Staff member off with mental health issues

Discussion in 'Employment & HR' started by Flat Roof, Mar 23, 2018.

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  1. Flat Roof

    Flat Roof UKBF Newcomer

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    We've a staff member who's been off close to two months now with a mental health condition - situational depression.

    We'd like to find out some more about this - ie, if it's work related; what the treatment is - but she's refusing to answer and says we cannot ask.

    Is that correct? Do we not have the right to get some further info?
     
    Posted: Mar 23, 2018 By: Flat Roof Member since: Nov 27, 2017
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  2. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend

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    Posted: Mar 23, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
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  3. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Legend

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    What does your sickness management policy say about this?

    In the absence of a sickness absence policy you have several options.
    You can ask the employee to meet for a discussion about their curernt situation and prognosis. They can refuse.
    You can ask the employee to attend an occupational health appointment so that you can obtain an independent medical report. They can refuse.
    You can ask the employee to give permission for occupational health to contact their GP for a full report. They can refuse.
    You can ask the employee to a meeting to discuss their future employment with you as you are unable to cover their sickness absence for an extended period of time. They can refuse.
    You can advise the employee that, unless you have a clear idea of their likely return to work, and that return is within a reasonable timescale, you will have no option but to dismiss them with effect from date in the future. They cannot refuse to be dismissed.

    There are potential pitfalls in the last suggestion, and I would recommend going through the others first. How lkong has the member of staff been employed?

    I assume that situational depression is that they are depressed because of a current situation. That situation may or may not be work-related.
     
    Posted: Mar 24, 2018 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
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  4. Gecko001

    Gecko001 UKBF Legend

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    Situational depression can be considered one of the milder types of depression. Doctors consider it a mental health illness and will often treat it with drugs. It can lead to the development of more accute types of depression such as clinical depression if not treated.
     
    Posted: Mar 24, 2018 By: Gecko001 Member since: Apr 21, 2011
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  5. strikingedge

    strikingedge UKBF Ace

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    You can ask and she would usually need to answer any reasonable question about her health that impacts her ability to do her job.

    My advice is to bring in an HR professional, on a consultancy basis, who can have these sensitive discussions with your employee.

    As it is a third party, your employee may feel more comfortable discussing the details of her illness with them.
     
    Posted: Mar 26, 2018 By: strikingedge Member since: Jan 25, 2009
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  6. Gecko001

    Gecko001 UKBF Legend

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    Just because an HR professional is not an employee of the employer does not mean necessarily that they are a third party. Their brief will come from the employer, they will be paid for by the employer, they will report back to the employer.
     
    Posted: Mar 26, 2018 By: Gecko001 Member since: Apr 21, 2011
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  7. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend

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    And the person may not want to discuss the matter with anyone but the medical professionals at their local medical place. GP surgery, out clinic, hospital or whatever.

    Who decides 'reasonable'?
     
    Posted: Mar 26, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
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