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Sabbatical policy

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Our Sabbatical Policy Template empowers employees to take a break for personal growth, reducing burnout and enhancing long-term productivity.

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10 mins
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What is a Sabbatical policy?

A sabbatical policy is a set of guidelines and procedures that an organisation establishes to allow its employees to take an extended period of time off from work for personal or professional development, travel, research, or other purposes. Typically, a sabbatical is a period of leave that is granted after a certain number of years of service to the organisation.

Sabbatical policies may vary between organisations, but they typically include provisions for the duration of the leave, the eligibility requirements, the application process, and the compensation or benefits that the employee will receive while on leave. Some sabbatical policies may require the employee to use the time to engage in activities that are related to their job or field of expertise, while others may allow more flexibility in the types of activities that the employee can pursue.

Sabbatical policies are often seen as a way for employers to retain and motivate their top employees, as well as to encourage personal and professional growth. Sabbaticals can also be beneficial for employees, as they provide an opportunity to recharge, learn new skills, and pursue personal interests.

Best practice timescale for this to be issued
When should this policy be issued?
During onboarding / after changes / planned refresher
Issued by who, to whom
Who should issue this policy, and to whom?
Internally issued to appropriate recipients in your Company
Applicable legal jurisdictions
In which jurisdictions can this policy be used?
Great Britain & NI (United Kingdom), Worldwide

What legislation and best practice guidelines have been taken into account in the development of this template?

United Kingdom

While there is no specific UK employment legislation dedicated solely to sabbaticals, several existing laws can support the implementation of a sabbatical policy. