8 Oct 2008

Exceeding authority or good taste?

I was stunned yesterday after a meeting with my line manager.

A couple weeks ago, I had a week (5 days off) due to an ear infection. Now, I didn't know it was an ear infection, I actually went to the doctor for a headache that wasn't passing. But upon examination, the doctor determined that I had an ear infection and an underlying ENT condition which would require surgery.

I was given antibiotics and told to rest, and return if the ear and headaches don't improve. Bear in mind during the rest of my post, that a doctor in England is not required to give you 'sick leave' if you are off work or school if the period is 5 days or less. You can self certify. That's the law.

So yesterday I met with my manager, and he asked me for the following:

  1. A statement from a friend to verify that I was ill.
  2. A statement from my friend's wife (coincidentally she is a nurse) to verify my friend's statement (I suppose that's the aim, I couldn't see a reason otherwise).
  3. A statement from my doctor to verify I was ill and visited his office.
  4. A statement from the receptionist at the surgery to verify I was there and she phoned a taxi on my behalf.
  5. The letter requesting follow-up specialist ENT care at the hospital.
  6. The box my prescription antibiotics came in!

Now, this isn't a lie. I mean, this is what he is asking for, to verify that I was off ill.

That to me sends me a message that he is calling me a liar.

I am not too sure that this exceeds his authority in employment law, but it certainly exceeds good manners and good employment practice.

After returning home last night and thinking about our conversation, I am certainly going to get my union involved. Something about this isn't kosher.