Telling the truth about SME life today

The difference between a sabbatical and a career break

Both a sabbatical and a career breakinvolve long periods of time in which a member of staff leaves your employ. It’s thus unsurprising that the two terms are mistaken to be synonymous.

Neither has a legal preset,?meaning employers can tweak the offering to their discretion. But that’s where a sabbatical and a career break diverge in likeness, the biggest difference being thatthe formerAffords employees job security.

As was suggested by Sue Hadden of Career Shifters: “The usual job ?perks?, such as being paid and pension contributions, may be suspended when someone is on a sabbatical. However, employees eventually return to their job, or equivalentthereof (if you’ve filled their role, then”find them another within the company).

“The period of time allowed depends on the business though often stretches into months?” and may only be accessible to?those at a certain level in the organisation, such as senior managers or full-time staff.”

It’s important you be consistent in the process involved,’so“having clear rules?” a required notification period and the need for written requests?” set out in the staff handbook will help, detailing what matters will be handled case-by-case.

“You will need to decide whether toAccept requests based on individual circumstances and the operational needs of the business,”?one Jeanette from EllisWitham opined.

“You may have to refuse because you cannot cover their role or they have not maintained a good disciplinary record. Take care to ensure you are not breaching equality laws by making fair decisions.”

Plan with them what will happen to their portion of the workload, and whatever you agree on should be written up and stored securely.

A career break, on the other hand,is normally taken when a sabbatical policy is non-existent. Staff are effectively handing in their resignation they’re making a clean break, though it doesn’t stop them seeking work with you later on.

Traditionally it’s called a career break because they tend to focus on themselves for what can be a number of years. Echoing the sabbatical, a notification period should be stated in the staff handbook. A letter of resignation should be handed your way as well future protection from unemployment claims.

The rising trend in both?a sabbatical and a career break is testament that people work too hard and as such require a longer time to rejuvenate a concept?of great interest to author David Burkus in the Harvard Business Review.

He explained: “At the very least, having people rotate out allowscompanies to stress test the organisational chart. Ideally, no team should be so dependent on any one person that productivity grinds to a halt during an extended vacation. And while it may look good on paper, the only way to know for sure is to try it.

“Whether it’s a long-term sabbatical or a surprise vacation,its successis an encouragement mainly that you retain your staff unlike with a career break and a warning. The warning is that most organisations are not giving’staff enough time away. The encouragement” Extended time off pays off.”


Related Stories

More From

Most Read


If you enjoyed this article,
why not join our newsletter?

We promise only quality content, tailored to suit what our readers like to see!