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advice please re being signed off


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Just a quick one,

Im having to take some tome off work due to depression, I can get my doctor to sign me off for a week or 2 , spoke to my manager , who is a really decent guy and he said take a week off to sort myself out, which is cool. I am still toying with the idea of getting a doctors note , but then i got a message from my boss , saying his boss is suggesting I should take it off a annual leave. I agreed at first but now I'm wondering is his boss right to suggest this? As I can get signed off is he being a bit shady ? Legally or from an HR point of view should he even suggest this ? Should I push back ?

Any HR peoples or anyone who has similar on here able to give me some advice please?



Council Estate Socialist
I'm not currently a Union Rep but have been. There are folk on Urban that still have do this work.

2 things bother me...

'Take a week off to sort yourself out' ? Erm...might have been a turn of phrase but that is dismissive and doesn't suggest to me your boss is taking your need to take time off for depression seriously.

Secondly, absolutely no, you do not have to take it as annual leave. Get a sick note from your doctor, check your contract etc. What is you entitlement to SP? That is a very shady suggestion from the big boss, ultimately not wanting to pay you sick pay for time you have due to sickness, again not taking your current state seriously.


mingling jets and statuettes
Get a 2 week gp note, go back to gp and get another 2 week note, then take a week holiday.

Sick leave is not the same as holiday and your boss is on dodgy ground to suggest that that should be an option. You should refuse that.

Your health is worth more than their job.

Hope you feel better soon.


Seagull + Chips = Happy Seagull
Agree with the above. While you can self-certify a week, given the reason you need to take time off you'll almost certainly need more than a week.

It's inappropriate to suggest you take annual leave. The policy at my place does allow people to take annual leave during sick leave (primarily long-term sick absences) - but it makes clear that the annual leave period is still counted as sick days. I doubt anyone wastes their leave by doing this - it doesn't make any sense to me.

I hope you get the support you need from your GP ruffneck23, and take care of yourself.
The only possible circumstances this might make sense would be any of

a) sick pay where you are is less than full pay and taking it as holiday means you wouldn't lose money

b) you've got a heck of a lot of annual leave owed to you (although even if you're approaching the end of the leave year, you ought to be allowed to carry leave forward if you've not taken it due to being off sick)

c) HR in your organisation treat sick leave as a disciplinary offence and they are trying to avoid you going through that

d) you're seriously considering a change of job and you might not want a spell of sick leave on your record. references these days tend not to go in to anything as complicated as whether someone's any good at their job, it's about stuff that can be counted and not argued about, and number of days sick leave in the last year or two can be one of them. and DDA and all that regardless, some employers have a very negative attitude about anything mental health related

e) they are taking the piss

(e) seems the most likely

hope things get better for you soon.

(disclaimer - I'm not an HR person or anything resembling one, and it's been a while since i was a union rep)


Mostly bewildered
I would add that, if you need support to return to work, or to help you once you are back at work, or if things don't work out and you need to leave, having a medical note showing that you are suffering from stress/depression will help you to get the support you need. You may find yourself covered by the disability provisions of the equality act, but ONLY if you have formally notified your employer that you are disabled - so, taking time off as annual leave instead of sick leave mitigates against that....