Taking Time Off Work Due to Anxiety & Depression

Two-thirds of us will suffer from some form of mental illness at some point in our lives. Anxiety and depression are two of the most common reasons for taking sick leave from work. These illnesses can strike suddenly, and the nature of anxiety and depression can make it difficult for workers to navigate the process of taking time off work sick, and successfully returning to the workplace.

a manager at a table discussing mental health with an employee

Our guide offers reassurance about your rights at work when dealing with mental illness. We’ll also be giving some tips on how to ask for support to help you at work, how to take time off if you need it, and how to approach returning to work when you are ready.

How to Deal With Depression & Anxiety at Work

Depression and Anxiety are treated like any other illness under UK employment law. If your mental health is poor, then your employer has a duty of care to offer you support in the workplace.

Many people are also not sure that suffering a mental health condition is a reason to take sick leave. Rest assured, you can be signed off work by a doctor when suffering from depression or anxiety.

How to Talk to Your Manager About Mental Health

It can be daunting bringing up issues of mental health in the workplace if it is persistently affecting your work life.

Remember that you are not obliged to disclose any mental health issues. However, if you feel able to let your manager know you are struggling with anxiety and depression it can provide immediate support.

Letting your employer know about a mental health issue will also make sure your employment rights are protected. This is particularly important if your work performance is being affected by anxiety or depression.

Instances when you need to call in sick will also be much easier to navigate.

If you can raise the subject when you are well rather than during a period of poor mental health, the process will be much easier.

Here are some ideas on how to broach the subject with your manager:-

  • Send an email, saying you need to discuss mental health issues in private with them and ask to set up a meeting.
  • When you speak to your boss, keep things brief and professional. Disclose what’s happening and how it is affecting your work.
  • If you have a more informal relationship with your boss, you can raise it by using phrases such as “I need to talk, have you got time for a chat about a problem that’s affecting me?”

Taking Time Off With Depression & Anxiety – Your Rights

If you suffer from persistent depression or anxiety, it’s important to feel able to tell your employer why you can’t work. If you hide the issue and pretend you are unwell for another reason, your workplace might start to suspect your reasons for absences are a discliplinary issue.

Under the Equality Act 2010, long term mental health issues are considered a protected condition. Your workplace has a legal responsibility to make reasonable adjustments for disabilities, including those caused by poor mental health. To be protected under the act, you need to have been unwell for more than 12 months.

Disclosing your condition gives you the opportunity to get help and support at work.

How To Call in Sick With Depression & Anxiety

It’s important to let your employer know you can’t attend work as soon as possible if you need to take time off work for anxiety and depression.

Do not wait until you are due on shift to phone in. If you decide the evening before, send a text or an email. Do not leave a message with a co-worker. It’s important to communicate directly with your manager.

When taking time off work, it’s important to carefully follow workplace policy on reporting sickness. This can be difficult if your mental health is poor. Failure to do this might result in disciplinary action.

Try to put some coping strategies in place about how you’ll report sickness to work when you are well. If you decide how you’ll approach this in advance, it’s likely you will navigate the situation more easily when mental health is an issue.

Our general guide on how to approach needing to call off sick from work has more helpful tips.

What Should I Tell My Manager?

In terms of what you need to tell them, you do not need to give detailed reasons for an absence.

You are within your rights to simply say “I am unwell and will not be able to work today” alongside a broad reason for this. You can simply say “due to mental health”. If you’ve previously approached your manager and discussed your issues with anxiety and depression, this is likely to be much easier.

If this is the first time you’ve called in sick with depression or anxiety, you may have some flexibility to say you have a tummy bug or a virus. Once you return to work, do consider having the conversation with them if you are still struggling.

Our guide to your rights during sickness and calling in sick to work has information on sick notes, and entitlement to sick pay.

Longer Term Absences & Returning to Work

If you’ve been signed off work by a doctor, the process of returning to work can feel daunting. However, with the right support and a carefully managed return, things can go smoothly.

Your workplace should be receptive to making reasonable adjustments to support you during the transition.

