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Is it really awful to go off with stress?

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by happyrabbit, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. I have gone through an absolutely awful time this term. I have been almost constantly threatened and had allegations made against me.
    I managed to secure another post at the beginning of last month and thought I would be left alone, and I was for a while. Now however it's all starting again - with three weeks left to go before I leave, I feel absolutely panicked and scared. I started crying in a staff meeting tonight, I just couldn't stop myself from shaking and from tears coming out.
    I feel so alone, I honestly have never ever felt this low in my life and I just want to wipe out my existence, I don't mean I'm suicidal or anything like that but I just want to disappear for a while.
    I hate the idea of going off but I am starting to feel I have little or no alternative. Is it really awful to have time off with stress (work related) and does this go on any files?
     
  2. I have gone through an absolutely awful time this term. I have been almost constantly threatened and had allegations made against me.
    I managed to secure another post at the beginning of last month and thought I would be left alone, and I was for a while. Now however it's all starting again - with three weeks left to go before I leave, I feel absolutely panicked and scared. I started crying in a staff meeting tonight, I just couldn't stop myself from shaking and from tears coming out.
    I feel so alone, I honestly have never ever felt this low in my life and I just want to wipe out my existence, I don't mean I'm suicidal or anything like that but I just want to disappear for a while.
    I hate the idea of going off but I am starting to feel I have little or no alternative. Is it really awful to have time off with stress (work related) and does this go on any files?
     
  3. chocolateworshipper

    chocolateworshipper Occasional commenter

    Stress can cause certain symptoms such as headaches / stomach cramps / insomnia etc etc. One of those symptoms may be a better thing to put on a sick note? That way, when you are filling in a medical questionnaire in the future, you can answer the question about "any work-related illnesses" with a "no". But DO go off sick - why should you put your health at risk any longer? The human body can only cope with high levels of stress for a certain amount of time. Good luck xx
     
  4. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    It is no longer legal for this question to be asked, and if it is asked then there is no requirement for an applicant to answer it.
     
  5. Employers are no longer allowed to ask about sickness at interview - this has changed - but as I udnerstand it - and our HR seem to be quite on the ball - the quesitons re sickness in previous employment years are still asked...
    Interestingly, given the above, I would say not answering if asked erroneously could be worse than answering - certainly I know of one candidate who didn't answer when someone asked her stating the above - due to the torrent of how she went about sharing this - she didn't get the job.... interestingly, a candidate who did answer - with significant absences was offered the job and took it up....
     
  6. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Knowledge is power, and many are intimidated by it's ability to quash theirs.
     
    CCHARLTON135 likes this.
  7. Maybe...sadly legislation such as this that is meant to protect may also mean that those that would have naturally been employed maybe overlooked by perhaps those with "unjustified" absence records, which is a shame in my book....
     
  8. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Plan your early escape. Get everything packed up and home now so that if you need to go off sick you dont have to return to collect your things. Make sure all work is upto date for hand over so nothing can come back to bite you on the bum and you can leave confident you have done a good job.
    You dont say who is causing the probs for you, but consider contacting the union and taking out a grievence against them. You are leaving and have a job to go to so it may make them back off. I let it be known that I was considering contacting the union about my bully years ago and word got back to them as I knew it would, and it scared them off. I didnt have a job to go to and had to continue working there. Also if you end up with stress illness on your record at least you have evidence of mitigating circumstances.
    If you can, keep your head down and try to avoid everyone, arrive as late as possible and leave as soon as possible if need be. Surround yourself with the kids so that it is difficult for people to have a go. If you can last this week, you could go off sick for a week next week and self certify, perhaps with as someone suggested, a stomach bug. Then you only have a week left to go. Good luck with your new job. It took me a long time to trust heads again, but I soon realised that not all schools are like that.
    What happened when you started crying? Is there noone on your side at school who could support you?[​IMG]
     
  9. It's the headteacher. I have done most of the things you suggest and the union aren't really interested. x
     
  10. What do you mean they are not interested? You are entitled to a regional rep to attend any meetings you have about these allegations and if you're not getting that, then you're leaving yourself wide open to management getting away with things they are not allowed to.



    Really the union is just there to check procedures are being followed. If you need emotional support you can contact the Teacher Support Network.



    I wouldn't worry about what is going to happen in the future, all I would worry about is whether you are ill or not and whether your health would benefit from time off or not. You can pick up the pieces in the future and cross each bridge as you get to it. I wrote an advice guide called Ten Tips To Help You Get Another Teaching Job After A Bad Experience which a lot of people in your situation have said is very helpful.
     
