1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

being asked to come in when you are off sick

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by mrsNibbles, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. mrsNibbles

    mrsNibbles New commenter

    Hi,
    Last term when I was signed off sick by the doctor my HT rang and asked for me to come in on the friday as there were staff shortages (illness). I said no, partly because I genuinely felt too ill to, and partly because I thought this was wrong to do).
    Yesterday my heavy cold of 3 weeks turned into something more sinus based and I felt sick and dizzy and realised that if I didn't get some rest I would just get worse and worse. So I was off yesterday but got a phone call from my HT at 3:30 saying that
    she had assumed she'd teach the next day (now today) but had crashed her
    car in the snow and was hurting all over - is there any chance I could
    come in?
    So I felt sorry for her (more fool me) and said I'd dose myself up and drag myself in.


    When I get in she's absolutely fine - if she's feeling sore she's not
    showing it at all -and doesn't even thank me for coming in. At break time
    people are asking if I'm ok cos I don't look right and then by the end
    of the morning I can't stop coughing, feel sick and am losing my voice
    even more.

    I've gone home now (which she was fine about) but really resent being guilt tripped into going in in the first place and I know she'll do it again rather than pay for a cover teacher to come in.
    Is it actually against the law for her to do this, and what (if anything) should I do? I'm leaving teaching when my contract ends in April but the school has an unspoken rule of just putting up with the HT doing awful stuff like this and not saying anything!
     
  2. mrsNibbles

    mrsNibbles New commenter

    Hi,
    Last term when I was signed off sick by the doctor my HT rang and asked for me to come in on the friday as there were staff shortages (illness). I said no, partly because I genuinely felt too ill to, and partly because I thought this was wrong to do).
    Yesterday my heavy cold of 3 weeks turned into something more sinus based and I felt sick and dizzy and realised that if I didn't get some rest I would just get worse and worse. So I was off yesterday but got a phone call from my HT at 3:30 saying that
    she had assumed she'd teach the next day (now today) but had crashed her
    car in the snow and was hurting all over - is there any chance I could
    come in?
    So I felt sorry for her (more fool me) and said I'd dose myself up and drag myself in.


    When I get in she's absolutely fine - if she's feeling sore she's not
    showing it at all -and doesn't even thank me for coming in. At break time
    people are asking if I'm ok cos I don't look right and then by the end
    of the morning I can't stop coughing, feel sick and am losing my voice
    even more.

    I've gone home now (which she was fine about) but really resent being guilt tripped into going in in the first place and I know she'll do it again rather than pay for a cover teacher to come in.
    Is it actually against the law for her to do this, and what (if anything) should I do? I'm leaving teaching when my contract ends in April but the school has an unspoken rule of just putting up with the HT doing awful stuff like this and not saying anything!
     
  3. AdmiralNelson

    AdmiralNelson New commenter

    I'd simply not answer my phone if I was off sick again - email/text your absence, then sswitch of
     
  4. If you are signed off work, your doctor has stated that you are not fit for work. Anyone would be foolish to go against that.
    It could be (and often is) argued that to work when signed off renders a person uninsured.
     
  5. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    I believe it would invalidate their insurance and they shouldn't be doing it. If you are leaving just say no. If you never intend to return to teaching and don't need a reference you could always let the LEA know what is happening. They probably won't be interested, but it could help if someone else complains.
     
  6. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Completely out of order... Up to you how far you want to push it really, starting with your union, or hiring a solicitor yourself... but in truth, as you are leaving unless other staff as a group want this resolved you would be wasting your energy.
     
  7. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    I fear that this is not as clear-cut as it might first seem.
    Had you already let your school know that you wouldn't be in today? If so, then she is quite wrong to try to persuade you otherwise. However, if no decision had been made, then it is perfectly sensible for a school to want to know if its employees are returning or not. Most schools would do this the opposite way, though, asking staff to telephone them rather than the Head phoning individuals.
    Badly handled? Yes, certainly.
    Illegal? Certainly not.
    Wrong? That depends...
     
  8. mrsNibbles

    mrsNibbles New commenter

    The first time I was signed off by the doc and she asked me to come in anyway - I didn't and wouldn't - but think it is awful that she does it. Others in the school have.
    This time I was just off myself - I hadn't said whether I'd be in or not so it's definitely fair to ask if I was, but when she asked I told her that I wasn't feeling well enough to come in. She then guilt tripped me into coming in - so my bad for falling for it I suppose but it's so wrong that she did it and continues to do it.
    Fair enough, next time I'll just stick to my guns and tell her that I'm not coming in.
    Is it wrong for the HT to be ringing you everyday asking about planning and asking you to come back in when she knows you have been signed off by the doctor? The week I was signed off I found it extremely stressful knowing that she might ring at any minute trying to convince me to come back in just so she didn't have to pay for cover.
    I guess if I'm leaving I can just leave the lot of them to it, but it just seems so wrong!
     
  9. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    Yes, definitely. In the case of being signed off, your Head should have little reason to contact you at all. To do so could be seen to form part of a pattern of harrassment.
     
  10. mrsNibbles

    mrsNibbles New commenter

    Okay, thanks Tafkam [​IMG]
     
  11. polly.glot

    polly.glot New commenter

    This seems to happen at our school too, so it is obviously more common than I realised. A colleague was asked to come in and do her reports while off ill, and I was phoned as I was coming out of the anaesthetic from a quite serious operation and told to have my exams marked immediately. (My op was on Saturday, they had scheduled my exam on the Friday - knowing that I would be in hospital). I guess that we just have to keep reminding our masters that we are entitled to be ill and to have uninterrupted recovery/recuperation time.
     
  12. coppull

    coppull New commenter

    I think ,some very serious letters from your Union to the SMT over these matters.

    Please do not come back to the forum to tell us that you do not want anybody else to be involved !!!!
     
  13. I assume your LEA has insurance, so after three days your cover would be paid for through county sickness anyway, not through your budget. I am a head and it is difficult to get the balance between letting people recover from sickness and managing absences. When someone rings in sick I ask them if they'll let the secretary know at 3ish if they'll be in the next day. That way the supply teacher covering knows whether they'll be needed the next day and not having to speak to me lessens the pressure.

     
  14. If this happens certainly contact the unions and LEA. Another possible avenue to follow could be to contact the Health and Safety Executive.
     
  15. I have read the replies and think it is disgraceful that you are being asked to come in when you are obviously sick.
    Having said that, I work in a school where 4 colleagues have not done a full week's work this year and one seems to have been on a 3 day term (for the past 3 years) This colleague never attends parents' evenings, staff meetings etc and yet the rest of us are subject to 'return to work' inteviews (I know they're a formality, but it does grate) if we have a day off sick.
    I think some colleagues need to be 'helped to do their job properly' or told to get another one. I am fed up with these malingerers, who continue to be paid the same as the rest of us, whilst doing sweet F.A!!
     
  16. blt

    blt New commenter

    Yay! Thank goodness it isn't just me! I work with a woman who is the same.....hasn't done a full week for as long as I can remember. Certainly not this academic year and last year she had about 10 weeks off in total - added to the fact that she never completes her part of courses etc.

    Unfortunately for the rest of us who are genuinely ill, there are slackers like the one I work with. To be honest there's always something. SMT seem scared off tackling her head on now as she makes sure she 'knows her rights'. This again annoys me as she uses them to skive off as much as she can rather than seeing how sick leave, compassionate leave etc etc are there to support people.

    We don't even have back to work interviews at my school so that staff don't feel pressured etc but I would love them to be intorduced. It would certainly reassure me that something was being done about the lazies
     

Share This Page