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Long-term sickness dilemma

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by 1970devon, Apr 27, 2018.

  1. 1970devon

    1970devon Occasional commenter

    I've been teaching for nearly 25 yrs in various roles and am currently part time - only 2 days per week for the past 9 years whilst my children were young. I've got a long term condition that flares up when stressed but since new year I've had a range of different illnesses which needed me to be signed off for 8 weeks. During that time I had a second absence meeting with support of union. I've been back in work since Easter and unfortunately I am still unwell. I went to GP who suggested more rest was needed but I struggled on but have now taken advice of GP and been signed off for another 2 weeks initially. I'm really worried about my long term health, employment and finances. Under advice from union I've been very honest with my head but they now appear very dismissive and I'm awaiting a 3rd absence meeting. In all this time I've not been contacted by OH despite asking for this. The stress is aggravating my other condition and as yet I'm unsure whether the current condition is short term or possibly chronic. Has anyone any advice please? If this illness continues will I be dismissed or possibly eligible for early retirement? I've loved teaching but I know it aggravates my one condition, I only teach 2 days a week but that income is essential for our household. In reality I need to be working more not less. So frustrated and feeling so unwell.
  2. stephenwaters

    stephenwaters New commenter

    I suggest that you contact the Education Support Partnership helpline (24/7) for support. They will also be able to advise on sick pay. My thoughts: You cannot be dismissed against your will for a medical condition. As your employer seems to be unhelpful now, I suggest you have union representation at this 3rd meeting. The discussion should concern how the school can support you while you are ill and to tentatively discuss what is best for you. In some ways, it is more straightforward to be signed off for a longer period and then to plan your future. OH is a good idea and one of your requests might be to be referred to OH as soon as possible. Your employer has a duty of care for you and discussions should place this as a priority. While your illness is inconvenient for the school, this is not as important as your health and you shouldn't be put under pressure to resign or make any decisions while you are unwell.
    1970devon likes this.
  3. 1970devon

    1970devon Occasional commenter

    Thankyou Stephenwaters for your response. I'll definitely use union representation at all points now and will look into the education support partnership - don't think I've heard of that before. I intend to take the time needed to hopefully recover fully and deal with the consequences when feeling a bit more like myself. Thanks again
  4. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Apologies @stephenwaters but I believe you're acting like a reasonable human being here and expecting that schools are also reasonable.
    Yes you can. They vary but schools absence/sickness policies have provision for dismissing ill employees after a certain time and conditions have passed. These policies are available to staff on the school intranet and I suggest that @1970devon looks these up as well as taking union advice.
    Correct but HTs are not always this reasonable, definitely union advice required.
    Also don't make any binding decisions until you are fit enough to make them.
    1970devon likes this.
  5. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    sorry, but I don't think that is true, if you are not able to do your job, you cannot reasonably be expected to keep it.

    @1970devon it really doesn't sound like the decision is in your schools hands anyway, it sounds like you are not physically able to continue.

    It isn't in your hands either, there is nothing you can do about it. Either you will get better, and be able to go back, nd the school will accept you back, or else you won't, in which case, I am sure you will find other things to do - private tuition, for example, which many of my ex-teacher friends are earning nicely from.

    Either way, worrying won't help, and there is in all probability nothing to worry about it the long run, get better first, then see what happens
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  6. 1970devon

    1970devon Occasional commenter

    Thanks for the advice. I have now got a copy of the policy and will look through in detail when my kids are in bed. My head is new in school and its their first headship. They are doing everything to the letter in all aspects and i believe it would be preferred I wasn't there any longer as I'm a bit of a square peg! Plus UPS 2 makes me expensive. Do you think it's worth me contacting chair of governors and letting them.know the situation from my point of view? We get on very well and I have taught their children over the past years.

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