Gransnet forums


Calling in sick 2 weeks into a job

(31 Posts)
Shangela123 Sat 29-May-21 08:34:01

I've posted about it before, it's a care home.
They are incredibly short staffed due to people off sick, quitting or being on holiday. As a result, they're ringing up staff on their days off and holidays trying to get them in.
I'm contracted for 3 night shifts a week but I was told I'd be given 4 for the first 2 weeks. It seemed a lot, but I'd told myself it would only be for these 2 weeks.
They needed extra staff yesterday so I have worked a 16-hour night shift, from 3pm-7am.
I am expected back tonight from 9pm-7am, same again tomorrow night, and I did Wednesday night.
I feel like absolute death, so ill and i actually collapsed this morning at 4am and hit my knee on the floor.
I feel terribly sick, plus I have awful hayfever.
I can't see myself doing another 2 night shifts on the run.
All this for minimum wage, plus me and other staff have stayed late after every shift.
This morning the manager came in, barely even looked at me despite knowing I'm new and didn't thank me for doing 16 hours for them.
It seems poor taste ringing in sick already but I feel rotten, 46 hours in a week and 16 hours with 3 night shifts is really difficult conditions. What would hou do ?

Shangela123 Sat 29-May-21 08:37:35

Colleague said she had never seen me looking so bad and that the colour had drained from me

Scribbles Sat 29-May-21 08:53:38

Your need to look after yourself. My instinct is to say, "Leave - now!" although I realise that is probably a financial impossibility. But you need rest and proper sleep so tell them you won't be in tonight. You'll be no use to the residents or colleagues if you're so exhausted and unwell.
Make it clear to the management that, in future, you will not be agreeing to work extra shifts or 16 hour stints and will work only your contracted hours.
Night work plays havoc with the body's systems and can lead to long term health problems in the future so, for your own and your family's sake, your responsibility is to yourself.
Tell them you won't be in tonight and go and get some sleep.

Lollin Sat 29-May-21 09:00:32

They won’t give you a second thought if you end up unable to continue working, only you can give yourself the care you need to continue working (for minimum wage too). I know it’s a real dilemma but you have to be firm and put your own health first. If you make a mistake from being over-worked you know how you will be treated from the lack of consideration given already.

Esspee Sat 29-May-21 09:01:36

I would call in sick and start looking for another job frankly.

Shangela123 Sat 29-May-21 09:16:55

Thanks everyone, I do need to put my health first, I don't know what I was thinking when I agreed to 16 hours at once.

EllanVannin Sat 29-May-21 09:35:52

What a thankless job ! My own health and welfare would come first I'm afraid.

FannyCornforth Sat 29-May-21 09:37:33

Helli Shangela With everything that is going on in your life, you really do need to take care of yourself. I'm concerned that you are going to make yourself very ill.
You need to go off sick, go to the GP and look after yourself. Is there anyone who you could stay with who would help you? Are you getting support in real life? I've asked you any this on one of your other threads.
You really need to make some changes, but you need to get a bit better first. I do feel for you thanks

Shropshirelass Sat 29-May-21 09:46:30

It doesn’t sound like a very good care home. Staff have to be cared for and respected as well as the residents. If you are ill then you can’t do your job properly and need to stay off work. I would look for a position elsewhere, as there is a national shortage of care staff this should not be a problem. I have a friend who is a carer and said that she could only do three days (she cares for her mother). They told her she had to do more hours and nights otherwise she would face a disciplinary hearing! She left, their loss as she is an excellent carer. You have to look after yourself. Good luck.

Redhead56 Sat 29-May-21 09:47:46

My friend was a care worker putting in over sixty hours a week and often expected to do more. She actually lost three stone in weight and had anxiety because of the job.
You clearly have problems with this job it’s about time you looked for another company to work for.
Maybe change occupation for your own physical and mental health which comes first and foremost.

FannyCornforth Sat 29-May-21 09:58:18

Do you know what their CQC rating is?
You've posted before about various issues at your workplace.
I wish that you would respond more so that we could advise you properly, please don't take that the wrong way smile

MiniMoon Sat 29-May-21 10:15:35

I've been there. I was a RMN working 3 night shifts per week 8pm - 8am. Sometimes having to stay late when the day staff nurse couldn't get to work for whatever reason, then going home and having to come back for the next night shift.
It does wear you down.
The home must have an agency they can call on to provide extra staff , where I worked they also had bank staff to call on when they were short.
I would call in sick as you have a genuine reason. Your health and wellbeing come first.

grandtanteJE65 Sat 29-May-21 12:03:20

You are ill, so ring in and say so. No reason to tell them it is hay fever.

As soon as you feel a little better start looking for another job.

The conditions are unlikely to improve where you are, and no one will thank you for ruining your own health by allowing yourself to be persuaded to work in unreasonable conditions.

