for serious and chronic cases of consideration of how to handle true disability, forced medical retirement or placement in more fitting positions. I'm more concerned with illegitimate abuse, especially relating to catchall BS like 'stress' and 'depression' that's a scam or otherwise insufficient or abusive under the facts and circumstances.
 

Gurdiev

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 24, 2011
Messages
7,239
The age profile of those off ill long term would be interesting. I get the impression that there is a high percentage of over 40's in the public service these days, because the government seem to be downsizing by natural wastage gradually. It is only natural there will be a lot of genuine cases among that group. I know of two public servants who have been off work for 4/5 months recently as a result of hip replacements for example and another lady who has considerable time off as a result of a hysterectomy.
In real life i.e. amongst the self employed a person would be working 4-6 weeks after both of those ops, ( unless they had severe complications )
 
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