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Old 19.09.2012, 12:08
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Sick Leave questioned

Hello all,

I presented my boss with a 50% medical certificate "arret de travail" last friday. I was very anxious about his reaction and in the end I was kept in his office for 40 mins while he grilled me on why exactly I needed the 50%.

We called HR lady to his office and she made some suggestion about working from home (instead of 50%). Overall I felt aweful about the whole thing, like I was someone trying to dodge out of work. In the end my boss even said something like "I probably asked you lots of questions I shouldnt have" (!!)

I've been told by several people that asking for such details is illegal. Is this true? And if so, where could I take this up with?

thanks

GS
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Old 19.09.2012, 12:29
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Re: Sick Leave questioned

I understand (someone else can confirm hopefully) that you do not have to give your employer any reasons at all (but you can offer the information). You just have to provide the certificate.
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Old 19.09.2012, 18:50
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Re: Sick Leave questioned

I confirm.

You do not have to justify yourself.

However your boss does not have to give any reasons to sack you either (after your sick leave). This is a unique situation in Europe I believe, dismissal does not have to be motivated here.

Better for you not to speak up at all...
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Old 19.09.2012, 19:06
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Re: Sick Leave questioned

Am I wrong in thinking that they have the right to ask for you to be examined by another doctor? The doctor would not be allowed to give details of the reasons, but just to confirm that reasons are grounded.
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Old 19.09.2012, 19:15
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Re: Sick Leave questioned

I would suggest you dismiss your idea of "taking up with" whomever.

Your employer are obviously a bit shocked/surprised/annoyed. So would I be if one of my staff was shrinking their working hours by 50%.

Whilst they may have asked things they shouldnt have, assuming you want to continue working there and your note of sickness is legitimate why would you want to take it up with anybody? Merely, reaffirm your position, that you are unwell, it is not appropriate they probe you to the extent they have, and that you look forward to a speedy recovery and returning to full time commitments.

Apologise for inconvience, no one wants to be sick, and offer help in handover, co-ordinating work elsewhere where possible.
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Old 19.09.2012, 19:23
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Re: Sick Leave questioned

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Am I wrong in thinking that they have the right to ask for you to be examined by another doctor? The doctor would not be allowed to give details of the reasons, but just to confirm that reasons are grounded.
Odile, you're quite right. If for any reason an employer is not satisfied with medical certificate (not saying that employer in this case has any right to be...), then they can send employee to a doctor of their choice, at their expense, to get a second opinion. However that opinion can only be 'yes, so-and-so is unfit to work' or 'no, so-and-so is not unfit to work.'

OP, I wouldn't take it any further though. Although (for future reference) I think you would have been within your rights to refuse to answer their questions - if only you can find a tactful way to do so! But if your boss has admitted they went to far, and you are getting the sick leave... why create a fuss which could lead to you getting fired?
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Old 19.09.2012, 19:35
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Re: Sick Leave questioned

I think you are moving around on very thin ice here.

You seem to think the 50% is the time you should spend at work?
You should read the Swiss Insurance Laws.

To make it simple, an example.
Normaly you are paid 100% if you work 100% and produce 100%.
If the insurance pays 50% and your employer pays 50%.
Your employer can demand that you produce 50% of your normal work volume. Even if it takes you the whole day to do this. In the law there is no mention of time, only production.

Its better 100% or nothing in my eyes.

Salut Zämma
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Old 19.09.2012, 20:30
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Re: Sick Leave questioned

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You seem to think the 50% is the time you should spend at work?
You should read the Swiss Insurance Laws.

To make it simple, an example.
Normaly you are paid 100% if you work 100% and produce 100%.
If the insurance pays 50% and your employer pays 50%.
Your employer can demand that you produce 50% of your normal work volume. Even if it takes you the whole day to do this. In the law there is no mention of time, only production.
Interesting statements. Do you happen to have a source for your opinion ?
IMHO employees are employed for a certain amount of time per week as defined in the employment agreement - period. Agreeing on 'annual goals' (or whatever HR calls it this week) doesn't really change that at all.
Being engaged by someone for plowing a field, building a wall, programming a website etc. doesn't make you an employee.
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Old 19.09.2012, 21:01
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Re: Sick Leave questioned

You might also find that there is a gap between your salary for the working hours, and what the insurance pays on the sick leave. If you have not been working very long then there might also be a gap between when your normal sick leave allowance runs out and when the insurance kicks in to cover your loss of income.

It's also really helpful if you have a plan for your employer about when and how you might resume your duties, or if there are indeed compromises possible like working a % from home in a flexible way. Not everyone works at a desk, and not everyone can take their work home, but most people are glad to work and be paid, than stay at home and do nothing...

Best of luck with your recovery...
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Old 19.09.2012, 21:06
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Re: Sick Leave questioned

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I think you are moving around on very thin ice here.

