So apparently the medical leave for stress is just time off work. Well, I hope that's efficient at de-stressing my technician so she can come back to work and not instantly be stressed again.
It's not as if any of the deadlines the lab is facing have gone away. They have meerly gotten closer (and with one less person to get the work done to meet them - that's good for everyone's stress!). The internal audits are scheduled and will be done. Our accrediting body wants our dossier to extend our field of accreditation on a certain day, and they will have to have it. We promise results to our patients in a certain time-frame and if they are not ready by that time, the patients will be calling us up.
What's best about this system is that the person on medical stress leave gets re-evaluated on the last day before coming back to work. This means that I will not know if I can count on her presence until the morning of the day she should be here.
That's just great for planning.
Don't I get some free time off here too? It's really stressful not being able to run the lab efficiently when you never know if this or that person will be out for another two weeks or not. And one of the other techs - I don't know when her kid will get over his cold so she can come back, either. Then the spring vacation season is coming up - do I start cancelling people's vacations?
For long absences, there is a way for us to hire temporary personnel to replace the missing people. Someone off for 6 weeks may qualify, but two weeks does not count. And I only know two weeks at a time, so I can never get a replacement technician. Even if I could for two weeks, by the time the paperwork got through and candidates interviewed and more paperwork, that person would be at work just a day or two before the sick person comes back. Well, if they come back.