It's all about what's reasonable. Would it be reasonable for an employer to accept a certificate from a pharmacist for a one day or even two day absence? Yes. What if the same certificate was from an employee with excessive leave who got one for a Monday (for example). Nope. In those circumstances it would likely be reasonable to request a certificate from a GP.
As for mental health days... Come on, that term is widely used for people chucking a sickie when there is nothing wrong with them (which I have never done). Everyone knows that.
Having a sick day because you are stressed or anxious is... Well a sick day. Personally I would be doing three things in those circumstances: going to the Dr to discuss my mental health (and get a certificate), talking to my employer so they were aware (this will generally act in your favour not the opposite) and looking for another job. Not all jobs are suited to all people and your mental health and wellbeing is so important. Don't risk losing it for a job.
I don't have experience in any non-corporate workplaces so I realise I don't know the ins and outs of how workplaces all operate. But I do know that most employers with a decent HR dept will bend over backwards to assist and accommodate employees with health issues, especially mental health ones. And it's not for altruistic reasons.
The firms I worked at did care about their employees' mental health. And they were 2 of the largest in the country. The problem though was most lawyers wouldn't acknowledge themselves they needed a break. I think it's true of most working environments. A lot of employers would like to help but staff are worried it would be held against them so they don't seek out help.
@btmac I work in a large law firm too. There has been so much work and investment in this area in the last few years. Google Resilience@Law and you should find some info.
Law firms are also very risk averse of course, which is how they also tend to manage their people.
I don't think you need to have a mental illness to have a mental health day. You also shouldn't have to pack up and leave your job everytime you get a bit stressed.
For me, my job doesn't cause me stress, it is an accumulation of my commitments as a mother, wife, business owner and employee.
To all the people who are so against mental health days are you telling me that you have never felt completely exhausted, mentally drained and overwhelmed that you just needed a days break to recoup?
Unfortunately for me, my work never stops. The weekends aren't a break, they are a time to catch up on the things that don't get done throughout the week.
I'm not going to be made feel like a bludger because I have and will continue to take a mental health day when I need it.
I took a mental health day today as someone tried to break into our house last night. I would have been useless going into work anyway. I was a complete mess today and might still be tomorrow.
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