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Title: Seeking Help for Overwhelming Work Situation: AI Legalese Decoder for Relief

Introduction:
Greetings everyone! I apologize in advance if this is not the appropriate place to share my concerns, but I couldn’t find a specific subreddit for this matter. I would greatly appreciate it if you could guide me to the right place.

Background:
Currently, I am a part of a team consisting of four members. Unfortunately, two of my colleagues recently quit, and another one has been away on long service leave for a month. My manager has been assuring me that additional staff will be provided to assist me, but so far, I have only been assigned casual staff members from various departments who lack the necessary skills for the job. As the only skilled worker in my team, I expressed my concerns to my manager right after the first day of handling the workload alone. They promised to address the issue and asked me to train the casual staff in the meantime. However, the constant rotation of different casual staff and the variation in tasks have led to me spending more time instructing them than performing my own duties, resulting in a significant backlog of my personal workload.

Failed Resolutions:
After a few days, I approached my manager once again to discuss the ongoing challenge. They assured me that it would be resolved as soon as possible. Unfortunately, a week passed with no response or resolution, despite my daily inquiries. As a last resort, I approached HR seeking assistance, and they advised me that it is not my responsibility to train others and promised to investigate the matter. However, it has now been over a month, and the situation remains unchanged. Consequently, I have fallen considerably behind in my workload, and colleagues from other departments are questioning the delay, which has begun to impact several individuals’ progress and productivity.

Implications on Mental Health:
This frustrating situation has significantly impacted my mental health, and I find myself detesting not only the work but also my coworkers. Subsequently, I am unable to endure another two months of this until a functional team member is hired. Today, I even found myself crying during my drive home. The toll on my mental well-being is severe.

Seeking Solutions:
In light of these circumstances, I have come up with a couple of potential courses of action to address the issue. Firstly, I am contemplating seeking an extended leave as stress leave, potentially for two weeks or more, by obtaining a note from my GP. My rationale behind this decision is that the lack of progress due to the workload burden would necessitate immediate action from management. Alternatively, my partner suggests that this situation may be eligible for a workers’ compensation claim, specifically concerning stress leave. They argue that the cause of the stress is directly linked to mismanagement and the documented instances of me seeking assistance without a resolution. I am uncertain about the steps involved in making a workers’ comp claim, which is why I seek guidance. Should I schedule a visit with my GP and proceed accordingly? Or should I initiate contact with the relevant workers’ compensation authority in Australia? I lack experience in dealing with workers’ comp situations, hence my confusion about the appropriate course of action.

Conclusion:
In conclusion, the overwhelming workload due to a shortage of capable team members has resulted in tremendous stress and frustration for me. To alleviate these concerns, I am considering either opting for an extended sick leave, citing stress as the reason, or exploring the possibility of workers’ compensation due to the direct impact of mismanagement on my well-being. Any insights or advice on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance for your support.

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13 Comments

  • SweetJeannie_

    Please remove the identifiable details from this post, this plus your post history may come back to bite you x

  • Bree1440

    You could take it as sick leave. Or, as this stress is as a direct result of your workplace, make a WorkCover claim.

    As everyone else said, you should definitely edit this post to remove your identifying details.

  • Turquoisefruitbat

    I’d remove any info that can identify you asap so you don’t get doxxed or identified.

    Afaik there is no stress leave so you’d have to take sick leave to manage your stress. NAL so take with a pinch of salt

  • goss_bractor

    Workcover claims are started by your GP.

    In any case your first step is going to see your GP.

  • green_pea_nut

    There is no such thing as stress leave.

    Stress can make you sick. If you are sick, go to your doctor.

    If your doctor agrees you are sick, they will write a medical certificate. If you are still sick once the length of the certificate ends, go to the doctor again.

  • Pollution_Automatic

    Show up to work on time. Take your breaks on time. Leave on time. If the workload is too much for one person then tell your boss then go home.