Phased Return to Work After Mental Health Sick Leave

The prospect of returning to work after a period of poor mental health can be a little daunting. However, you may be able to arrange a phased return to work with your employer.

In the first instance, visit your GP and discuss your return to work with them. They can provide a fit note outlining your ability to work, and requesting a phased return to help support you. You can then either request to be referred to your workplace’s occupational health, or discuss the request with your manager.

The MIND website offers great information and support on returning to work after time off due to mental health.

How Long Can I Be Signed Off Work With Depression & Anxiety?

You can take up to 7 days off work without requiring a sick note (now known as a fit note) from your doctor.

There’s no set period of time to be signed off work with stress depression or anxiety. The doctor will keep signing you off for as long as your symptoms prevent you from working.

Being off work for mental health related issues is very common, you are not alone.

Returning To Work After Sick Leave For Depression & Anxiety

Before returning to work, it’s a good idea to see your GP. Discuss your condition, and any ongoing support you might need.

Your GP may be able to suggest things that you should raise with your employer. This is particularly important if you have been suffering work related stress. Set up a meeting with your manager or HR and discuss your concerns. You can raise any points made by your GP. You can ask for:-

  • A phased return to work, with flexible working such as part time hours or shorter working days initially.
  • Specific support being made available during your working day, perhaps from a work colleague.
  • Support for time off to attend necessary medical appointments.
  • The ability to take a break in a designated area if you begin to feel overwhelmed.
  • Alterations to workload or management of tasks.

Your employer is obligated to make reasonable adjustments if you are considered to be suffering from a mental health disability.

The Health and Safety Executive Labour Force Survey 2018/19 found that 54% of lost work days was due to work related stress, depression and anxiety. With this in mind, your workplace should have a health and safety policy relating to employee mental health. If your workplace has such a policy, it may be worth familiarising yourself with it.

Return to Work Interviews

Once you have set a date to get back to work. Your employer may set up a back to work meeting with you.

This is an informal meeting, and will be used as an opportunity for your employer to assess your needs, and help you make a successful return to your role. Being approached to arrange a return to work interview can cause worry, however try to view the meeting as a supportive move on the part of your employer.

Further Reading

Frequently Asked Questions On Anxiety & Depression at Work

What is the average time off work for anxiety or depression in the UK?

The HSE report that in 2019/20 an average of 21.6 days was taken off work for anxiety or depression. The study showed that 17.9 Million UK workers needed time off, and that the mental health issues stemmed from workplace stress.

How do I get signed off work with stress and anxiety?

You can self certify the first 7 days of an absence for stress and anxiety. After this, you should see your doctor who will assess your mental health and sign you off for a further period if necessary.

Is anxiety a valid reason to miss work?

Anxiety is a recognised mental health condition and is a valid reason to take time off from your job. It can be a very serious condition which limits ability to function in day to day life.

Can I take time off work for mental health?

It’s perfectly acceptable to take time off work to aid mental health. Your employer cannot discriminate against you on grounds of poor mental health. So if you are struggling at work after a diagnosis, it’s important to let your employer know so they can support you.

Further Reading

If you are struggling with depression and anxiety in the workplace you might like to read our guides on:-

31 thoughts on “Taking Time Off Work Due to Anxiety & Depression

  1. Charmaine Fitzwater says:

    I’ve handed a sick note in to work for anxiety and panic attacks and now management or work friends and colleagues won’t respond to me. Is this normal?

  2. Brucey says:

    After I found deceased tenants in my building I began having nightmares about it I jump out of my sleep as I can see them and also smell the odour of the bodies and seeing it liquified made me have thought that I was dying my anxiety and panic attacks are so bad sometimes I just want to check into a hospital but my psychologist said to use the breathing method. My psychiatrist said to use different pills to help with the sleep when these panic attacks happens I try to relax as much as possible but sometimes it’s so intense I have to reach for a clonazapham just to calm me down if anyone can give some advice I’m really need to know.

