September 19th, 2011

Will he, won’t he?

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I spent a shift this week suffering the fallout of the ‘sickness policy’ at work.

Some time ago they invented a job for one of the controllers which a) took them out of the control room and b) gave them a manager’s salary to basically ring  people up when they were sick and get them to return as soon as possible, that and threaten to remove their right to sock leave if they kept going sick.

Sickness is a dodgy subject, you must be able to remain at home when genuinely ill but lots of people pull duvet days when they can’t be arsed, for whatever reason.

I tend not to go sick, I’m quite lucky in that if I get a cold it’s usually pretty mild, I never get flu and the only time I tend to go sick is when I injure myself.

People who have gone off sick more than however many times in six months the policy states (I’m not sure what the warning level is as it’s never applied to me) are threatened with being taken out and shot, or something equally drastic, if they go sick again. The upshot is that when they are genuinely sick they come into work, couch, splutter and moan all day, fail to do a good job because they’re not up to it and you have to cover them, and spread their bloody germs around the room so that people who don’t normally go sick, have to go sick.

I sometimes think management can;t see beyond the end of their noses.

I’m currently waiting to see whether I’ve escaped the ravages of another exposure to someone else’s snot and flem flying round my ears.

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  1. Hibbo says:

    I’ve never taken a sock day in my life. Although sometimes I have worn yesterday’s inside out, as I didn’t have a sock leave entitlement…

    (PS. I know it’s poor to take the piss out of a typo, but I couldn’t resist. Sorry.)

    September 19th, 2011 at 22:30

  2. Brother Random says:

    Don’t worry Hibbo, I was going to do it as well.

    I know how that works 200, our place has the same sort of thing. 4 in a calendar year and you get ‘The Meeting’ so people have 3 sick periods and then suffer at work for the rest of the year. A simple change like making a doctors note cancel out that incidence of sickness would make everything better and still weed out the skivers.

    September 20th, 2011 at 07:03

  3. Plodnomore says:

    During my banishment to the control room, there were two ladies, both ‘Police staff’, who tried to outdo the other with the amount of time off sick they took. What really got up my nose was that if they went off sick during the weekend or on a bank holiday they still received the pay supplements. A number of attempts were made to stop this but the various unions stuck their oars in and nothing had changed by the time I returned to patrol duties. Perhaps it’s still going on now!

    September 20th, 2011 at 11:58

  4. Fee says:

    I we go over 3 days in 6 months, it triggers a ‘process’ which is supposed to help you ‘manage’ your sickness levels. We have a colleague who’s fighting cancer. How the hell is she supposed to ‘manage’ how sick she gets? There’s no room for manager’s discretion anymore, and they’re the ones who can usually tell the difference between genuine sick and swinging the lead (other metals are available).

    On the upside, it’s put an end to the Monday calls from those with hangovers. On the downside, they come in stinking of booze and in no fit state to speak, far less work.

    September 20th, 2011 at 12:35

  5. Ruf says:

    A bloke who I shared an office with kept coming into work after his “the meeting” with the Human Remains director, despite his stomach ache. His stomach ache that was localised on his lower right abdomen.

    Fortunately for him, when he collapsed one lunchtime one of the people in the canteen where he was happened to be a doctor, so he was only hospitalized (and off work) for a month with peritonitis rather than having a tag tied to his big toe when his appendix burst.

    The annoying thing was that while I could cover him for the odd day or the odd week (with prior planning) the HR director assumed that I’d be able (and willing) to cover for a month without any comment up the food chain. This assumption lasted approximately ten minutes from me finding out.
    His was the last “the meeting” that ever happened.

    September 20th, 2011 at 15:34

  6. rafanon says:

    Sorry 200 but i’m on the side of the managers on this one.If people had the right work ethic and stopped taking the piss with duvet days etc then “the meetings” and policies wouldn’t be required.

    I feel very sorry for the genuinely ill, it’s not fair for them to be made to feel even worse by systems implemented because lazy arsed wankers get pissed on a school night, take time off “sick” to watch the footie or go sick because they know some other poor twat who believes and was brought up with the mantra “a full days pay for a full days work”.

    Sick note scoungers are the scurge of any business.

    Shoot them all.

    Here endeth my rant.

    September 20th, 2011 at 19:21

  7. 200 says:

    I suppose if you did shoot them then the rest of us wouldn’t have to put up with their germs when they’re forced to come in to work.

    September 20th, 2011 at 19:37

  8. Buffy says:

    Are you sure you don’t work in the same control room as me ?

    We have a similar system and it is true that there needs to be a system to prevent people taking the piss, but the system we have (4 periods or 10 days) does mean that people are coming to work either they are ethier not fit enough to do so, or covering everyone else in germs and making them ill 2 days later.
    I have never actually come close to the trigger point, and I’ll be honest I don’t care about it, I don’t do overtime generally and there are no jobs to apply for so you can stick me on as many action plans as you like BUT if I’m actually ill I’m not coming in. The day someone puts in writing that I can tell the IPCC that “I was not fit for work but had been forced in to work to avoid a warning” A cold might only be a cold, but the control room job requires about 100% concentration and someone dying with a cold cannot perform to that, there’s not quiet corner to go and sit in and do something less stressfull like filing (could be a supervisor I guess ;-) ) There is no room for someone running at less than 95% wellness in this job, it needs too much concentration.

    I say this as someone that has had 2 days off this year, and had a run of much more than 365 days without sickness.
    The trigger has never actually been a concern as I’ve not got near it, but they can actually stick it up thier arse. If I’m ill I’m ill end of.
    If they want to prove I’m lying come to my home address and check up on me, I’ll be on the sofa under a blanket !

    One of the problems with the system we are using is that if you are ill for one day you actually might as well take a few more off to be sure. You could use up “your allowance” in 3 days if you drag yourself back in the next day.

    People will take the piss in any job and there needs to be something in place to control it, but I’m not convinced the current guidelines are entirely suitable in our control room.
    If there is a big sickness issue, it would be nice if management looked into what was causing it, suspect you’d find that a lot of it was stress / pressure caused in the workplace beating the will to live out of some people in many cases.

    September 21st, 2011 at 10:06

  9. Bof says:

    With the need to identify easy targets to make cut-backs our Ch. Supt has been sending out letters to those who aren’t providing value for money by taking too many days off sick. It suggests that one way cut-backs will be made will be to get rid of staff who, by going sick, are not good value for money. One has been received by someone in my control room; the ironic thing is that last year she got a letter from the same Ch. Supt congratulating her on not taking a single day off sick in a year AND the previous year was voted as “Civil Staff Member of The year”. Oh, and she accepted redundancy two months ago. Bet the Ch. supt wishes he’d done his homework!

    October 4th, 2011 at 09:05

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