Understanding needed 1

September 22, 2006

I was deeply moved by the tragic case of Diana Winstanley ("Suicide don under 'huge stress' in job", September 15).

I have personal grounds for empathy. My university refused to give me leave, even though I had ample left, when my wife was in hospital with a severe multiple sclerosis attack. I was told by my line manager, the head of school and the head of human resources that the rules did not allow for extended leave in the summer.

I am still surprised that this refusal was deemed in any way acceptable by the senior management and that any distress that was caused to me, my wife and our young children was seen as perfectly acceptable.

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