FannyCornforth Sat 29-May-21 12:17:18

You say that this morning you collapsed and fell; you are definitely not fit to work, especially in your role.
You also say that you feel very sick - do you have a bug? Another reason why you shouldn't be working with very vulnerable older people.
If you are that ill that you are collapsing - you need to find out what's wrong

Shinamae Sat 29-May-21 12:23:41

I work in a care home and luckily it’s nothing like you described. We do get people calling in sick but manage to cover without people doing ridiculous hours. All you legally have to do are your contracted hours. It does sound like a rubbish place to work so if I was you I’d be looking for another care home,you will always get a job in care. Just to say I have been at my care home for 2 1/2 years and absolutely love it... good management and staff make a world of difference

grannylyn65 Sat 29-May-21 12:29:14

Why do people say ‘you posted this before ‘
Do you want a medal for observation!9

FannyCornforth Sat 29-May-21 12:38:06


Why do people say ‘you posted this before ‘
Do you want a medal for observation!9

The reason that I mention it is to acknowledge that I am aware of Shangela's other problemsr regarding her workplace and also her homelife.
It shows that I remember her and know a bit about her backstory.
The intention was to be friendly.

cornishpatsy Sat 29-May-21 12:51:03

I don't think this is the job for you. Long hours and short notice when people go off sick are usual in care homes.

Silvergirl Sat 29-May-21 12:54:07

If I was you I would just do your contracted 3 shifts and tell them “due to other commitments that’s all that I can offer”. Say it calmly but firmly. That’s what they get the big bucks for, solving staffing issues. I have been in a similar situation and I came to realise that my health meant nothing to them. I know it is hard but you can do it. Good luck.

BlueBelle Sat 29-May-21 13:58:25

I don’t think this is the job for you ‘Shang’ it is hard work it is long hours and it is low pay I did it for 8 years I loved the work but it takes its toll when you’re bringing up three kids alone as I was
I loved working with the old folks, I suppose I m one now, and hearing their amazing stories when we tucked them up into bed at night but you may be better working for a local
authority care home if that’s really the work you want to do
You would hopefully get some training because you sound as if you’ve had none at all from your other thread Yes dementia is very hard to work with and these people need specialist care they will cry and shout and swear and abuse and ask you the same thing a hundred times you really do need to know how to handle all this and from your previous posts you don’t

Are you young and taking on a first job or are you just taking what you could get in these difficult times
I would start looking elsewhere as soon as possible

Mattsmum2 Sat 29-May-21 14:09:09

Sounds like if you can you need to find something else. The home look like they depend on the good will of the staff to make up the hours they can’t cover because of sickness or people leaving, but do not treat their people well enough or probably pay enough to not have this problem. It’s a perpetual circle that will never break unless things change. I have never worked in a care home and have only seen them from a relatives point of view and my heart goes out to all those trying their best to cope with work and home life. Until the welfare of the workers and conditions improve I’m afraid this will continue until there is a breaking point and the home will close causing untold hurt to the vulnerable residents and those who care for them. I wish you well in the future but you must put yourself first. Take care x

Millie22 Sat 29-May-21 14:21:30

Quit immediately. Please put your own health first or you'll not be able to work at all.

ElderlyPerson Sat 29-May-21 14:36:08

As well as looking after your own health, please remember that the patients are vulnerable. If due to a carer being unwell and/or tired out and drained and making a mistake as a consequence of that, it could potentially result in injury to a patient and the carer getting into trouble, perhaps even ending up in court.

You mention falling. What happens if you were to get that problem during helping a wobbly elderly patient to move from bed to toilet or wherever.? You could both end up on the floor.

It might be best to log being ill with your doctor, though that might be difficult as it is Saturday.

In reply to your original question. If someone is unwell, it is immaterial how long they have worked there. So you would not be being unreasonable. It is possible that the employer might tell you that you are being unreasonable, but that does not mean that it is unreasonable.

You are a human being. Sometimes human beings get ill. If they did not, our culture would not have doctors, nurses, hospital, sick notes, pharmacies, pandemics, and so on. Such concepts just would not exist.

Hithere Sat 29-May-21 16:31:35

I would call in sick and look for another job immediately

I would also look at placing a formal complaint for the work conditions.

Shangela123 Sat 29-May-21 19:05:50

I've decided I'm going in as I've had a long sleep and feel better, but then I will tell the management that I will do a maximum of 2 night shifts a week.
It's a vicious circle, staff are off sick because they're likely overworked and stressed from having low staffing numbers. There are no agency staff used apparently.
I was talking to a lady who said she worked 9 days in a row without a day off, it does concern me that the management are happy for people to overwork themselves just to have a body in the room essentially.
Thanks for all the replies