Long term sick leave can be a challenging and overwhelming experience for individuals who find themselves unable to work due to health issues. It often involves a complex blend of physical, mental, and emotional struggles.
The team at HR2day worked with a client where an employee had been absent from work for more than a month, suffering with mental health issues. The client was very keen to support the employee but felt that there wasn’t anyone in the company who was equipped or experienced to do so.
It was agreed that the team would support the client, and the employee, on a consultancy basis.
Building trust with the employee was vital to ensure that we fully understood the impact the illness was having on them, where they were in their recovery and the treatment they were seeking.
Regular welfare checks with the employee were carried out to provide open and honest communication channels. During this time, the employee was referred to an Occupational Health professional.
A phased return to work was discussed and agreed with the employee and we outlined steps to ensure a smooth transition back to the workplace, including adjustments to work responsibilities and duties – all supported by the Occupational Health Report.
During the welfare conversations the employee had shared concerns about returning to work and felt that they wouldn’t ever be ready. Unfortunately, it was just too much for them at that time. This detail was fed back to the client. With the approval of the employee, a Capability Meeting was carried out, and the employee was dismissed due to continued ill health. Both parties felt that this was the right outcome, but it did take time and patience – all steps were taken in compliance with the company’s Long-Term Sick Policy.
Long term sick leave can be a challenging period, but with the right strategies and support, individuals can navigate it successfully. By understanding the impact, adopting coping strategies, communicating effectively and regularly, seeking professional help when needed and prioritising self-care, they can move towards recovery and improved wellbeing. Remember, recovery takes time, and everyone’s journey is unique. By acknowledging and addressing the challenges along the way, individuals can build a foundation for a healthier future. Often, a simple question to ask how they are doing, and taking time to listen to them, can be enough to reassure them that they have your support.
If you would like to speak to our team about supporting you and your staff through long term sickness, then call us on 01325 288299 (Opt.2) or email [email protected].