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Hair & Beauty Australia Industry Association

LEAVE FOR ELECTIVE SURGERY – what you need to know.

Posted February 26, 2018

With the high number of calls the HABA IR Team have received lately, HABA defines what salon owners need to do to manage their staff undergoing elective surgery.


Elective surgery covers a range of cosmetic procedures but also includes any surgery which is medically necessary but can be delayed at least 24 hours, like the removal of tonsils or appendixes. More often in the hair and beauty industry, we are seeing staff members having more cosmetic-focussed procedures done, and it’s important our members know the obligations placed upon salon owners when they are faced with this situation from staff.

Generally, it is only after the procedure that an employee could have their ‘Personal Leave’ accrual paid out and not beforehand, for attending consultations and pre-surgery appointments. After the elective surgery, it is likely the employee will be recovering and therefore, entitled to use their ‘Personal Leave’. This is an entitlement for all staff protected by the National Employment Scheme (NES) and unlike Annual Leave, it cannot be refused by the employer if the conditions of section 97 of the Fair Work Act 2009 are met.


The only control that an employer may have in this situation is to request the employee provides a medical certificate from their doctor or surgeon that includes how many days of recovery they recommend and when the employee is fit to return to work. If you have received a medical certificate, you are out on a limb to challenge medical advice that it was not a personal illness or injury.


With elective surgery a rising phenomenon, salon owners need to be aware of their obligations to staff and offer support to staff, without putting the business at risk. If HABA Members have any questions or concerns regarding leave for elective surgery, you are welcome to call HABA at any time, as many times as you need, on (02) 9221 9911 and our team of in-house Industrial Relations Experts can assist you with specific advice for your situation.



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