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Implications of time off with stress

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by Yellowwolf, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. Yellowwolf

    Yellowwolf New commenter

    I was promised a 100% science post before I signed on the dotted line. Days later I was told, not asked, that a third of my timetable would be maths. In short, I hate it, I hate going to work, am waking up with severe chest pains, am exhausted and grumpy. A blue-eyed boy from the academy trust has been given all my good sets, despite excellent results last year and I have SEN heavy sets with no help in both subjects. I have had enough. I am thinking about taking time off with stress but am concerned about the implications this may have for my career. There is a line on the back to work form asking if the reason for absence is work-related, what happens if I tick yes? I've spoken repeatedly to everyone who'll listen at work about how unhappy I am and have put forward proposals to reduce the maths but the person responsible for time tabling blocks it everytime. Will being off with stress affect future job applications? Thanks.
    install likes this.
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Taking time off with stress isn't really something you think about. It is something that happens because you become too unwell to work, possibly due to the stress you are under. If you are not too ill to work, then you need to plod on. Taking time off when you aren't ill, just hacked off with your naff timetable, will be disastrous for your career. Taking time off because you are too ill to be in work has no effect at all.

    You had 'good' sets last year, so are now taking your turn with the less good.
    ldnsenco and s10327 like this.
  3. Yellowwolf

    Yellowwolf New commenter

    I have been ill and lost almost 3 stone but didn't wish to discuss that on a forum. I have been determined to keep 'plodding on' for months but feel I can't cope anymore. Not everyone is the same and you can't generalise and tell me 'taking time off isn't something you really think about'. Actually it is for me. I just wanted to hear some views of people who have taken time off and whether it has affected their career, not receive a pompous reply.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I have taken time off with work related anxiety and stress. I was far to ill to work. I was too ill to leave the house for quite some time and came rather closer to the end of my life than would normally be thought about. The possible effect on my career simply never occurred to me, I was too ill.
    Only you are able to decide if you are well enough to work or need to see a doctor.

    Sickness has no affect on your career, as it cannot be taken into account when appointing.
    ldnsenco likes this.
  5. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    I respectfully disagree. Many people don't want to call in sick or get signed off because they don't want to let people down, or because they worry it'll affect the way they are viewed by colleagues or management, or because they keep telling themselves they're not that sick - but doing this will only put your health at greater risk. If you wait until you are 'too ill to leave the house' then you've waited too long!

    @Yellowwolf you need to go and see your Dr about your chest pains, and talk everything through with them. Regarding the back to work form - if you said 'yes' I imagine that an appointment with occupational health would be arranged in order to see how the school can support you. Regarding sickness leave - I have been told that this is no longer asked for on applications and references, but you'd have to check that with your union.
    SonaHerr, install and hasslethehog like this.
  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Yeah maybe... (Wrist stinging from the slap :oops:)
    I apologise for being a grumpy sod, I should have been more sympathetic/sensitive.
  7. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Haha! :)
  8. hasslethehog

    hasslethehog New commenter

    @Yellowwolf, I've been signed off with stress (and later, anxiety/depression) and the only way my career has suffered is through my eventual choice to step down as HoD and go part-time. It was the only way I could regain some semblance of self. A hit to the self-esteem, but if I wanted to go full-time again, or resume HoD duties, my line manager assures me I would be granted it.

    Go to your GP (if you haven't already). Look after yourself, and keep us updated.
    BYusuf and install like this.
  9. install

    install Star commenter

    1 Check with your Union
    2 Check your contract - does it reference SCIENCE
    3 A better approach may be to argue that you feel split between two departments.Which dept meetings do you attend?
    4 Has anyone else been treated like this?
    5 Why isn't the Head of Science fighting for you? Have you spoken to them?
    6 Is your timetable vastly different also in terms of the range of sets?
    7 Are you a qualified Maths teacher ?You can point out it is unfair on the students.
    8 Will this be happening next year too? Get email evidence confirming it won't
    9 How does the Head of Maths treat you? Do you get support?

    You may well have a case BUT using hearsay will not cut mustard....rely on facts...
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
    BYusuf likes this.
  10. skellig1182

    skellig1182 Senior commenter

    With the references, I wonder what would come up at interview? If you don't put down or discuss absence with the new head, would this be discussed between heads? I've had quite a bad neck and back injury and will be needing some time off (i'm currently coming towards the end of a maternity contract). I was thinking about applying for a really wonderful perm role to start in January but wondered how i should approach it. If i don't mention the time off, will my current employer tell them? I don't want to look like im witholding anything but at the same time i dont want time off to stop me from getting another role. x
  11. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    It might come up in the reference.
    A tick box type thing will have 'attendance' and so the head will grade it.
    However, decent heads will look past that and appoint someone fabulous.

    The only absence I've ever been asked about in the interview, was a few months where I didn't work and had forgotten to add it in to the employment history. I just said I'd had a few months to take stock and make decisions about posts and that was that.

    Just apply for posts without worrying. When asked on a health questionnaire, answer honestly. That's it done. Don't make a big deal over something more or less normal.
  12. s10327

    s10327 Occasional commenter

    I'm bewildered. If you are so ill you have to be off work, it's rarely something where you sit down and make a cold hearted decision to go in or not. It's no different to being absent if you break both your legs and a goodly number of ribs. If you are ill and worrying that you somehow ought not to be, that may well be part of your illness.

    I'd be very surprised if anyone in our profession seriously considered being off just because they were cheesed off about something, but we can be very good at doubting ourselves. None of us are qualified to give medical or other advice - GPs are the ones to see. Best wishes.
  13. s10327

    s10327 Occasional commenter

    Really, rather than wondering about the effect of being off on your career, consider the effects on your health (and by extension, future career) on pushing yourself into work. Hangover, mild sniffles? Easy decision. Likewise broken neck, MS, etc. None of us can really answer that for you.

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