15 January 2009

Tameside Council has been offering staff unpaid leave to have cosmetic surgery. The council acted on the offer after a number of workers came forward requesting time off for 'life-choice procedures', such as breast augmentation and liposuction.Managers have been told to explore a number of options for employees requesting time off for the cosmetic procedures, including offering unpaid leave on top of existing holiday allowances, according to the Manchester Evening News. Previously, staff were required to take time out of their annual holiday leave unless they produced a note from their doctor. The new policy is intended to cover all workers who have requested cosmetic surgery procedures, including anything from Botox to dermal fillers, with the exception of teachers and other school staff. Council representatives have said they made the decision because cosmetic surgery is considered a stressful experience, and that being flexible about the matter would help bolster goodwill amongst the staff. A spokesman for Tameside Council told the Daily Star: "The guidance is aimed at finding the best balance when managing absences between providing our employees with the most appropriate support and providing best value to local council taxpayers." The new policy, which is currently in draft form, will apply to a range of operations including vasectomies, sterilisations and laser eye treatments as well as cosmetic surgeries. Managers will also have the ability to discuss the option for staff to make up the extra time in lieu of taking time off, or buying extra holiday hours. The council has also noted that the initiative will cost extra money, but say the amount will be limited.