  3. Maz says:

    Hi all. Sorry to hear people have been through tricky times. It’s hard because we all need time to recover and work can sometimes help that or set us right back. I think for those of you who have unsupportive or bullying employers then personally I’d plan to get out ASAP as how can you recover in that environment? Are you in a union? I recently joined when off sick just in case. I am in a frontline role but want to change as I don’t think I can get healthy and actually enjoy workdays in this role. Yes, some people do actually look forward to work! When I realised this i thought “what the hell am I doing I need to make some changes here ” Let me know if you’re checking back:)

  4. Dens says:

    Hi all, I sincerely feel for you all due to what you have experienced in the work place. There is a complete lack of humility and compassion in most work places and this is particularly true when it comes to mental health that continues to be seen as a personal weakness. I am currently of with extreme anxiety at the moment and a significant contributing factor has been the bullying conduct of an Agency Manager. There are always 2 sides to a story but the perceptions of what happens are not always equal and there is often an abuse of power by organisations with the situations that many of us are facing. Just to give you a sample of what has occurred in my circumstances. I returned to work in October 2020 after a knee operation and a reoccurrence of anxiety for a Local Authority that is involved in supporting some of the most vulnerable people in society. I had a return to work interview from the aforementioned Agency Manager, she didn’t even ask how I was feeling, suggested that I should consider doing some weight training and said that there was a project she wanted me to be involved in as it would require a very experienced Manager. Within days of returning and trying to find my feet I acknowledged how I had mistakenly contributed to a miscommunication that resulted in our 1:2:1 meeting not taking place. She responded with 12 immediate calendar invites with an email saying she would be documenting all attempts to demonstrate how she was supporting me and that we need to establish some momentum to our meetings. The 1:2:1 meetings were devoid of any genuine care or understanding and she continued to ask me to reflect about how best I would like to be supported. The latter suggestion seems perfectly reasonable but prior to returning to work I had completed with another Manager a stress risk assessment that she clearly had no interest in. Subsequently things got worse. I sent her what I regarded as a helpful email that could improve services for the service users. However, I received a very defensive and dismissive response saying that performances were already steadily improving. I sent a response stating statistics about where the service was 18 months ago and that a strategy was needed to sustain improvement. In response to my email she called me on my mobile at 5.30pm screaming down the phone “you have no boundaries you have no boundaries and I’m going to reign you in, you have also been in contact with colleagues while you was off and you even sent me an email. She then repeated “you have said you was off with stress and wasn’t supported and I’m not having you go off again”. I was completely paralysed that someone who doesn’t even know me could speak to me in this way. Following my return there was a team building day and this Manager said “ before we start I want to pay tribute (to my equivalent) she has worked so hard over the last four months while she has been on her own which has been shocking”. She immediately asked me to take th

  5. Dee says:

    I left teaching two years ago with severe anxiety and recently attended 30 day residential treatment. I have tried entry level positions but get some depressed after starting. Now I am quitting my last pt position. Does anyone have any advice? My husband wants to leave because I can’t work and tired of dealing with me. I am severely depressed to even look for something else, Dee Cusati

  6. Teddy says:

    I have been given a written warning at work as I’ve had 4 days of in a year, I tried to commit suicide and was written of by my doctor from depression and anxiety, I always suffer with chronic pain in my back and spine waiting on bone scan, I poured my heart out to my manager, day of written warning it was by a new manager who knows nothing about me and the person who was taking the minutes was a young lad who stacks shelves who I chat to, it was so embarrassing to have my problems aried in front of these both who no nothing about me only note and doctors letters which prove my illness, I got very emotional in this meeting and they couldn’t care less , this manager was over heard saying to another manager that his looking for someone to sack today as they need to lose hours, I feel like I’ve been victimised and now I have been in a very dark place and seeing my councillor now I really don’t feel I’m capable to go back as I feel so embarrassed

