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Is it too easy to be 'off sick' in teaching?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by deleted358, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. neli

    neli Occasional commenter

    Is it bad to laugh at your own joke for a good 2 mins? It did my stress levels the world of good!
    Didn't want to have a go Becky but there are lots of people that could probably do without a post like this at the mo. Sorry to be confrontational, mates[​IMG]

  2. Ok, well as a generak discussion point- seeing as legislation states that you should do no more than 38 hours of cover a week then no I don't think anyone should feel guilty.
    We do half hour covers at my school. And if no-one turns up for second half, I send kid down to reception to find someone or request that SLT comes up.
  3. I was in my own doofus way trying to be sensitive to that hence my earlier quoted sentence!
  4. Bloomin eck! I don't even do my own job for that many hours a week!!! lol! Your bumps eating your brain [​IMG]
    ha ha xx
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Those comments are just from the first page of the thread... based on that we can assume you have two colleagues who're abusing the system, have no consideration for their colleagues, who are habitual absentees and ought to have to supply medical notes....
    Tell me again that you're not sniping?

    Really... truly... get over it. They may or may not be genuinely ill, they may or may not have sick kids, they may or may not be supplying sick notes, they may or may not be getting paid. No matter what, YOU don't know their circumstances, you don't know their medical details and you don't know what, if anything, is being done about it.

    Oh - and report that OH because if they're blabbing about your colleagues you can bet your boots they're blabbing about you too.

  6. If that makes you feel better!!!
  7. neli

    neli Occasional commenter

    Seren has a point which worries greatly given, well enough said.

  8. Not worried when my general point was that no one ever got referred!! lol!!
    Regardless of the rights and wrongs of it I have nothing to hide anyway BUT, obviously that is not the point. Blabbing is perhaps the wrong word as no specific details were given.....
    anyhoos..... think we have digressed from the point I was TRYING to discuss.
    Not interested in point proving exercises as to who was saying or doing what. Get too much of that on TES.
  9. Had a feeling when I saw the title this one would be a longun!
    My first thought was - it's harder to be "off sick" as a teacher as the expectation is to set cover work, which often means more work than just going in and way more when you go back. And the guilt! It's taken me 6 months in a new job to really stop feeling guilty if I'm not slaving away outside of my contracted hours.
    It does seem to be easier to be **** at your job and not get fired as a teacher than any other job though! [​IMG]
  10. Haven't read all of the posts but in answer to the initial question I think the NHS acivtively encourages people to have time off work. I have two relatives who work for the NHS and they are forever being sent to see a doctor if there is a problem and then being told not to come in the next day and just "take it easy." Both relatives work in the same hospital so maybe it's indicative of the hospital they work in? Compared to teaching the NHS appears to make absenteeism an olympic sport!
    I think people in school are sympathetic to those who are genuinely ill but the problem is that (like in all professions) there are those who take advantage and those who struggle in despite how ill they are.
  11. I think that in any job (usually but not exclusively in the public sector) where you are fortunate enough to have an adequate sick pay scheme funded by your employer, you can and should take the appropriate time off if you are sick or injured.
    Unfortunately, for many of us out there in the real world, we don't have much choice. We either turn in for work or we don't get paid. in the last 5 years, my husband and I have struggled into work with various ailments that would otherwise have confined us to our beds. When my husband was going through 6 months of chemo, he still went into work in between sessions so we could meet the mortgage payments. It shouldn't be this way. Everybody should have proper sick pay. £75 per week statutory sick pay is a joke.
    Oh and before anyone asks, yes I do have income protection which stings me £42 a month to insure my pretty meagre income. However, I need to be off for 3 continuous months before it will pay out. I simply can't afford 'immediate benefit' cover (which incidentally requires at least 5 continuous days absence, validated by a GP). Over the last 8 years I've paid out thousands on this policy and not claimed once. I'm too scared to cancel it though in case I tempt fate.

