Dealing with Employment Issues whilst unwell
We have experience of advising and helping people in a vast range of situations at work, and there is one issue that can be very hard to cope with and that is dealing with employment issues whilst you are unwell, particularly if you are suffering with depression or some other condition.
There is a surprisingly high number of diagnosis of mental illness as a result of employment problems, however despite the fact that it is a regular occurrence there is often a feeling of stigma which means that it can be very difficult to talk about the issue when it arises.
We are here to tell you that it is okay and you are not alone.
According to the charity MIND, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any given year, and 9.7% of the people in England will experience depression with anxiety. Further statistics and information can be found at www.mind.org.uk
Understanding your condition
The starting point for dealing with mental health and issues at work is to recognise that there is a problem.and to seek medical advice in the first instance. Once you have acknowledged that there is an issue it is easier to see how your condition is affecting you.
Once you have sought medical help you can then work on the causes of your condition, and if the cause is work then this is an issue that can be dealt with,
Tips to help with your employment case
If you are unwell it is important to think about your reactions to behaviour and whether your tolerance level has been lowered. It may be that your condition causes you to be much more sensitive to others behaviour that you would normally be, One way to deal with this is to talk to someone you trust who will listen to you and be honest, basically getting a second opinion to ensure that you can look at things in context, .
Equally however it is important to ensure that you do not shrug off behaviour or bad tre
atment because you are unwell. Don’t let your employer tell you that you are being irrational because of your illness, seek advice and opinion from someone who is not personally involved.
We have been involved in a number of cases in the past where the employee has been very unwell, and as a result they questioned every little detail of each letter and document that the Employer provided them, when in normal circumstances they were a perfectly rational person. The effect of their illness was that they became irrational and unable to focus on the bigger picture.
As hard as it may be you should try to look at your complaints in an objective manner, or seek
the opinion of someone whom you trust and who will give you an honest answer. You should certainly do this if you are considering resigning and pursuing a claim for unfair dismissal, as once you have taken this action it is almost impossible to go back.
Another important factor if you have become unwell because of work is acknowledging that it is work that has caused you to become ill and accordingly the longer that it goes on the worse that you will become, or you will not see any improvement in your condition whilst the situation continues, For some people the only way they will recover is to end the employment relationship and move on. This can however be a very hard step to take.
Getting help and assistance
It is recommended that you take medical advice about your condition and the affect that work has, and specifically ask your Doctor if you are fit to attend any meetings or grievance procedures.
There are a number of charities and organisations who can provide you with assistance including:
There are also a number of local resources and services that your GP will be able to direct you to in your area.
If you have suffered with mental health issues as a result of work or have any advice to offer then please leave a comment below