  7. Snowqueen says:

    Having read the comments by others I have suffered the same. I had such a massive workload that I suffered burnout. I have been marginalised and my whole way of working has been changed during my absence. I was signed off for acute anxiety and work related stress because of the huge workload I had and the lack of support. I went back initially after a month to find that I was being blamed for my stress and my boss told me how stressed he was even though he only had a fraction of my workload. I was given very little support and told to work remotely. As they had changed the whole way of working and they asked me to work remotely, I had no idea what I was doing. I tried to get help from my assistant who sent me the most hideously worded emails implying I was stupid when I asked for clarification and then told not to bother her because she was busy. I then felt unable to cope and ended up getting signed off again. I had sent the hideous emails from the junior to a trusted colleague who said that she was disgusted by the tone of the emails being sent to me and raised it with her line manager and told the manager that she was disgusted by the tone. I feel like I am being driven out of my job by the lack of care and attention. I have had to go on anti-depressants to try and cope but I am feeling that for the sake of my mental health I should leave. I feel worthless now.

  8. Jk says:

    I have been signed off with anxiety I’m really struggling with it at the moment, anything from being in a crowded super market to answering the door to people I dont know.. I used to love my job and put everything into it now I’m struggling to even want to go … I work as a retail manager and it amazes me how people can be so cruel and mentally draining and grind them down day in day out when your trying your best, its made me want to change careers my soft nature isnt worth what they put me through.

  9. Becca says:

    I’ve been off work due to anxiety fron the 29th of Dec due to a high anxiety job that I do however a comments made by my boss made me question why I put my self through all I do with my anxiety to have that thrown at me.nothunv feels normal to me right now I want to go back to work my therapy starts in a week and and occupational health have not contacted me I just wanted to know how long are people normally off for untill they feel better. And how do I go back to work I don’t feel like I have any resilience in me to be able to cope

  10. Hannah says:

    Hi I’ve been off work since about the same time as you. Exactly the same. Anxiety which is making me depressed. It’s awful being off but I know I will get sent home if I go back too early. I’ve been looking at other jobs I can do so I don’t have to go back if I feel that’s what’s going to happen. It’s awful. I have a meeting in two weeks with HR too.

  11. Katie says:

    Hi, I have been off work since beginning of Nov 2021 with stress and anxiety, due to a bullying boss. I want to go back to work, because the longer I am off, the harder it seems to return. The problem I have is my boss is controlling, obsessive and drags me down. I don’t seem to have any confident and even talking about it, triggers my anxiety and I get upset. I said I would have a teams meeting today, with the HR woman and my boss to discuss what measures that would be put in place for me to return to work. The anxiety it is coursing me I’m not sure if I can. I want leave my job, but don’t feel I well enough to get another job. Does anyone have any suggestions for me, do I stay off sick, or try and see what they are likely to do to help me?

  12. Justin says:

    I currently work for NHS stores in Newport Wales as a storeman I’ve been of work for just over a year because I suffered really bad with my depression and anxiety due to losing my farther then marriage breakdown and being homeless I’ve kinda got myself back to normal.. I’ve seen my och health and my doctor has given me a 2 month phased return as I’ve been off so long but the manager has only put it as 3 weeks instead…my first day back I did a full 8 HR shift which has kinda set me back abit…can anyone give me some advice as I think my manager is wrong but there not really approachable thanks

  13. Maia says:

    First of all I want to say that I am utterly flabbergasted by the stories I have read, of people who have been sick and once back at work have been marginalised instead of being helped and supported. It is despicable, in my opinion, that there aren’t laws for the protection of employees. Why are some companies allowed to treat people like rubbish and get away with it? I am off work because my boss has systematically bullied me for 5 years and I eventually reached a breaking point. I have been off for 1 and half months and the thought of going back to work terrifies me. Like many people on this forum I don’t know what to do. What I would say to everyone and I keep saying to my self everyday, is that when a work situation is that bad it is not worth it. Life is too precious and no one wants to be treated like garbage and then get sick and live like a scared insecure human being. I was a happy person enthusiastic about life and now I am even scared of going out, no one should have to endure this. I send my best wishes to all of you and I hope we all get better and live a peaceful life.

