Am I allowed sick leave if I am having cosmetic surgery?

Cosmetic Surgery and sick leaveMost employees are entitled to some form of basic sick leave as part of their contract of employment, and this ranges from statutory sick pay (set by the government), up to a more generous period of paid sickness absence. If your employer offers supplementary paid sick leave, how much this is and how long you receive remuneration for this depends entirely on your employer and the specific terms of your employment contract.

Sick pay and sick leave were originally designed to cover any form of unexpected sickness or illness, but now what classes as ‘sickness’ is a bit more of a grey area. Where, for example, does time off to recover from cosmetic surgery fall in relation to the agreed definition of ‘sickness’?

UK legal firm Penningtons outlines something that many people are not aware of, that employers are not mandated to give time off to employers for medical appointments of any kind (with the exception of some relating to pregnancy). Time off for medical appointments is something that is entirely discretionary, and it would be within the rights of an employer to ask you to take these from your holiday allowance:

“There is no statutory right to time off to attend medical appointments, except for certain ante-natal ones. Unless there is a contractual right to such time off, leave to attend an appointment with a cosmetic surgeon is likely to be at the discretion of the employer .”

It all depends on the cover you are entitled to from your employer

According to the Personnel Today, if you have elected to have cosmetic surgery then the recovery from this type of operation is not classed as ‘sickness’ in the conventional sense. This means that a patient would not be entitled to statutory sick pay. They could, however, be entitled to enhanced sick pay / sick leave if this was covered by the contractual terms offered by their employer.

If you elect to have cosmetic surgery and suffer complications as a result of your tummy tuck or facelift that means that you are then unable to work (for example, if you succumb to an infection in a healing wound) then this could class as a traditional form of ‘sickness’, therefore normal sick leave/sick pay rules would apply.

Open the channels of communication

Although some people may feel shy or sensitive about talking to their employer about a planned cosmetic surgery procedure, it is likely to be better in the long run if you are open with your boss. It is not necessary to make the details of your operation known to everyone within your workplace, although it would be sensible to discuss your plans and the expected recovery patterns with your line manager and your employer/HR manager.

0ver 50’s choosing Cosmetic Surgery to improve their looks

0ver 50’s choosing Cosmetic Surgery to improve their looks

A recent study carried out by SunLife to determine how attitudes towards life changes when people reach 50 has had some remarkable results. The overall factor found that almost all of those questioned within the study felt an increased pressure to look good, with many opting for Cosmetic Surgery procedures to slow down the signs of ageing.
We now know that almost 250,000 British people have undergone some form of cosmetic surgery at the age of 50 or over but the good news is that those people approaching the big 5-0 admitted feeling ten years younger.
60% of the 50,000 who took part in the study said they were enjoying their life at 50 more so than when they were younger with 78% of them saying this was probably because their self-confidence had grown and they no longer cared what people thought of them.

Ian Atkinson of SunLife said: “While some over 50s are feeling the pressure to stay young, most don’t actually care what other people think and are happy just living their lives to the full. This includes making more of an effort to eat well and exercise more regularly than they did when they were younger which suggests that far from feeling ‘over the hill’, people aged 50 and over are making sure they are fitter than ever so they are free to do what they want to do. Some people still believe that turning 50 is something to worry about, that life slows down after that – but after conducting the UK’s biggest-ever study with 50,000 people over 50 we know that’s not the case at all: for many, life after 50 is the best time of their lives.”

Six out of ten of those taking part in the study said they began taking more notice of what they were eating while 46 per cent have started exercising more. One fifth said they had cut down on drinking since turning 50 and one in seven had stopped smoking.

For us within the Cosmetic Surgery industry we are not surprised by the research found. Our practice sees a whole range of ages coming through its doors but what we can say is that we recognise that as patients are approaching their 50’s they begin to take surgical steps to keep their looks youthful. Many younger people use Non surgical treatments like botox and fillers to give them the aesthetic appearance they wish however as people age and this skin becomes more lax, this becomes more increasingly difficult and sometimes surgery is the better and more permanent option.

*According to the ONS there were 23, 072,619 people aged 50 and over in the UK in 2015. One per cent of this number is 230,726.

When cosmetic surgery goes wrong it’s up to surgeons like Mr Park to correct the mistakes

Celebrity stories are big business in the world of mass media and the press love a good story about failed cosmetic surgery.

From celebrities such as Tara Reid showcasing her rather unfortunate breast augmentation, to entire TV series such as Botched illustrating some rather gruesome and peculiar failed operations, it is clear that mistakes do happen, and when they do, it’s a big problem for the patients involved.

cosmetic surgery mistakesThe makers of the reality series Botched are now into a second season of trying to ‘remedy extreme plastic surgeries gone wrong’. From medical burns and bizarre looks following facelifts, to leaking lip fillers and overly large breast implants, once problems have been caused, it’s down to someone else more reputable to step in and fix the problem.

In the case of Tara Reid, the problems she faced have also been put down to the surgeon she chose. What a concerning prospect for patients who are considering going under the knife for an appearance changing operation. Trust in your cosmetic surgeon has to be one of the most important elements when deciding to undergo any type of operation, so stories such as this are worrying.

How to avoid problems like this

Here in the UK, it is important that you choose a reputable plastic surgeon and, helpfully, there are many things you can look out for that can help you make an informed decision.

The first place you should look is the surgeon’s website, where you’ll be able to see the qualifications and professional memberships held by the surgeon you’re considering. Mr Alan Park, for example, clearly displays his ‘postnominals’ at the top of his website, which indicates the level of qualifications held. In the case of Mr Alan Park, ‘F.R.C.S. (Plast)’ indicates that he holds a Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons, the professional membership organisation that governs, regulates and educates surgeons in the UK and Ireland.

It is also important to look for the logos – on the front page here you will see links to other regulatory and professional associations that Mr Park is associated with; the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) and the British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS).

If you have any concerns at all or wish to seek further reassurance, a quick call to any of these associations will validate membership held and will give the necessary guarantee that the surgeon you’re interested in is operating to a British approved standard of cosmetic surgery.