I cant make a meeting with managers and occ health doctor...

(12 Posts)
ineedanexcuse Sun 10-Nov-13 14:51:59

...and I need a way of getting out of it.

I know,I know, in the saintly world that is Mn no-one ever has time off or is less than honest to their employers .I know that .But I am still asking those who might be able to help to give me some ideas.

Back story is;
I work for a government department that has all sorts of policies in place for sickness. I have adhered to everything required of me so far.I have had to have 11 weeks so far off work following an operation .I still need a couple of more weeks until Im fit for work. I have had an evaluation by Occ health and am not expected by them to be fit for another 3 weeks or so.I also have a valid med cert that has 3 weeks to go. I am seeing occ therapists to help my recovery . In short I am doing all I can to hasten my return and work are so far supporting my absence.

I have had a letter reminding me that I have a 3 monthly meeting set up for next week with my line manager, her manager and the doctor(presumably on the phone). I cannot attend this meeting as I have a previously booked annual days leave and am booked to go on a day trip with a friend.

My question is -how do I get out of/change this meeting? Is it so very vital it must be on the day noted in the letter? I did have the day booked off before my operation. Can I remind my manager of this (she did ask previously about annual leave but I forgot ) and take that day as annual leave? I can attend any and all other days required.Will it go against me if I cant attend this meeting?

And before anyone says that if I can go on a day trip then I can go to work I am going to be driven to and from and not much will be expected of me other than my company .It will be a welcome change of scene for me as Ive not been able to leave the house for many weeks.

EeyoreIsh Sun 10-Nov-13 14:57:43

I'm pretty sure your annual leave will not be annual leave now, it'll just be sick leave. Can you dial into the meeting and find a quiet room for the length of the meeting?

Have you asked if the meeting date can be changed? It might be possible with enough notice?

Rockchick1984 Sun 10-Nov-13 14:58:51

I don't think anyone would say that one day out means you're recovered enough to return to work, no one here knows your job or what would be expected of you!

I would initially just say that the date suggested is inconvenient for you, and suggest a few other dates. I wouldn't bring up the annual leave or why its inconvenient.

ineedanexcuse Sun 10-Nov-13 15:11:12

I havent yet asked for it to be changed as I dont know what to say about WHY I want it to be changed.I dont think my managers manager will accept simply 'inconvenient'.

I should be available any working day I presume?

I will be travelling at the time specified in the invitation letter so cant dial in.

flowery Sun 10-Nov-13 19:21:53

Why the need for subterfuge? Phone your manager:

"Hello manager. Thank you for your letter about the meeting on x date. I'm more than happy to attend however I'm not able to on the particular day so would like to reschedule. You may have forgotten but I booked that day off as annual leave to go to x and I'm still planning to do so. Would any other day that week work for you?"

Why tie yourself in knots trying to find excuses? As long it is clear you are not avoiding the meeting, there should be no problem.

Auntidote Sun 10-Nov-13 20:25:30

Who organised the meeting? If it's occupational health do you even need to give a reason? I just phoned a call centre when arranging meetings and I doubt they'd be interesting in the reason.

If it's your manager then yes I guess you need to have something prepared though you may not need to say anything. In which case see Flowery's comment ^above.

ineedanexcuse Sun 10-Nov-13 20:28:51

Very true flowery.

I think I am anticipating her and her managers displeasure at having to rearrange the meeting.

I will phone her for a chat and see how it goes.

Putthatbookdown Mon 11-Nov-13 15:38:39

Yes coincidentally the day was booked off for A leave As simple as that
Its just a pain all the Occ health red tape You are not hiding anything other than it is just another work duty kind of thing
Look at it from another perspective: they have supported you through it and now just go along with them- this is how they work I mean some employers do not even give sick pay

TiredDog Thu 14-Nov-13 19:51:37

I'm managing a sickness absence case where the post holder has been unable to attend every single meeting, often cancelling at short notice, usually arguing over the date and time before each one and insisting on a taxi (paid by us) because they are unable to cope with driving...

18 months on we (well HR) are still doing fuck all managing this absence and the post holder is still going out, travelling 200 miles in the car to see family, attend concerts, flying abroad etc etc. but unable to work or attend meetings ...so missing one meeting makes me smile.

ineedanexcuse Thu 14-Nov-13 22:27:23

TiredDog my gob is well and truly smacked by your colleague. Its amazing to me what some people manage to get away with.I have managed a team where one member put in a grievance about every facet of how their absence was managed.

In the end I sent and email similar to what Flowery suggested .My manager phoned me and rearranged the meeting for today. I was wrong about attendees as it was only between me and her.The consultation is next week with her,her manager and the doctor.Its to see if the company will still support my absence.

Does anyone know what will happen if the company don't support it? My med cert still has 2 weeks to run.My manager tried to get me to say I would come back on part time medical grounds on the days when I dont have therapy as it seems to her that I am well enough to do so.

TiredDog Fri 15-Nov-13 07:21:16

'As it seems to her'. She's not occy health so her opinion doesn't count. I do however think that returning in a phased fashion and doing limited jobs is a good idea if occy health agree. It's a good compromise to keep you in employment

Not sure what you mean by if the company doesn't support you? They have to abide by sickness policy? What does the policy say?

I think agreeing a return to work plan that you can cope with, is more likely to gather support (whatever that does mean)

Your gob is smacked? I'm starting to wonder if my staff have a major blackmail issue going on with HR! I can't fathom it.

ineedanexcuse Sun 17-Nov-13 22:00:46

Thanks tireddog .

By not supporting the absence I think they mean not 'allowing ' me to continue to have sick leave. Or maybe not paying while Im absent? (forgot to mention I have the good fortune to be paid for 26 weeks sick leave)

I'll find out next week anyway. I will definitely go back on a staged return as advised by Occ health and the plan is in place for 2 weeks time if my GP agrees.My manager wanted me to say that I would attend work on the days I didn't have active treatment even though my med cert is still valid for 2 more weeks.

And yes .I cannot believe what some people have the brass neck to demand and then get away with. Previous to this long term absence I only had the odd D&V day in 8 years.

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