However, she claimed that she received an ‘accusatory’ text as a result of her absence from a senior member of staff, which read: “We don't know if you are on sick leave or 'holiday for time out' this week. If holiday, please ignore the below. If sick leave, then we're v uncomfortable that social media shows you out with friends for 2 reasons:
“These are seen by colleagues (potentially professional damage for you and very awkward when they ask us). Also if you're well enough to go out, then why aren't you working?
"We won't share this further and hope you receive this as friendly concern / a friendly alert (sic).”
The Mumsnet user went on to reveal that she didn’t actually have a Facebook account and doesn’t have any posts on her Instagram account.
“The only pics I have shared via WhatsApp status and Instagram stories are pics of my newborn god daughter and her older brother – which have been sent to me by their mum! I have no idea how this indicates that I've been "out socialising" – when the furthest I've been all week is up the road to see my GP, and to the pharmacy to get my prescriptions (sic),” she added.
Despite contacting the senior colleague to find out more and who had accused her of this, she was not told any more details.
LondonLupie then decided to text the colleague to explain her concerns over the accusations and revealed she had a limited social media presence.
She then received another message that read: “I'm very sorry if my very careful message to you was not level in some way. Please don't send me any more angry messages.
“I hope that you will come to see this not as accusation, but concern for you by people who care about you (sic).”
Confused about the conversation, the Mumsnet user revealed her concerns about involving HR or whether to escalate it to her line manager, to which another user replied: “She is your colleague, not your manager/ boss? Your sick leave is none of her business. I would keep any and all messages and speak to HR.”
What is the UK’s sick leave policy?
According to Gov.uk, employees can take time off work if they’re ill, but need to provide their employer with proof if they’re ill for more than seven days. Employees must give their employer a doctor’s fit note, or sometimes known as a sick note, if they have been ill for more than seven days in a row and have taken sick leave.
In this instance, as the employee had a sick note from a doctor, which instructed her to rest, the employer should have put in place measures to prevent other colleagues from sending accusatory messages that could prolong her illness and increase stress.
In addition, if HR are made aware of the situation, the department should ensure other colleagues are aware of how actions such as these will be treated.
Subscribe now to myGrapevine+ and get access to exclusive new content, and the full content archive.