A path back to work
May 17, 2012
Early intervention can play a key role in helping people to return to work after sickness. Heather Downey describes the story of one person helped by Nottinghamshire Fit for Work Service
Sarah had been working with her employer, a medium-sized packaging and logistics company, for seven years. During this time she had gained considerable experience and had been promoted to being team leader of a key sales administration activity.
She had, however, been struggling with stress, but had not taken any sickness absence. She also had work relationship issues with peers and her managers during this period.
Things became particularly difficult when Sarah was asked to take on a new team leader role which increased her workload considerably. She did not want the extra responsibilities but felt she had no option but to take on the role, fearful that she may otherwise lose her job. After taking it on she did identify to her employer that she was struggling with the role but felt that little was done to support her.
She did not at the time signal to her employer that she was struggling with work-related stress and anxiety. Her problems became worse and she went off sick for eight weeks and did not have access to occupational health support. At this point she came into contact with the Nottinghamshire Fit for Work Service.