You seem to think the 50% is the time you should spend at work?
You should read the Swiss Insurance Laws.

To make it simple, an example.
Normaly you are paid 100% if you work 100% and produce 100%.
If the insurance pays 50% and your employer pays 50%.
Your employer can demand that you produce 50% of your normal work volume. Even if it takes you the whole day to do this. In the law there is no mention of time, only production.

Its better 100% or nothing in my eyes.

Salut Zämma
Utter & total rubbish !

It's 50% of the time and you usualy come to an agreement with your employer as to how and when. Quite ofter it can be 2 full days and a half day, you can usualy negotiate with your emplyoer. In generla they prefer this way as if it is 5 half days you have 5 chat sesions at the coffee macvhine, one each morning, with 2 full days and a half, they get better value and you are able to rest up, which is the purpose of the 50%, get better quicker and return to work.

50% is always regarded as a little shifty, either you can or cannot work. It is often given to pregnant women.
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Old 19.09.2012, 21:37
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Re: Sick Leave questioned

If you are ill, we should think about yourself and not the selfish short-term interests of your boss. The quicker you recover, the better, for both parties.

You need to be assertive, that is firm but polite. Take it to someone (who?) will lead you nowhere here. You might get sacked and find it very tricky to find another job in future.
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Old 19.09.2012, 22:55
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Re: Sick Leave questioned

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I think you are moving around on very thin ice here.

You seem to think the 50% is the time you should spend at work?
You should read the Swiss Insurance Laws.

To make it simple, an example.
Normaly you are paid 100% if you work 100% and produce 100%.
If the insurance pays 50% and your employer pays 50%.
Your employer can demand that you produce 50% of your normal work volume. Even if it takes you the whole day to do this. In the law there is no mention of time, only production.

Its better 100% or nothing in my eyes.

Salut Zämma
I find this a very interesting statement, seeing as I am currently on a assurance invalidité programme which aims to get me back to work at 50%. This is based on the principal that eventually I will work at 50%.

No-one has said anything about having to produce 50% even if it takes me a full working week...

As someone else has said, please quote your source.
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Old 19.09.2012, 23:05
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Re: Sick Leave questioned

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Odile, you're quite right. If for any reason an employer is not satisfied with medical certificate (not saying that employer in this case has any right to be...), then they can send employee to a doctor of their choice, at their expense, to get a second opinion. However that opinion can only be 'yes, so-and-so is unfit to work' or 'no, so-and-so is not unfit to work.'

OP, I wouldn't take it any further though. Although (for future reference) I think you would have been within your rights to refuse to answer their questions - if only you can find a tactful way to do so! But if your boss has admitted they went to far, and you are getting the sick leave... why create a fuss which could lead to you getting fired?
Yes they can. In German, it is called a Vertrauensarzt. Sorry, I do not
know it in French.
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Old 19.09.2012, 23:09
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Re: Sick Leave questioned

Had to look it up - médecin-conseil
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Old 20.09.2012, 09:51
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Re: Sick Leave questioned

Just to add my experiences to the mix - I've twice been on 50% time for a period of some time, both resulting from an accident. The first time was started about three months after the accident, and lasted for 9 months, IIRC. The second time was a couple of years later, when I'd got so worn down by work and pain that I was signed off 50% again for a couple of months, then 20% for a while afterwards.

Now, what our company does is not representative of the law, but may be interesting anyway. Basically, if you're signed off for any percentage, the same rule applies, be it 50% or 80%. You are required to sign in to work every day (we have a clocking system) for some period, but that period is not fixed, nor related to the %age you're supposed to work. Working from home is quite normal for us these days, so that may also be done when part-time sick.

So in practice, particularly the second occurrence, most days I'd wake up and get a coffee, bring the laptop back to bed, sign in and read/action/reply to any emails from later yesterday, catch up on anything else, then decide how much more to do depending on how I felt. Similarly if I was going into the office, I'd be there at a normal-ish time, without rushing in the morning if I was particularly tired, then just stay there as long as I felt OK, going home when I started to get tired.

The company would then take the log of time actually worked and claim back what they could of the rest of the time from the insurance (Suva in this case). So it's quite clear that as far as that part goes it's based on a %age of _time_, not of production, and indeed I can't see how it could ever be otherwise.
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Old 20.09.2012, 09:56
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Re: Sick Leave questioned

Quote:
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I think you are moving around on very thin ice here.

You seem to think the 50% is the time you should spend at work?
You should read the Swiss Insurance Laws.

To make it simple, an example.
Normaly you are paid 100% if you work 100% and produce 100%.
If the insurance pays 50% and your employer pays 50%.
Your employer can demand that you produce 50% of your normal work volume. Even if it takes you the whole day to do this. In the law there is no mention of time, only production.

Its better 100% or nothing in my eyes.

Salut Zämma

no its not, its the percentage of your working time, not work volume or production.
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