bram naus oqnVnI5ixHg unsplash scaled

What Does Off Work Indefinitely Mean?

As a BetterHelp affiliate, we may receive compensation from BetterHelp if you purchase products or services through the links provided.

This article will take a look at what it means to be off work indefinitely and how it affects one’s employment and compensation. Also, reasons why someone may go off work indefinitely will also be discussed. The article will also explain what someone should say to their doctor to get an indefinite leave.

What Does Off Work Indefinitely Mean?

To be off work indefinitely means that a person has been granted a sick leave or any other type of leave for an indefinite or unknown period of time. This could be because of a number of reasons but this type of leave allows a person to stay at home or not go to work and cope with the reasons that prevent them from working. 

In most cases a person is granted indefinite sick leave because they suffer from some sort of disease or mental condition that not only prevents them from working effectively but also if they do work then their health will deteriorate even more. Hence, they are granted this type of leave by their doctor or a general physician who – in simple words – claims that the patient or employee is not in a state to work.

Being off work indefinitely can mean that the person can be away from work for a few days or weeks or even months – there is no such limit on them. It only depends upon the condition that prevents them from working effectively or affects their health if they work.

Off Work Indefinitely – Compensation & Employment

How does being off work indefinitely affect one’s compensation or employment? Compensation not only refers to an employee’s pay but the bonuses and other benefits that they receive. Employment, on the other hand, refers to the contractual relationship between the person and the company or organization they work at. When a person takes an indefinite leave from work it affects both their compensation and employment but how?

A person who is off work indefinitely cannot be terminated. Although there may be nothing stated in the employment contract that protects a person from such an action, there are international human rights laws that come into action or effect if an employer tries to fire an employee from work because they are off work for an indefinite period. 

Human rights organizations often come to the rescue to help such people from being taken out of employment. There are simple and complex cases; complex cases are made complex by the fact that someone may have only worked for a few weeks at a company. Hence, they may not be liable for certain benefits.

However, if someone is not working then they are not entitled to pay or any sort of compensation. Their employer may pay them for whatever they are entitled to according to the contract; this means they may have a number of sick days and annual leave that is paid – anything more than that will not be covered.

Thus, an employee cannot claim pay if they are officially off from work for an indefinite period of time – whatever the company has paid them should be considered as gratuitous.

Can Insurance Companies Help?

There are a number of insurance companies that can play a role in ensuring that the employee receives compensation even when they are on an indefinite leave – either because they are sick or they are facing some other issue. Employment insurance benefits are hence available to employees who are unable to work due to some sort of injury or sickness.

However, even with these insurance companies there are some conditions that need to be met if you want to go for benefits that will allow you to grab some sort of compensation from the company you work for. For example, the condition may require that you have worked for a certain number of hours at a company before you become eligible for certain benefits that allow you to get compensation even when you are on an indefinite period of leave.

What To Say To A Doctor To Get Signed Off Work With Stress?

Sometimes people get indefinite leave due to stress that they experience and the effects it has on their body. Their doctor may deem that they are not in a position to work at the moment and hence they should take a leave for an indefinite period.

In this section, we will take a look at how someone who thinks they need some time off work can properly convey this to their doctor so they can be officially declared as someone who requires being off work indefinitely.

Talk About Your Symptoms

Regardless of how you feel or what you think, your symptoms are what really make the difference! If the stress is affecting you in a physical manner or affects your behaviour then your doctor as well as your employer are more likely to become convinced that your case is serious!

It is important that you talk about your symptoms in detail. Whether it is a headache or a minor cut that appeared on your body – talk about it. Sometimes we take things for granted but they have a relation to what we feel, think or experience.

Stress is the body’s reaction to harmful situations — whether they’re real or perceived. When you feel threatened, a chemical reaction occurs in your body that allows you to act in a way to prevent injury. This reaction is known as “fight-or-flight,” or the stress response.

According to WebMD, the following symptoms reflect stress:

Emotional symptoms of stress include:

  • Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
  • Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control
  • Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind
  • Feeling bad about yourself (low self-esteem), lonely, worthless, and depressed
  • Avoiding others

Physical symptoms of stress include:

  • Low energy
  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach, including diarrhea, constipation, and nausea
  • Aches, pains, and tense muscles
  • Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
  • Insomnia
  • Frequent colds and infections
  • Loss of sexual desire and/or ability
  • Nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ear, cold or sweaty hands and feet
  • Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing
  • Clenched jaw and grinding teeth

Cognitive symptoms of stress include:

  • Constant worrying
  • Racing thoughts
  • Forgetfulness and disorganization
  • Inability to focus
  • Poor judgment
  • Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side

Behavioral symptoms of stress include:

  • Changes in appetite — either not eating or eating too much
  • Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities
  • Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes
  • Exhibiting more nervous behaviors, such as nail biting, fidgeting, and pacing

Be Open About Your Feelings

Feelings also matter a lot! One of the most important feelings is that of happiness – it is a universal way to measure your quality of life. However, sometimes we are not happy but unhappy, sad, anxious and stressed out! This can take a toll on our body because how we feel eventually affects our physiological state!

Feelings can also point to serious mental conditions such as depression! If this is the case, your doctor will immediately give you a stress leave.

Highlight Triggers

It is important you clearly tell your doctor what stresses you out. This will enable them to determine whether or not these triggers exist in your office – they are most likely too! Hence, once they have enough information about how you feel and what experiences you have, they are in a better position to get you a stress leave.

Clearly State Why You Need Time Off

It is important that you convey what you want your doctor to do – in this case it is getting you a stress leave from your employer!

Your doctor must be told why you want a stress leave and how will it help you recover from whatever stresses you are going through!

Listen To What The Doctor Has To Say

Last but not least, listening to the doctor’s advice is quite important. They are in a better position to tell you what to do. In some cases they will immediately help you get a stress leave. In other situations they will tell you to wait a bit longer because they may need more evidence.

Book Follow Up Appointments

Show your doctor you are serious and are really in need of help by visiting them regularly! They will see the desperation and help you!


This article took a look at what being off work indefinitely means and how it affects a person’s employment status and their compensation. The article also looked at how someone can convey their symptoms of stress to a doctor to receive a leave from work.


What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.