Informal Absence Meeting Anxiety — Scope | Disability forum
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Informal Absence Meeting Anxiety

Cammatia1
Cammatia1 Community member Posts: 7 Listener
Hi everyone, I am off sick formally due to stress and have been since the 12th August. I’m starting to consider it to be a long term burnout from my autism. 

My employer has a habit of saying one thing and then doing another, and so I have made the effort to get all communication in email. Email is also a lot more comfortable for me. I have told them that I am not comfortable with phone calls, but I have had phone call attempts multiple times until I snapped at them to stop a couple weeks ago. 

Now I have received a letter for an informal absence meeting to “discuss what can be done to support me in returning to work”. I’m reluctant to go, not only due to my communication difficulties, but also the fact I know that they have a habit of not doing what they say they will do, and I can’t document what’s said in a meeting.

why can’t this be in email? Why does it have to be a meeting? Am I forced to go, even though this isn’t going to make me comfortable in the slightest? 

I am in the process of trying to get a new job too, and just need to prove myself in a trial shift before getting it. If I get that job I’m gone from this one, but until then the thought of these meetings is overwhelming, and it really confuses me that this all can’t be in email, which we were doing initially.

Comments

  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,339 Scope online community team
    Hi @Cammatia1, I'm sorry to hear about how your employer has been treating you. Is the phone calling one of the examples of something they said they would avoid but then kept doing till you snapped at them? 

    I would get advice from ACAS if you can, they're an independent body who is there for anyone who needs workplace advice. It's for employees, employers and any kind of worker.

    Now, they are normally only reachable by telephone, having said you don't like that they do have a text relay service. Both can be found here Contact us | Acas. They have an email but they say it's not for advice, it's for accessibility issues with either the telephone or text relay services.
    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
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  • malice88
    malice88 Community member Posts: 18 Connected
    Hi @Cammatia1, I have experience from the employer side here and what they are arranging (in a badly communicated way) is a welfare meeting. It is to understand your health and how they can support you out of work and to return to work.

    Often there will be discussion of support adjustments that might help you return. They will have policies to follow so it can't be avoided forever but you can ask for accommodations. E.g. for them to meet you at home or in an agreed location, or allow you to have a colleague or family member with you.

    They should make notes of the meeting which you will receive a copy of. Just ask if that's the case. If its not, ask if you can record the meeting.

    Your company will want you to return to work of course as they will have costs for covering your work and the workload impacts other colleagues too. They inevitably have to think of various things as well as your health. But they should also offer support. 

    It's a good idea to go in with an open mind and don't expect the worst.

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