Whether you’re unwell, suffering from an injury, or facing maternity leave, time off work is no fun. Whilst we all loved the idea of time off from school to relax at home when we were younger, life as an adult isn’t quite so simple. With financial responsibilities looming over your head, you might be worried about basic necessities such as putting food in the fridge and keeping up with rent so that there’s a roof over your head.
Time off work is nowhere near as fun as time off school might have been back in the day, but there’s no reason to completely lose your mind over it. Whether you’re only off work for a couple of weeks or you’re looking at a few months, here are some tips to help you cope financially and mentally with your recovery period at home. Even if your employment doesn’t offer paid leave, you’re not completely in the dark.
Know how to budget.
See this as an opportunity to improve your budgeting skills. You might only have a certain amount of savings or income to keep you going over the coming weeks (or months), so you can start to learn about better ways to spend and save your money now that it’s a necessity for you to do so. Create a budget which takes into account all the necessities (rent, food, etc) that you need to pay for, and ensure you don’t exceed your means with regards to your disposable income.
Know your compensation rights.
In the case of a workplace-related injury, there may be other financial options available to you. Before pursuing compensation, of course, it’s very important that you’re clear on the circumstances of your injury or accident. Understand whether you’ve been pushed aside in an unfair or even illegal manner and try to resolve the situation with your employer; you don’t want to burn your bridges if you don’t have to. In most cases, the employer will want to resolve things outside of a courtroom.
Of course, sometimes employers don’t want to play ball. You could even look into an investigative agency which might help you dig to the bottom of your case and prove with testimonials or other evidence that there’s a solid foundation to your claim. It might feel uncomfortable to drag things out with your employer if they don’t want to go through the legal channels to pay what you’re owed, but you could always use your time off work to search for new employment; you likely won’t want to return to a company which puts you through the ringer and fails to provide financial aid or compensation in the face of an injury which puts you out of work temporarily.
Know your state entitlements.
The state has measures in place for people who are out of work in all manner of situations. If you’re on maternity leave and you feel that financial coverage from your employer doesn’t seem to quite cover all the costs you’re facing over this period then you might want to look into avenues for additional benefits from the state, for example. In all out-of-work cases there are financial support networks, however. It depends on specific circumstances, of course, but you can even look into getting energy bills reduced in some cases.
Know your post-recovery situation.
Ensure that there’s a return to work program ready to help you get back into your job role after you’ve recovered from your injury or sickness. If there isn’t job security with your role then you need to start searching for other employment avenues; you don’t want to be caught out after the recovery period and find that you’re still out of work. The last thing you need is to spend additional time to search for a new job. Use your time off wisely.
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