More and more companies
are becoming employee friendly, thus the organizations may also
come up with the ideas of making the employee work part time or
from home as well, according to the flexibility of the employee.
Contemporarily this is catching up especially in IT industry subsequently
followed by other service industry such as HR etc. About 18 percent
of firms offer unpaid sabbaticals, and 5 percent give paid sabbaticals,
according to the Society for Human Resource Management. These are
often available to those who have worked for a firm between 5 and
While some companies are more proactive about it, it's basically
a question of mutual adjustability. Many employees now want the
flexibility to take an extended period away from work to travel
abroad, study, look after children or older relatives, or simply
to recharge their batteries.
Employers are increasingly
accommodating such requests by offering career breaks or
Career break schemes give
employers the discretion to retain valued employees who
want to take a significant amount of time, perhaps years,
away from work to focus on these other aspects of their
lives. Employees are not paid during this time, but have
the right to return to work or at least to apply for re-engagement
on favorable terms.
But the major concern in the case of sabbaticals on behalf
of the employer is, as to who will cover the employee’s
work while she/ he is gone. Since you're granting the employee
an extended leave, it's unfair to expect him or her to constantly
check in and provide information while away.
(And if that is the
case, employer should definitely pay 100 percent of the salary!)
The employee and his or her manager will have to work out who will
cover which duties until the employee returns. This is similar to
what would occur with an employee on a vacation, but on a larger
The employee definitely benefits, but what the employer is interested
in is whether the added qualifications helps the organization in
the long run.
an employee to realign priorities, and give the time for oneself.
Often, stress prevents
most of individuals from enjoying their jobs and also impacts the
personal lives. In such cases, a break helps you set ones life in
order and come back with a bang. The employee may return refreshed
and ready to tackle, with a greater conviction at his/ her workplace,
as sabbaticals also helps the employee to introspect and evaluate.
take advantage of these programs speak enthusiastically about
coming back relaxed and rejuvenated. Managers see them as
a way to reward and retain employees. However there is a challenge
attached to it, returning to work after a lengthy break may
prove difficult on both a practical and a psychological level.
It is also natural to be dismayed at the changes that may
have taken place at the work place. There could have been
some kind of major re-structuring in departments or work policies.
New technology might have transformed the office. New employees
would have joined and sometimes you might find even the old
ones behaving differently. These are difficult to cope with.
In most cases, its
not decided beforehand what would be the exact time of comeback
if the absence is more than 3- 4 months (varies for different organizations),
its left open to the employee only to return as per his/her convenience.
However, in the contemporary environment, many organizations encourage
sabbaticals for further studies, which of course has to be related
to the advantage of the organization. All companies that use such
a program have rules about time. Service served anywhere from five
to seven years is typical. Companies go all out to retain their
best talent and these strategic breaks allow people to do something
different while being able to hold on to their jobs and their pay
packets. For an employer, it is always a favorable condition as
the employee is already accustomed with the work culture.
If properly promoted
throughout the company, sabbaticals can be an excellent retention
tool. The organizations see it as creating a higher relationship
with its employees.
Written By: By Shuporna
Chakraborti [email protected]