  • Profession_Mobile

    First stop is go to the GP get on stress leave and look for another job if you need to, use all your sick leave for stress because of what they are putting you through, a council should know better

  • IamSando

    It’s going to depend on state by state and Tas is a relative unknown to me but yes, this is workers comp most likely.

    First and easiest step is to go to doc and walk them through exactly what you’ve said here. They’ll likely give you a specific WCMC, you give that to your work and let them know you’re making a claim.

    Your employer will have a certain amount of time to respond (and this is very variable by state), where they’ll either accept your claim or reject your claim, which you can appeal. Some states have provisional liability, whereby they can accept a small amount of liability whilst they investigate more fully, I’m not sure if that’s true of Tas. At this point though regardless, you’ll be in touch with a case officer who is working you through most of it.

    Due to the nature of stress claims, you will find that if there’s any contention, he who notes best wins. Get everything in writing, take notes, spend some time now going back and getting anything you’ve mentioned here in writing, get specific dates of people leaving etc and meetings you’ve had with managers.

    But yeah, go talk to your doc, they’ve likely seen it before and will know the process.

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  • Badmother10

    As others have said, you need to remove identifying info from your post, having said that, go to your GP, tell them how stressed and distressed you are from your work, how you’ve been crying in your car, the GP will give you a medical certificate. GP may give a referral for counseling etc. If you are still unwell at the end of the sick leave you still have the option of making a work-cover claim, to cover the leave and medical costs.

    Hopefully being away from work will give you the opportunity to rebalance and recover, and give your employer the impetus to hire new staff .

    Hopefully being away from work will give you the opportunity to rebalance and recover, and give your employer the impetus to hire new staff .

  • South_Front_4589

    First step is talk to your doctor if you’re stressed. But either of those paths requires a certain diagnosable level of stress. You can’t just use it to prove a point. But whichever route you do go down, if you are able, starts with the doctor.

    The other method of course is to just keep working at the same level and if you get behind, that’s not your fault. If people get upset with you then refer them to HR because you’re understaffed. I know it’s not easy in practice, but the more you can separate the workload from the feeling of responsibility the better off you’ll be. And anyone who becomes more problematic, just document each incident with times, dates and what was said/done and refer that to HR too.

  • MyMotherIsASeagull

    First things first – call in sick on Friday. Enough’s enough! Call your GP, make a double appointment. Don’t worry if it’s not til next week, you can use a Stat Dec instead of a medical certificate until you can see them. Enjoy your long weekend and make work the last thing on your mind.

    When you get to your appointment explain your situation to your GP and don’t be worried about becoming emotional, it’ll help them understand what you’re going through. Tell them you need a mental health care plan – Medicare will cover the scheduled fee for 10 private psychology sessions and 10 group sessions per year for you, which means you can hopefully find a therapist you click with. Also on the topic of mental health, most large organisation’s have Employee Assistance Programs where you get a handful of completely free psychology/counseling sessions per year for yourself and your immediate family members, and it’s completely confidential, your employer is never informed of your specific use of this benefit.

    Tell the GP you feel you need a significant break from the workplace due to the stress it’s caused you, and you’re not sure if you’ll be able to go back. Talk to them about a Workers Compensation Medical Certificate, they’ll be able to explain further how this works (or google ‘worksafe workers comp’) but basically it’s up to your employer to submit your claim through their insurer. You’d begin by using your own sick leave, and then once your claim is approved your employer has to re-credit your sick leave as none of this was your fault. Also remember there’s no rush to go down the workers comp path if you just want to use a couple of weeks sick leave, you generally have up to 6 months to make a claim.

    Good luck! Feel free to PM me if you need any clarification.

    EDIT: Forgot to say if your employer asks why you’re sick you could just say you’re not coping well mentally at the moment and need some time, that you have a GP appointment for X day and you’ll be back in touch following that.

  • CharmedQuark

    Call Worker Assist (if Tas based they provide free advice about Workers Comp).

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