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Mon Mar 04 2024

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Important Points To Consider Before Allowing A Sabbatical Leave

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sabbatical leave

In academic circles, there is no such thing as sabbatical leave or career break. But in the upcoming trends, it is getting popular in the corporate sector. But there is a lot of confusion about what sabbatical leave means and what are the various norms related to it. In this article, we have discussed sabbatical leave meaning and is it relevant to give a sabbatical leave to employees. Read and find out.

What is the meaning of a sabbatical?

A sabbatical time, negotiated by an employee and the employer, is a long absence from work. There are several reasons why an employee would try to take a sabbatical, but one of the most common reasons is to practice a fruitful passion (like travelling, studying, volunteering, etc.)

What is sabbatical leave meaning?

If we think of a sabbatical in the pure sense, then we must also look for an HR viewpoint of sabbatical leave. This can be based on what we are going to call a sabbatical leave policy, which essentially depends upon how you develop a policy for extended employee leave. Sabbatical leave is generally a negotiated duration of unpaid leave or to withdrawal from your position for a specified period in more severe instances. We can see it as a clean “break from work,” but when you get back, your job is waiting for you.

Is sabbatical leave paid?

Yeah, sometimes. In 2018, a survey by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 15% of employers offered sabbatical leave. That said, only 5% of them have been paid. Although in between few and far, they do exist and depend upon the fixed number of years within the company.

Should the organization consider offering sabbatical leave?

Aces argues that it can be beneficial for staff and organizations to take a career break from work. For instance, it may improve the retention of staff, be used as an award, or even help bring new skills and inspire people. Burnout is a genuine danger for employees. In the 11th Review of the International Classification of Disease, it is also listed as a workplace phenomenon by the World Health Organization. Burnout is a condition that has not been treated successfully due to persistent occupational stress. This phenomenon has been characterized into three dimensions:

  • Power loss or feeling of fatigue.
  • Increased mental distance from your work or damaging or cyclical feelings associated with your job.
  • Decreased work effectiveness.

Some frightening statistics are illustrating the widespread consequences of burnout. Statistics indicate that psychological stress and stress-related burnout account for more than 60 per cent of job absence. And 40% of the 2,000 workers said they consider leaving because of burnout in a 2018 survey. It is estimated by experts that burnout led to a loss of $150 to $350 billion a year for U.S. companies.

Why should employers allow sabbatical leave?

While sabbatical leave might not always be a solution to the problem of burnout, it can provide workers with an opportunity to continue to work before they eventually take extended time off. It may also provide managers and workers with an opportunity to discover an alternative way to help employees gain time, space, and perspective to contribute to their mental wellbeing. At the same time, encouraging workers to stop working to pursue career-enhancing projects or to achieve career-enhancing goals will offer tremendous business advantages when employees come back to work with new ideas.

Can sabbatical leave help boost the employer brand?

The length of career breaks can vary. Several may last a few months, others may last several years. For various purposes, career breaks or sabbatical leave can be carried out. The Guide to career breaks by the Local Government employers states that workers will want time off “to look after dependents, to do volunteer work, to travel or to use the time for private studies knowing that they have the security to return.” Career breaks may be payable or unpayable. It has been stated that companies also provide work breaks to encourage candidates. Not all workers take a sabbatical leave, but taking it as a reward may make an employer look appealing.

There are abundant examples of workers who took the time to pause, think about their lives, and rethink their choices. People who are allowed to go and explore with their businesses’ full support often return with renewed passion, purpose, and belief, as well as new ideas or prospects. One of the great benefits of allowing work breaks is the retention of workers. Good people are valuable assets for an enterprise, and a career break is an excellent alternative to losing a worthwhile worker who has become demoralized.

Things to consider before allowing sabbatical leave

While the benefits of providing formal sabbatical leave or a career break seem to outweigh those drawbacks, suggesting that considering sabbatical leave might be a good idea for both employees and employers, there are certain points that HR may consider before allowing a sabbatical leave:

  1. Decide the duration of a sabbatical leave.
  2. Requirements for document eligibility for a sabbatical.
  3. How long off periods would affect terms and conditions of employment for workers.
  4. Be clear about the right to annual leave and contractual advantages when away.
  5. Ensure that impartial requests are accepted – in order not to discriminate against workers.

Employers must examine demands from time to time, and they must understand how their work and obligations are taken into account when they are away. This helps employers to reject a business application if required.

Sabbatical leave policy

Where the company decides to allow workers to take a sabbatical leave, make it safe and secure to store the agreement, processes, procedures, and documents. You must have a kind of online document management system to help you store all documents relating to HRs in a single place so that you can find them on a button. Even if the employee takes a sabbatical leave, you must have an option to store all the documents correctly.

Final words

So now you are clear of what sabbatical leave means and how it can be a beneficial thing in a business sector. But before issuing a leaving employer must take care of all the various aspects that are related to the worker applying for the sabbatical leave.