  11. Thank you, I do already have another teaching job to go to at Easter. I'm fine with that.
    The meetings I have had have just been "arranged" in minutes - literally just been asked to see the Head and then threatened with horrible things ... I realise procedures haven't been followed but that doesn't seem to have made any difference at all.
    The rep seems a bit disinterested, that's probably the best way I can describe her. She also doesn't listen to what I'm saying really. I never feel supported or reassured after having had a chat to the union and I feel that I should.
     
  12. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Follow the advice to get all your resources etc home. Bring things back in only when you need to use them and take them back home that night.
    Then, if things continue to be intolerable, phone in sick. Book an appointment with your GP so that you can supply a sick note as soon as your self-certifying period has expired. Chronic exhaustion from persistent headaches or stomach issues would avoid the need for stress to be written on a sick note.
    Check with your doctor whether you need a certificate in due course for being fit for work again. if you do, arrange another appointment so that you submit it to the schools at the start of the Easter break or during the break and you will then be ready to take up your new position without them being aware of your recent sick leave.
     
  13. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    Have you tried head office? If your head calls meetings and starts to threaten things then make it clear that you will only discuss it with your union rep present. Carry a notepad and minute everything that is said.
    How will you feel when you leave? Do you think you can let go what she has done to you or do you think that you need to do something proactive such as file a grievance or report them for bullying to HR to know that you made a stand? You have secured a job, so can choose to do which ever route you think is best for you.
     
  14. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I advise extreme caution about taking out a grievance procedure against a Head teacher, especially if you will be staying in the same LA.
    The grapevine amongst Heads in an LA (and with those in neighbouring LAs) means that you can be easily placed on an unofficial blacklist. I've had that caution myself from a regional Union rep.
    As you have an escape route to another job, you may well be better thanking your lucky stars that you are getting out before the person concerned can ruin your career.
    Good luck!
     
  15. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    If she already has a job then it does make it easier. The person before me who was bullied out of the job took early retirement. If they had said something I'd never have gone through what I did. I get a satisfaction from knowing that they will never get away with it again. What happens to the next target? It doesn't have to be a grievance. It can be a discussion with HR. The union seems to have let them down as well and I think that is something that needs to be dealt with. Whatever they decide to do they need to make sure they have no regrets.
     
  16. You can ask for a different rep and say you're not feeling supported by this one, and can also refuse to attend meetings until your union rep is there. Don't just go into the meeting and just go along with it because it's last minute, that's what they're trying to get you to do by rushing you. It's a tactic to get you in there with no representation. Insist on union presence and insist that it's someone you're happy with too, your SMT know full well that you are allowed to do that.
     
  17. I'm so sorry to hear your going through this. It sounds like your having an awful time. I think its time to think of yourself. This situation isn't doing your health and well being any good. You have tried to keep going in but there is no change in the situation. I would personally get signed off and give yourself time to heal and be in a better positon to start your new job. I can't believe your union isn't supporting you more. I don't know why I'm surprised as I didn't find them particularly helpful when I needed them. I did exactly the same as what people suggested packed up all my things and took them home. Just knowing if I felt I couldn't go in I wouldn't have to go back really helped. I eventually did give in and get signed off because I just couldn't continue in the situation I found myself in. Your health is something that you don't get back. Its not worth being pushed to breaking point for a school that your leaving. Hope you do what's best for you. [​IMG]
     
  18. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Hope you are coping ok. You are lucky you have a job to go to. Dont leave it until it affects your health and then affects your new job. I speak as someone who has been up and down all year and often on the verge of going off sick, often managing to hold on until holidays. The trouble is, the longer you cope, the greater affect it has on your confidence. I need to move schools but now have no confidence to apply for new jobs. As soon as job specs starts using words such as outstanding, dynamic etc, I no longer feel that way so dont apply.
     
  19. chuk

    chuk New commenter

    This happened to me in the summer of 2007.
    Go off sick, and get your doctor to write directly to the Head, warning him to lay off.
    However, you can be picked up by your new employer's OH at your next post, if your sick leave is lengthy. In your case, it will only be a few days, so don't worry.
    Don't forget, if you sign off this week, and stay off into the Easter holidays, you will have to produce a sick note right up until the last day of the holiday.
    One word of caution....if you do go off sick now, you will not be able to say goodbye to the pupils and staff properly. I regretted not being able to do this for a while, but I now have the hide of a rhino, and do not care a stuff about all of that phoney business.
    Good luck!
     

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