Open Navigation

Sabbaticals

Have a career break

A “sabbatical” is essentially taking a time out from work with a view to returning to your job after an agreed period of time during which your job is protected and your continuity of employment preserved.

Absence Management

Sabbaticals are not governed by law, and so any arrangements will need to be contractually agreed between employer and employee. In an ideal world, the employer will have a defined policy which sets out expectations. However, many employers do not and when it comes to granting sabbaticals or career breaks, it is usually the employer that holds the power.

As there is no legal guidance, it means that (subject to any contractual policies) these breaks can be paid, or unpaid, and for such length of time as may be agreed between the parties. Many employers operating sabbatical systems do so as a reward for long service.  Employees should generally expect to return to the same employment on the same terms but should always ensure this is clearly agreed before taking the break!

In most cases, the employment relationship will continue during the sabbatical, meaning that continuity of employment is maintained. This is relevant when it comes to redundancy calculations for example, or unfair dismissal rights.  Whilst the relationship may continue, some of the terms may be varied or suspended such as salary and benefits. Holiday entitlement will continue to accrue even if the break is unpaid.  Depending on the length of the break employers may require employees to take accruing holiday during their period of absence.

News

Remote Working

Back with a Bump: The Legalities and Practicalities of Agile Working

As the summer draws to a close, employers in all sectors are beginning to welcome staff back to offices and other physical workplaces. However, the pandemic has shifted expectations on all sides, with agile working (involving a mix of home and office working) increasingly becoming the norm in certain sectors. Recruitment Working from home has…

Read More
CoronaVirus

Update: “Long Covid”

“Long Covid” refers to the fact that some people seem to suffer from the effects of Covid-19 for significantly longer than others, sometimes for weeks and months after first contracting the illness. Long Covid undoubtedly presents difficulties for employers managing staff absences and decreased performance or productivity from employees who are suffering from an illness that…

Read More

Managing A Return To The Workplace

Today sees England move to Step 4 of the Government’s COVID roadmap.  Social distancing and mask wearing rules are no longer mandatory in public spaces, but the Government has failed to clarify what steps it expects employers to take before welcoming staff back to offices and other workplaces.  Managing a successful return to the workplace…

Read More