I've been off work a long time. What should I do?

Stress can lead to long-term absence from work. Getting yourself back to work can be difficult, especially if your employer hasn't been in touch or sympathetic. If you find yourself in this situation, you might consider the following:

  • Discuss your return to work with your GP or union rep.
  • You may decide that you want a 'return to work' agreement. This will need your employer's cooperation in making 'reasonable adjustments' to your job, e.g. your workload, responsibilities or working hours. You may need to ask for suitable alternative work.
  • If you have a return to work agreement, make sure it includes long-term review mechanisms to stop the problem simply coming back over time.
  • If you have a disability, you may be entitled to ask for adjustments to your former work under the Equality Act 2010.
Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

What is WorkSmart?

A career coach that works for everyone.


Enjoy bite-sized activities delivered to you every week.

Lightbulb brain

Equip yourself with essential skills to be the best you yet.


Get the guidance you need to stay focused and reach your goals.

Worksmart circle