Made to suffer for taking sick leave

23rd June 2006 at 01:00
Don Short Agony Uncle answers your questions

Q: I recently returned to work after an accident and was shocked find my desk stacked with eight weeks of unmarked essays and other paperwork. It seems that I am expected to catch up and do my normal work at the same time, without any leeway for re-assimilation.

My period of leave was not, as one unsympathetic manager put it, "extra hols" and I do not feel as refreshed and eager as I might be expected to after a proper holiday.

It's been really tough getting back in the groove and the college has done nothing to make it easier. I am afraid to say that I am struggling for fear of my colleagues' reactions.

A: There is an element of envy, I suspect, in the way that you have been treated, as well as resentment.

Make it clear that you are struggling with the workload and that you require support to get back up to speed. Institutions should have measures to assist staff returning to work after a lengthy period of sick leave.

In schools, covering teachers are now required to mark homework and to complete paperwork. It should be the same for FE.

Dilemmas should be emailed to Donald Short at

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