Your Questions Answered

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Q: An employee is going into hospital to have a nose job. As it is a purely cosmetic procedure, do we have to pay her whilst she is off? A: This is a very good question and highly relevant today! If you open any fashion magazine, you will find pages of adverts for cosmetic procedures and enhancements. Therefore, it is a question that will asked by more employers as more people choose to have procedures. It is unlikely that your sick pay policy will cover this type of situation. If your policy contains a general right to occupational sick pay (OSP) and does not define the type of sickness, it is likely that you will have to pay. However, if you have retained the discretion not to pay, then you should be safe to do so as long as you have exercised discretion fairly. If you do not offer OSP, then the employee will be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay. You could consider amending your sick pay policy to exclude payments for cosmetic-only procedures, such as those not required for medical reasons.

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