November 21 – My missing IT manager returned to work today, simply to report that he has been signed off for a month with stress.
Now I could definitely be signed off for a month with stress so I asked him to come to see me and explained that I clearly respected his right to have the time off but that we would need him to see an occupational physician urgently in that case and unless there was a clear and agreed programme to set out how he was going to deal with the stress so we were sure he could return in due course without the problem recurring we would only be paying statutory sick pay in the meantime.
Now I guess you could call that stress inducing. But I also think it wholly appropriate. Saying you’ve got stress without seeking a solution is a useless management policy. So I’m being proactive.
He wasn’t happy, but late in the day he called and agreed.
In the meantime, I’m holding meetings to make sure the idea that our manufacturing guys want to take forward makes progress. Being absent is not a reason for objecting to commercial activity making headway.