Have you seen your doctor?
You need to get a Fit Note from your doctor if you think you may not be able to return to work within 8 calendar days. Your doctor may think that you need time off work to recover, or allow prescribed medication to take effect.
Often it is better to get back to work as soon as you can, even if it is on reduced duties and / or reduced hours. Your doctor will tell you whether they think you may benefit from returning to work on reduced hours or duties and can write this on your Fit Note.
Tell your manager you are off work because you are suffering from stress
The more open and honest you can be about the nature and cause of your stress, the easier it will be for you manager and the University to support you.
If you think your manager is contributing to your stress then you should tell their manager, or speak to your HR Adviser.
Keeping in contact with your employer is essential whether in person via informal meetings or by telephone and email:
- You must stay in regular contact with your manager (or suitable agreed alternative contact) and arrange with them how often you should phone/ email or meet with them.
- Keep providing Fit Notes from your GP if you are sick or only able to work reduced hours.
- Aim to get back to work as soon as possible and help identify reasonable adjustments that will help you do that.
A useful guide on returning to work following mental health issues: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/mentalhealth/Pages/returning-to-work-mental-health.aspx
What your manager will do
Your manager (or suitable agreed alternative contact) will support you in helping you get back to work as soon as possible. They will keep in contact with you by phone and email and will want to meet with you, face to face, as soon as is practicable.
They are likely to:
- Talk to you to find out what you think is causing your stress
- Consider referring you to the University's Occupational Health Adviser, to get advice on how to best to support you
- Agree with you steps to help you get better and return to work. This could take the form of temporary adjustments (such as relieving you of some work tasks, changing where you work for a temporary period, being flexible about start / finish times, or helping you with a difficult relationship with a colleague).