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Returning after WRS

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by ACVX, May 1, 2019.

  1. ACVX

    ACVX New commenter

    I'm returning to work after just over two weeks off due to WRS (though it feels longer because they were either side of Easter). I honestly don't feel ready to go back, but illness earlier in the year means my time off on full pay is about to run out, and my partner and I really can't manage with me on half pay.
    The WRS was caused by weekly observations by SLT for unclear reasons, and the main change agreed by my union seems to be that these will be limited to 15 minutes at the start or end of a lesson. Obviously this isn't particularly better. I don't have any exam classes, so won't gain any time and I am leaving this school this year (it was a one-year contract), so I'm basically looking for advice on how to manage this term. Any suggestions?
  2. caitmarlow1

    caitmarlow1 New commenter

    I'm sorry I don't have any advice but I hope things get better for you
  3. skellig1182

    skellig1182 Senior commenter

    How many years service do you have and were you off sick before April first?

    If your entitled to 6 months full pay and 6 months half pay have you checked with HR when it runs out? Have you been in work since the 1st of April? Usually the new sick year starts on April the 1st providing you have returned to work on or after 1st of April. Have you thought about asking for phased return? Have the school arranged to make it easier for you to return or involved occupational health? x
  4. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Do you mean before the 1 April? Sickness that continues from the previous year is counted as that year, not the new one. If the OP started teaching in September 2016, I think that would mean an entitlement to 75 working days at full pay rather than the maximum 100 days (which may be less than six months).

    As for advice, I am not sure if anything else can be done now that an agreement has been reached. But, if you are leaving, then you can try to pretend it doesn't matter - perhaps that would make it easier to cope with.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  5. skellig1182

    skellig1182 Senior commenter

    Hey, no not if it continued from the previous year. So if your off 31st March into April then the sickness absence continues as one period. It renews in the new sick year only when the member of staff returns. That’s why I wondered if they were off before the Easter holidays started or in work after the 1st April. It might have renewed then and depending on how much time they are entitled to, could still have some paid time left. xx
  6. mothergoose2013

    mothergoose2013 Occasional commenter

    I don't know about the pay etc. but I do know that wrs takes more than a fortnight to recover from. Be very careful with your health and avoid compromising it for financial reasons. The impact you perceive is never the reality. There are many ways to be creative with your finances and if you are ill you will not be able to see those yet.

    If you feel you must return the bonus you have is that you only need to remain in the situation for a very short time, (I know it will seem like ages to you and that there is a massive hurdle for you ahead). I would imagine the school will be less interested in observing you if you are leaving within a term and would be more interested in ensuring the classes are covered? With no exam classes and an upcoming exit I would imagine you will be fairly low down on their radar - that doesn't mean I think you should go back and do half a job, or that I think you should go back if you are still unwell.

    There is a space in all our heads that can help us deal with the seemingly impossible, (the thing is it goes skew whiff when we are ill and is extra hard to find). Try using the headspace app or talking yourself into the idea that this is a short term hurdle. If you can find that place in your head that allows you to disassociate from the situation it will be easier. If a bit of googling and experimenting with your own self-talk gets you nowhere then you are not in a fit state to return and should not do so. Returning after a period of absence is always difficult and a lot of the anxiety disappears within 10 minutes of walking through the door. There is only you that can decide if going back is doable for you. Are you going to be able to function properly and give the kids a decent experience? What impact will going back have on you personally? etc.......

    Very best wishes whatever you decide xxx
  7. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Sorry, I misunderstood. I thought you were talking about returning to work after the illness. Yes, what matters is whether you have done some work in the current sick leave year. What I am not sure about is whether it is possible to come back to work for a day or two and then start the new sick year at zero days off.
  8. 8sycamore

    8sycamore Occasional commenter

    I have been in exactly the same situation: two weeks off with WRS, same time of year, left in summer.
    My advice is to repeat to yourself that you will be out in a matter of weeks.
    It helped me to look at the week by week section in my planner and put a line through each one when it was completed.
    Look for anything to break the weeks. For example, are there any trips you can get yourself on towards the end of term?
    If specific classes are bothering you, or causing you stress if you are observed teaching them, look at ways to get round it. Could you ask to observe someone else during that period, for example? (Obviously don't say why, make up some reason why you want to see that particular class).
    Can you arrange for an outside speaker to come in for a few lessons? I don't know your subject, but if you tell us, I bet there will be posters with ideas on who you could ask.
    Could you maybe team teach with a nice colleague? This could either be someone in your dept or someone you could do a collaborative project with.
    Plan a treat for each Friday night, so you have something to look forward to. It could be anything, not necessarily food or drink. In fact, lay off the food "treats" and alcohol as they may bring you down further.
    I'm not trying to teach you to suck eggs, but I know how overwhelming it can be.
  9. 8sycamore

    8sycamore Occasional commenter

    Oh, and the best advice is to live well.
    This horrible SLT will still be horrible in two or three years, and quite probably stuck in the same school.
    You'll have moved on and it will all be a distant memory!

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