Stress Leave from Work: What is It & How to Request One?
Work Wellness

Stress Leave from Work: What is It & How to Request One?

|Apr 28, 2021

Asking for stress leave from work gives anxiety to many people even though it is right for all the reasons. Considering many people taking time off work for mental health, stress leave from work due to anxiety needs to be taken seriously. Especially when over 1 million employees are absent from work every day because of some stress.

But a worrying fact is not many businesses realize the importance of stress leave from work nor take it seriously. This could result in employees developing anxiety of going back to work or even start to hate their employers seriously. And before anyone knows, the work-related anxiety peaks, and a person becomes a serious patient of clinical depression.

Thanks to the laws that back stress due to work and many legal obligations of an employer, the next time you worry about taking stress leave from work and start thinking about pushing yourself, remember it is your legal right.

What is Stress Leave from Work?

While you should always be discovering helpful ways to reduce stress at work through meditation at the work desk or even taking help from some stress-reducing apps on your phone, sometimes the stress gets too much to tolerate. And this is when a person should not push themselves beyond the limits, or it could result in burnout.

What is Stress Leave from Work?

Stress leave from work is an extended time of self-care and health concentrated leave from work. Stress leave is legal, and an employee can take up to 12 working weeks of unpaid leave under the Family medical leave act. The FMLA for stress guarantees that an employee is eligible to get unpaid leaves and get off work with anxiety in case of any stress-related injuries such as mental health issues, work-related anxiety, too anxious to attend and socialize at work, etc.

To be eligible to take stress leave from work, you must have some diagnosis of mental health issues or exhaustion due to increased stress at work. While you may be pushing back all the vital symptoms of stress at work, please don't do it for too long as it could result in work stress burnout.

Here are some symptoms to look for that might indicate you are in dire need of stress leave from work:

  • Unable to perform your work duties

  • High-stress levels that perform your ability to work

  • Work-related stress affecting your personal and social life

  • Falling sick constantly

  • Having symptoms of anxiety, depression, or long-term stress. 

When to Take Stress Leave from Work?

Humans have an unhealthy habit of pushing themselves beyond limits, and sometimes this couldn't be more harmful to us. Whenever work-related stress starts to pile up on our heads, rather than taking a day or two for us, we tend to push it back. Even though you may feel like a mighty person who is combating their fears, ignoring work-related stress can result in long-term depression and anxiety. And soon, you will be finding yourself looking for ways to ask for stress leave.

When to Take Stress Leave from Work?

Sometimes, it is just a stressful day at work or even a bad week when the audit is taking place, or in other cases, your workplace could be toxic for you. To differentiate between temporary workload and constant uncertainty at your workplace, you need to consider your feelings. Rather than just beating yourself up for feeling bad, it is wise that you discuss your health-related symptoms with a medical care professional and even with the human resource department in your office.

Looking at your health and comparing it with common symptoms of work-related stress is the only way to carry out an early self-diagnosis. Once you discover, you could be suffering from stress at work; you are eligible to take stress leave from work.

As the new FMLA allows you to put your mental health before work, then there is no reason you need to push yourself too hard. But to be eligible for FMLA, you must have been employed by your company for at least a year and given 1250 hours to the workplace in the past 12 months.

Also, the FMLA applies to companies with more than 50 employees within a 75-mile radius of the workplace, and once you find yourself befitting the conditions, you can ask your HR for stress leave from work. Besides that, asking for a stress leave from work is not that hard. We will explain to you how to do it.

How to Get Stress Leave from a Doctor and Work?

To be eligible for stress leave from work under the FMLA, you need to have medical health documentation to prove your mental health issues. Your healthcare professional, aka mental health doctor, must be able to recognize your stress symptoms and classify them as a case of mental stress and rule it as a major factor that affects your work performance.

Although it is not wise to ask a stressed person for proof, judging your symptoms and noting them down only helps you get better. This ensures your employer understands your mental health condition and treats you accordingly. In some cases, many employers also give time relaxation at work or even introduce a hybrid work model to work from home.

How to Get Stress Leave from a Doctor and Work?

Once you get your health record noted through a medical health professional, you need to talk to your employer or get your message across through the human resource department. A great way is to initiate an email that states your urgency to discuss a medical-related issue.

Once you get an appointment to discuss this with your employer, bring your documentation and be confident to discuss your situation with them. Be open about your symptoms and highlight the causes of work-related anxiety as well. If it is something related to the workplace environment, be strong enough to discuss it.

Overcoming Anxiety of Asking Stress Leave from Work

Indeed, many workplaces do not consider mental health issues as serious sickness thus do not allow paid leaves for that. Still, under the FMLA, you can be eligible to get leaves because of your mental health and even get time to recover yourself until you feel well enough to work again

Overcoming Anxiety of Asking Stress Leave from Work

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