Can sick leave be taken for elective surgery?

Q: If an employee is undergoing an elective surgery, are they entitled to take personal leave for this – even though it was their choice to have it?

A: Strictly speaking personal leave is available for illness or injury. However, if the elective procedure is such that the employee will be unfit to work (e.g. because they have been under a general anaesthetic), it would be permissible in our view to allow the employee to use any personal leave they may have – even though the procedure is elective.

Please note: The answer is correct at the time of publishing. Be aware that laws may change over time. Refer to Personal/carer’s leave for current advice.

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