Work and taking leave for reconstruction

Snoopy_tj Member Posts: 11
edited November 2019 in Health and wellbeing
After nearly 18mths since my bilateral mastectomy, failed reconstruction and, rounds of fat grafting, I was finally given the exciting news that the skin has healed and is ready for an expander to be placed. This is the news I have been waiting for and the surgeon is able to fit me in early December!!

The issue I have is I know that my work are going to be really unhappy. Whilst initially supportive in the early days of the journey and allowing me the 6mths that I needed off work. I feel that over the last year with the fat grafting and recovery that they have been unsupportive and see reconstructive surgery as elective and maybe even cosmetic. They have also blacked out Dec and Jan for staff to be able to take leave. If I have the surgery I will be off work for at least 4weeks due to the nature of my job. I need to tell my boss tomorrow (to give them 4 weeks notice) and I am overwhelmed with anxiety. 

I have looked at the legislation. My question is can they deny me the leave and claim that this is elective surgery and make me wait until next year? Rather than see this as necessary treatment for my recovery.


  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,511
    Good reading and links within especially about rights and responsibilities for both employee and employer
  • primek
    primek Member Posts: 5,392
    This is all part of breast cancer treatment. Are there alternative work options for you to work at a lesser capacity?
    For most people awaiting treatment the surgery lead time is only a few weeks. It is your managers issue to backfill your position. I get your loyalty but in reality another colleague wouldn't batter an eyelid if a surgery date came up. Knee reconstructive surgery is elective too! This is part of your recovery and making your body whole again.

    People can be judgy about reconstruction, but it's such an important part of treatment it IS covered by medicare. Remember that.
    I hope all goes well for you.