Sick System

Submitted by Janine on 27 February, 2005 - 10:30

Heard the one about the rail companies which think they are actually medical practices? C2C and TubeLines are the latest employers to turn the screw on sick staff.

They want to bring in a system under which you phone in sick, only to be interrogated not just by a manager, but by a nurse as well. Rumours that they pop round your house to stick a thermometer under your tongue (or anywhere else) are completely untrue - at this point, anyway.

Our employers' sickness policies - known as 'Managing for Attendance' in most of the industry - are a stick to beat workers with, and an attempt to coerce people back to work when they are unfit for duty.

Management attack staff suffering with injury or illness - kicking a person when they are down. Many of us have experienced this bullying - and we all know at least one workmate who has. Management may think we are a workforce of skivers. But surely if we wanted to sit around all day being paid to do nothing, we would apply for their jobs. Perhaps they should concentrate on making the workplace a healthier, safer place.

These MfA policies also undermine the professionalism of NHS staff, as employers issue disciplinary warnings even if we have medical certificates; in other words, when our own doctors advise us to stay off work. Excuse us, we trust our own doctors more than we trust someone paid by the company to deliver 'results' ie. to get sick workers back to work or off the books.

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