  14. S wright says:

    Hello. I wonder if you can help. I currently work for a company working 5 days a week full time. I have had 6 weeks with depression and was paid full pay. On returning in my return to work interview I was told that I had to go to 3 days a week and only get paid for 3 days? Are they allowed to do this? Thank you. Sally

  15. Bubbalicious says:

    Hi I am looking for some advice, we found out my husband had cancer in 2016, absolutely devastated, I took a few weeks off work, since then things have got a lot worse he is now terminal he had a stroke last year , I had a sick review with HR I couldn’t believe what she asked me, she said how long has your husband got ??disgusting, January 2020 he was so confused he went into hospital and he had toxins in his liver the cancer is now in his lungs liver heart and now brain, I was off work to look after him I was going to go back in March this year but because of Covid I couldn’t, I went back 4 weeks ago, no phased return , it was awful, as someone said about bullying is true, I work in the NHS, Covid patients started coming in, I freaked out and have gone off sick again with anxiety depression that was last Sunday, I have been called in to see HR tomorrow (Monday) I am worried about losing my job, does anyone know if they can sack me for this Thanks

  16. Marmion says:

    This is my 3rd or 4th flare up of anxiety with depression at work. I don’t want to be like this or feel this horrendous! It’s something you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy! I’m terrified I’m going to lose my job, home & life! As if my anxiety isn’t bad enough ?????? Some people just aren’t interested or realise how much you want to escape feeling this way.

  17. Nhs Nurse says:

    I feel for anyone who has been bullied at work. I have been an Nhs Nurse for 20 yrs and I must say that the worst bullies are in the NHS. I have spoken to several people who left the trust because of this. The NHS spends so much money on anti bullying campaigns which don’t really work as the bully always get away with it and the victim ending up leaving the job.

  18. Faith says:

    I am speechless on the lack of humanity and compassionate in human being. I am going through similar circumstance myself after working for over 25 years for the same central government department. I was off sick for two months due to work related stress and when i came back on phased return, i was hounded with more issues and stressful environment, bulling, intimidation and the senior management working together to fabricate cases against me. i am on sick leave again as i was unable to cope. how is this allowed to happen. pray for me.

  19. Isabel says:

    I work in a Mental Health Residential Care Home as an Activities Organizer, and after working throughout Covid19, going through very complicated moments at the Care Home. Days of great tension, and stress, which caused sleepless nights. My doctor 3 weeks ago passed me a sicknote due to my high anxiety and poor sleep. When I returned to work yesterday and asked my manager for support for a flexible adjustment to my work schedule, she was very receptive and agreed to give me one day a week to work from home. All-day long, I was on my duties with the residents and in my activities. I was not approached by my manager or anyone from human resources. When I left work it was past my schedule, and it was on the way home that I received an email from my manager, telling me to stay at home, as she wants more information from my GP about my situation. When she already has all the information from the first moment I started feeling anxious 4/5 months ago, and since I have been having therapy sessions through work. Because we have supervisions, were we talk about everything, and during the Covid19, we had more in-depth. What support is this? I don’t know what to do? Nobody in the company speaks to me, or responds to my emails? What are they are doing is legally correct? Can I lose my job because of a 2 weeks sicknote due to my Anxiety?

  20. Isabel says:

    I work in a Mental Health Residential Care Home as an Activities Organizer, and after working throughout Covid19, going through very complicated moments at the Care Home. Days of great tension, and stress, which caused sleepless nights. My doctor 3 weeks ago passed me a sicknote due to my high anxiety and poor sleep. When I returned to work yesterday and asked my manager for support for a flexible adjustment to my work schedule, she was very receptive and agreed to give me one day a week to work from home. All-day long, I was on my duties with the residents and in my activities. I was not approached by my manager or anyone from human resources. When I left work it was past my schedule, and it was on the way home that I received an email from my manager, telling me to stay at home, as she wants more information from my GP about my situation. When she already has all the information from the first moment I started feeling anxious 4/5 months ago, and since I have been having therapy sessions through work. Because we have supervisions, were we talk about everything, and during the Covid19, we had more in-depth. What support is this? I don’t know what to do? Nobody in the company speaks to me, or responds to my emails? What are they are doing is legally correct? Can I lose my job because of a 2 weeks sicknote due to my Anxiety?

