I have a chronic condition that my workplace is aware of. For what it's worth I am a developer and have worked at this company for five years. I am in the UK and the condition is covered under the equality act. It is a small company, less than ten employees.
The condition has been managed through this time and I have never had to take time off sick for it until the last two months during a flare up of the condition. Total time actually off sick in these months is two days.
Last week I deemed myself to be struggling to cope with worsening symptoms and working at the same time. I saw my doctor and was signed off as unfit to work for two weeks. I duly sent the form via email same day to the two directors of the company. One was away on leave until the following Monday.
I received no reply to this message or any acknowledgement of the sick note last week.
My condition worsened and I ended up in hospital in the early hours of Monday morning and was admitted where I have been since, making improvements and generally feeling better in myself as soon as treatment began soon after I arrived.
I duly updated my workplace in the afternoon of Monday, still having received no reply or acknowledgment to my previous message. In this email I suggested that I will have some special considerations to be considered before I return to work to aid my return.
Later that day I received a reply. This reply informed me that they will try to schedule a meeting to discuss the return to work before I am back. Which is fine. It also informed me that the two directors had discussed the situation that day, decided that they were going to hire a contract replacement for at least the time of my sick leave perhaps longer. I later found out from a colleague that actually they had already held two phone interviews, decided which developer they were hiring and he was due to start the following day.
This is where I'm not particularly happy about the situation and feel like it has been mismanaged. Before a reply had even been written to me, they had already deemed it appropriate to start a hiring process and hold interviews, then lied to me about the stage they were at.
I expressed my disappointment the following morning. The reply was that there would be no further contact until I return to work. So I'm guessing I won't get a meeting to discuss my return to work.
My question is that, is this a standard procedure? I feel rather let down by my workplace by the whole situation. It feels as if there's no compassion or care for staff members at the best of times but on a personal level this time it feels almost like it was done on purpose.
Should this situation have been handled in a different way or am I over reacting emotionally to business decisions? How should I handle my return and voicing my opinion on the situation? For context I've heard that the contractor isn't working out and hasn't actually been able to make any changes thus far, this is something I've voiced a concern over when the idea of contractors has been brought up before.
Edit - thankyou for all replies and comments. I will get back in due course but please know everyone has been useful in some way. There's some confusion on the timeline I've set out which is the main source of this question. Essentially I was waiting for five days for any acknowledgement of my leave during this time it escalated.