This may seem strange, but when cosmetic surgery becomes more and more available to all levels of society one could question whether a leave of absence following such a cosmetic operation may qualify as period during which the employer is obliged to keep paying the salary during a limited period of time before the Sickness Fund takes over.  

The Belgian Supreme Court has ruled (in this case the surgery was a sterilisation procedure) an employee be entitled to the continued payment of salary in the event his absence is due to surgery even in the event such an operation has been carried out for other reasons than health-related or recovery reasons (on the condition the surgery cannot be qualified as a cause (as in "termination for cause")). The reasoning of the Supreme Court is that it believes a medical operation can lead to a situation of incapacity to work, and therefore the applicable rules.

Therefore, even in the event surgery is carried out, purely for aesthetic reasons, the absence of the employee may qualify as a legitimate incapacity to work entailing the continued payment of salary.