Seeing Occupational Health tomorrow - what wil happen?

(12 Posts)

Have been off work - this is my 3rd week.

Tackled a lady - in a very non aggressive way about her racism - so her and another lady put in complaints about me - totally unfounded ones and ones that I have refuted.

I left work after telling my boss that I could not work in that atmosphere and have been on paid leave since.

I had to have a meeting with section leader and decided to make an official complaint about victimisation.

Have since not really heard anything - nothing about whether racism issue been followed up (lady admitted her language in writing but sees nothing wrong with it), have been offered a meeting with HR next week but have hospital appointment and can't do that day - have not been given another date yet.

Tomorrow I have to see Occupational Health though.

What will they want to know.

I feel that I am suffering from anxiety. I cannot concentrate, I feel like I cannot take big enough breaths, I don't sleep, even thinking about work makes me cry, the thought of having to go to meetings about the issue is sending me half crazy. And on top of this I am 20 weeks pregnant.

I am not sure they are pursuing the racism issue either. Am I within my rights to ask about that and if they are not to make an official complaint?

I feel very strongly that I did the right thing by addressing the racism but feel like I am the one feeling unsupported and isolated.

Anyone?

wannabestressfree Tue 02-Jul-13 22:25:12

As far as I am aware occ health is about your wellness health wise and how your job can support you. I have just had bowel surgery and I saw them. They asked questions about my condition, looked at any relevant info from medical professionals and asked some questions about work that work had 'set' eg did I need a change in role?
I then agreed a phased return to work (over five weeks)
I hope that's helpful.....
Your complaint and your health should be seperate

Thank you.

That's reassuring, I am not sure I can cope with having to go through everything again.

Hope you are feeling better.

ILoveWoollyStuff Tue 02-Jul-13 22:45:41

Hi madame, it sounds like you're having a tough time. flowers
I couldn't read and run, I wanted to offer some reassurance that you really shouldn't worry about an appointment with occ health. I work as non clinical staff in occ health and come across similar situations to yours often but I'm not proposing to be an expert. Sometimes it helps to have an impartial third party.

Have you seen and signed the info that your hr dept have sent to occ health? It should indicate to the clinician what it is that your employer want to know following the appointment. If the occ health clinician does their job properly they will concentrate on how the problems you are having at work are affecting your health (and that they are) and what (if anything) work and you can do to help you get back to work.

I've oversimplified that a lot and I don't mean any disrespect to you or a clinician by that. Generally if you are suffering from anxiety as a result of a situation at work, it's likely that won't resolve until the issues at work are resolved.

I'm guessing that as you've been off for a while you have seen your GP?

On on a couple of practical notes could you have someone with you for support? The clinician won't disclose anything to your employer about your medical history without your permission and, any report that is produced must be sent to you first if you so wish.

Mammoth post, sorry.

I hope you feel a bit better about it and you're able to sort things out.

ILoveWoollyStuff Tue 02-Jul-13 22:48:03

X post I took so long!

Agree health and complaint are two different things though the one is affecting the other.

Thanks woolystuff.

I have t seen anything that has been sent to occupational health just that they are going to try and work out what will help me return to work.

It sounds stupid but the injustice of it all is what is causing me issues I think. I stood up for something that I thought was right and I am the one feeling as though I have done something wrong.

That and the thought of having to maybe face the women again.

So I don't think I will feel better until the issue is resolved but the wheels in the nhs turn slowly and it has taken them almost a month to even come up with a date for a meeting with he so feels like could drag in forever.

I am just awful in all of these types of situations. I think part of it is me as growing up we were always guilty without question, even if you hadn't done it you were not believed and punished. Do now I am back there feeling as though I am having to defend myself for speaking up for myself, which I had bloody thought long and hard about and checked relevant policies.

Your post has made me feel a bit better so thank you. It's the having to go over it all or even think about it that sets me off so I will just tell them that. No doubt through snot ridden sobbing!

ILoveWoollyStuff Wed 03-Jul-13 09:13:16

Oh I really feel for you. I can understand too about waiting. Sometimes that makes things worse. I'm fortunate to work in private sector and we usually advise our clients that the sooner people are seen, the better. I Shouldn't worry about the sobbing they're well used to that and it will help them to see that you're really not fit to be back at work yet.

Sounds like some counselling might help you and I don't know whether you can access that through work.

If you don't feel able to work with a particular colleague a return will be difficult unless you can work different shifts/transfer dept but not sure how that would be viewed.

Anything that occ health recommend is simply that; a recommendation as ultimately decisions about what work you can, and do go back to, are for management.

Hope it goes well and you didn't have too sleepless a night.

jerseypearl Wed 03-Jul-13 13:23:30

Hi I hope your meeting with OH went well. I used to work as an OH nurse in the NHS. It is standard when individuals have prolonged sickness that they are seen in OH. The situation you have encountered although is not an illness as such it is however something which is affecting your health so this why Occupational health can be useful, they can advocate for you and liaise with your manager and HR. Occupational health are there to support you and help you return to work. Under no circumstances should any kind of victimisation be tolerated. You are doing the right thing by speaking up. The fact you are pregnant a pregnancy risk assessment should have been completed by your managers well. No one would want you to encounter any extra stressors. Let us know how you get on.

Thanks lovely and jersey.

It went ok. Lady was very kind and understanding. Said I cannot be expected to return to work until the issues are resolved. I did a test which said I am moderately to severely depressed and this is due to working environment.

Said I need to get some counselling through employee assistance and try and stay calm.

Then had to drop letter into lady who is supposed to be seeing if an investigation is necessary. I did mention that I wanted to make an official complaint about the racism but she said there was no need as it was being addressed.

I am not sure I believe her because she then went on to say that she thinks we can all go on to have a cordial working relationship once racist lady admits she shouldn't have said it and I apologise and so does miss passive aggressive?

Surely there is more to being disciplined for racism than just saying sorry sir shouldn't have said it. This lady manages people and is responsible for some recruitment, with her beliefs I can't see many people from different minorities being employed!

I don't think I can just forget all of this either. I have had to put up with one passive aggressive and one racist who thinks her attitude is acceptable and I have the problem for not wanting to listen to her racist rantings!!

Aaaaarrrrgggghhhh

I am going to have to resign aren't I!!

ILoveWoollyStuff Wed 03-Jul-13 21:19:23

Hi madame, I'm glad you had a positive meeting with oh.

I've no idea about making complaints or other hr stuff but I would have thought that if you want to make a complaint you would and should be able to do that. Before you do, consider whether the delay etc in sorting it out would further affect your health particularly as you said up thread wheels turn slowly. Perhaps that's what the investigation lady is trying to avoid. But if you think it's the right thing to do (and only you will know) then ask for the complaints policy and procedure from your hr dept and do it.

As for resigning, that decision would be up to you but consider your current state of mind and how you'd manage mat leave etc.

Best wishes

Thanks Ilove.

Have meeting with HR in a couple of weeks so will know nothing until then.

I really just feel like I am the one who is being treated as though I have been naughty when all I did was stand up for something I thought that was right. But on the other hand it could be that they are actually concerned about my wellbeing and that of the baby as well.

Am going to try and forget about it over the next week. Have great things planned for this weekend and then on Monday should get to know the sex of baby so that will be exciting - will just have to concentrate on making DH agree with my choice of names then!

Thank you for taking the time to post - it is scary when you know nothing of the processes - you end up imagining all sorts of things.

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