  21. Broken says:

    I worked in a large civil service department and became mentally unwell due to workplace bullying. While off sick they did everything possible to block me returning. When I did return they tried to manufacture poor performance issues. I eventually had to resign after they violated my privacy. To this day, they have never apologised.

  22. Broken says:

    Im currently off after losing my mental strength working from home. My environment, role and responsibilities changed overnight, after well over 16 years of unblemished performance. While many of my collegues were furloughed I was not. The intensity and type of work was unbearable. I eventually mentaly broke down in front of my wife and son, the darkest day of my life. I’ve been off two weeks so far and have one more week. The anxiety is building and I keep telling myself I dont want to feel like this, What if I breakdown again? Spoke to my GP and I have a Councillor. My work are supporting me but i feel I’ve let everyone down and now i cannot perform or earn money. I feel worthless, im not sure i’ll get through this.

  23. Timeforechange says:

    Hi everyone reading this, I’ve seen first hand how the stigma of even basic mental health problems can effect people in so many ways,its a very difficult situation where you want to work your willing to do whatever it takes to go back to work but because your long term anxitey makes you feel a failure before you even try is unbelievable, being a long term suffer of mental health I feel given the opportunity to be in full time employment I would really thrive at an opportunity that a CEO has been through a very similar experience as many of us have relating to hashtag metal health….

  24. HMRC Survivor says:

    Speaking as a victim of the HMRC bullying culture, my sympathy goes to anyone currently being subjected to their thuggery. In my case, despite years’ of excellent service and an identified adjustment, HMRC failed to follow their own occupational health advice. They tried everything to hound me out to avoid poor attendance procedures because they knew my mental health disorder had been caused by their bullying over many years. So they just bullied more and more until I had no choice but to resign (constructive unfair dismissal) – they faked poor performance; colleagues literally ignored me; they moved me to a role with little or no work; they breached medical confidentiality; a manager got so out of control that she sent her boyfriend round to my home to cause further distress (just to show their contempt for me, HMRC allowed her to get away with this gross misconduct). After being forced out, HMRC invested a large amount of time and money attempting to cover up their wrongdoing and created fake documents to cover their tracks. The degree of dishonesty deployed by HMRC showed a flagrant disregard for the law and staff. They cannot sack you for anxiety but watch out for the underhand stunts they will pull. I would make a Subject Access Request to see what data they hold and speak with your union, Citizens Advice or a solicitor to get specific advice. All the best.

  25. Sitting duck says:

    I work at HMRC too. Terrible treatment when I was off work few years ago due to crippling anxiety then I’ve been off since last week now with the same and this manager is just as bad. No concept of the issue. No compassion basically just get into work. Not helping at all. Can they sack me for having anxiety flare ups? There’s no real adjustment they can do that would help I’d rather just he allowed to recover and return as normal when I’m better. The pressure being put on me is making me worse.

  26. HMRC Survivor says:

    Interesting BBC Panorama documentary broadcast last night about the issues of Disability Discrimination and bullying at the Department of Work & Penions (DWP). Might I suggest that the BBC also investigate the violent bullying culture in another large government department, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), which is out of control and which invests a lot public money in covering up their wilful, wrongful behaviour. My partner was left destroyed financially and mentally, and suicidal after a sustained attack. Would be happy to help any broadcast documentary in the public interest, and share discriminatory emails written by HMRC management. The crooks at HMRC can run away from what they’ve done but they cannot hide – we need the bullies to brought to justice to safeguard future victims. No taxpayers money should be wasted employing wrong ‘uns who can’t behave themselves.

  27. Anti-bullying says:

    Do MPs know about the bullying culture at HMRC? Why is it tolerated? What is the cost to victims lives? What is the cost to the taxpayer? Why are individual HMRC staff members who have behaved inappropriately and/or unlawfully not dealt with under Conduct & Discipline proceedings or prosecuted under criminal law? Why do HMRC make deliberately dishonest statements of fiction in cases where they forced staff to instigate legal proceedings against them? Do HMRC have any idea of the despair caused by their lies in legal cases, which blocks justice and closure? Very basic questions which we need thorough answers to now!!! #HMRC bullyingculture

  28. Anon says:

    How can the public expect to have their health & safety protected from workplace bullies, narcissists, psychopaths, abusers et al when we have government departments like HMRC are inflicting serious damage on members of staff with impunity? Luckily most small businesses value their staff and would stamp out bullying, but if taxpayer-funded organisations like HMRC can’t behave themselves, it sets a awful precedent for others. Time for action on the HMRC bullying culture: the Laura Whyte report into HMRC bullying failed to comprehend the extent and severity to which it has caused harm over many years. Shame on Lin Homer and ‘Sir’ Job Thompson for their lack of action to stop the thuggery.

