Going back to work

How soon can I go back to work?

Some SCAD patients will be able to return to work with no problems. Others will need to do a phased return. And for some, the type of work, work pattern or stress level may make it harder or impossible to return.

Harriet Mulvaney, Beat SCAD Trustee and former HR Director, gives some helpful advice about how to manage your sick leave, returning to work, or negotiating an exit if you are unable to return.

  • Look at your contract
  • Keep lines of communication open
  • Keep your options open
  • Use the HR team, occupational therapist and aim for a phased return
  • Think about having a ‘protected conversation’ – honest/open conversation, non-recorded about what is best for you and the company
  • What to do if you are self-employed and can’t afford not to work. Stop doing everything else, ask friends/family to support you in your non-work life. Pace yourself as best you can.

What financial help can I get if I can’t work?

This will depend on your financial circumstances, what your employment contract says about long-term sick leave, whether you are considered disabled, need carer support and so on.

The best way to find out what you can get is to look at the Department for Work and Pensions website.

For information about Employment Support Allowance for periods of short-term illness see

You can also talk to the Citizen’s Advice Bureau for advice.