Those of you reading this esteemed publication could be forgiven for thinking that the ‘lunatics have taken over the asylum’. On the one hand we’ve had the shocking statistics on ‘shirkers’ and the ‘work shy’ costing the country extortionate amounts of money, and now we have the Trades Union Congress (TUC) telling us that too many sick people go to work.
This is a confusing and perplexing conundrum that we OH practitioners must get to grips with. You can guarantee there’ll be officious shop stewards lurking in the works canteen ready to make ill-informed judgements on the authenticity of Fred’s nasty case of ‘beer flu’.
These mixed messages are not helpful, and OH nurses are used to the collusion of trade unions with persistent ‘sick-note’ offenders. However, in this New-Age Enlightenment of workplace health reforms, it seems that trade unions and Left-wing mentality may well prove to be the ‘thorn in the side’ of this Labour government in achieving its goals.
My union rep is off sick more than he’s in work, and this blatant flouting of company attendance management protocols is basically ignored for fear of upsetting him and causing an ‘incident’.
Why can’t trade unionists dispense with this old Arthur Scargill mentality and move into the 21st century? Dame Carol Black’s review recommends more involvement of safety reps and trade unionists in delivering proactive health initiatives – a bit of a mistake, if you want my opinion.
Still, let’s look on the bright side: the best we can expect from them is a return to the three-day week and the relaxing flicker of candles when the power cuts begin – certainly one way to achieve a work-life balance and a sense of wellbeing.