  29. HMRC bullying surviv says:

    Some of the accounts of bullying on here are remarkably reminiscent of the cowardly but violent bullying experience I endured while working for a government department, namely HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs). The hounding affect of their antics was similar to that which high-profile people like Caroline Flack and Meghan & Harry have been subjected to via the media and online; absolutely despairing. When certain individuals were close to ‘having their collar felt’ for their behaviour, they would create a bogus evidence trail to cover their tracks; worryingly all aided & abetted by their Human Resources and senior management. Their cover-up is, or close to, a criminal standard of dishonesty & deceit and people at HMRC still have a case to answer. It therefore goes without saying that I would advise people to not work for HMRC – it is not safe and, moreover, should you become victim, their institutional dishonesty means you will not be able to enforce your legal rights; a frightening place for anyone to be stuck. In a more broader sense, I have sympathy and understanding for anyone being bullied at work. I would like to see workplace bullying treated on par with domestic abuse laws. That would hopefully act as a deterrent and reduce the amount of suffering. Good luck to anyone going through workplace bullying.

  30. chicken112 says:

    I have been off work for what will be my 14th week. I broke down at work 14 weeks ago and my anxiety has just spiralled since. I struggle to even leave the house some days…but everyone has told me the longer you stay off the worse it is. So, 3 times I have attempted a phased return to work, each time being blocked by panic attacks and general dread. I can’t help but feel like a useless body, my employer is trying so hard to get me back, adjusting hours, responsibilities and I simply can’t. I’m on medication, CBD drops, I attend the gym when I can leave the house, I’ve been more open about my fears, expectations and boundaries but until I can get some sort of therapy I think it will continue to be like this. I’m so eager to get back to it, making money again, having a routine..it’s what I’ve been thriving off for years which makes it more frustrating that I can’t go back when I say I want to… Has anybody been in a loop like this?

  31. Tony says:

    Hi my employer led to my breakdown due to anxiety and depression due to certain managers triggering the triggers that I had put into my WAP. Nepotism and favouritism led to me being ostrichesed, isolated and ignored totally. Mobbing affect took place where the life became so unbearable and I broke down. They also were undertaking an investigation on the complaints of the mob, and they used this as a reason to move me off my department. My Gp recommended reduced hours , they agreed to do this for 6 weeks. During these six weeks my staff members complained about the mob, they took some notice but mainly swept everything under the carpet. They took notice of the team saying that I am ill . So for the past 16 months they have left me in the basement doing menial work and not allowing me on to my previous area . they only had 1 meeting in 10 months and that was to tell me know they want to demote me but was disguised as a health catch up Ai disagreed and they said I had 1 month to decide that was 6 months ago. Apart from paying my full salary which I do appreciate they have not offered any training or catch ups I think this was done to appease the staff and when they forget about me they can now go back to doing what they wanted. They have given my old management position away taken me off all communication channels and now are wanting another meeting to demote me I believe. Phsycoligically I am shot to bits but I can’t afford to lose my job with a £100k of debt they are basically forcing me to accept a demotion. I don’t understand why there is no help the charities like MIND won’t help they just want to sell leaflets, Internet offers some useless advice on how to handle a bulky etc but in reality we all know grievances are pointless you give away your evidence and they whitewash the grievance, solicitors want me to resign and then help me there is nothing really out there for people in my situation. My confidence is so shot that I don’t even know how I would attempt to go back into workplace or do interviews. The workplace is worse then school it destroys not just you but also your family and all happiness fades away

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