  12. GordonWright

    GordonWright New commenter

    I think it should be as simple as this: if you are too ill or badly injured to carry out your duties or are suffering from a contagious illness (such as a sickness bug), you shouldn't be in school.
    If management makes it too easy for individuals whose conscience allows them to make a meal of their lesser ailments to be off, there's an issue.
    If management applies undue pressure to individuals who are genuinely incapacitated in the way I described to come in to work, there's an issue.
    We are all different. Personally, I have been <u>very</u> fortunate in my career: I've never suffered an incapacitating injury of any kind and have only had 2 and a half days off due to illness (in 12 years). One day that may all change and I will be grateful for the 'leeway' that the profession gives to those who are genuinely ill or injured. People I know have been similarly unfortunate with their health and have needed (and have been granted) time off to take treatment and recover. I see no problem in that.
  13. Completely agree GW
  14. like most workplaces, I think this depends a lot on your boss. My sister works for the NHS and she has a nightmare taking time off work. I've told her she should make a formal complaint. Every time she is sick her boss calls her, asks if she's hungover, then pressures her to come in. Makes my blood boil when she's been genuinely ill and has her stress added to by... Grr, don't get me started.
  15. Ok in response to the last message on this thread you sisters boss is breaking the law. Employment law clearly states that employers are not allowed to contact sick members of staff, let alone pressure them back to work.

    Now to the main point

    Yes is the short answer,

    It is all too easy for people to take time off in this job. I have two members of my team who regularly take time off for one reason or another.

    The one that really gets to me though is kids! They phone in saying they are sick but I subsequently discover it os one of their offspring.

    Well sorry to be blunt but if you are going to have kids and return to work make proper childcare arrngements - and this includes when they are sick. Simply - you have a job to do so unless YOU physically cant make it in or are contagios - and I dont mean a sniffle - get out of bed drop the kids off at childcare and get on with your bl**y job!
  16. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    That is not the case.

  17. madenglishgirl

    madenglishgirl New commenter

    In past employment, I was one of those people who had seemingly random days off and I was paranoid that people would start sniping behind my back. I went and spoke to my HT and apologised for having so much time off and that I was under consultant care for gynae problems. I felt I had to explain, as to other people I looked and seemed perfectly healthy until I started to menstruate into my pelvic cavity and was crippled with back pain. She assured me that she would 'pass the info to the relative people' and no issue was ever made of my time off. If people DID talk about me behind my back, then I either didn't know about it or they were shot down in flames by SLT.
    Luckily the school was very aware of staff well-being (in SM and one of the worst in the country at one point!) and we had an army of 6 cover supervisors and 3 trusty supply teachers (the only ones that would come to us!) to mop up the cover, as it was recognised that doing loads of cover was detrimental to staff moral and overall mental health! If people struggled in with a cold, they were regularly told to go home and not to come back until they were better. The HT knew that we had to be 100%, or we couldn't do our jobs properly. One day off watching crappy TV and stuffing yourself with Lemsip is better than struggling in for a week and then having to have 4 days off because you've run yourself down so much.
    In general, collegues were very sympathetic to people having random days off as we all knew how stressful it was working at that place - it's a bit like trench mentality. Oh and with regards to children, we often had teachers bringing sick kids into school instead of them having to take a day off to look after them at home - we sometimes had a bit of a creche going on in the staffroom!
  18. madenglishgirl

    madenglishgirl New commenter

    Please read that was 'pass the info to the relevant people' - my brain isn't working this morning.....
  19. I completely agree with GordonWright. In the last few years I've been fairly lucky with illness / injury and had 1 or 2 days off each year when I've been genuinely ill (still, not as impressive as GW's 2 days in 12 years!). This year however I've already had 7 or 8 days but all were genuine nasty viruses when I couldn't possibly have gone into work. I feel really guilty about it. Today I'm sitting here with a bad back, off work and feel awful about it but I can hardly stand up straight and in lots of pain. Hate the feeling of being off though.

  20. If it is your own illness it is genuine.
    If it is someone else's of course they are skiving.
    Doctors have nothing better to do than provide paperwork "proving" that someone who comes to them saying they are ill really is ill.
    Or we could just trust people to tell the truth and drop the holier than thou approach - which is itself an illness [​IMG]

    Incidentally people who come in with a tummy bug and give it to me are not heroes in my book.

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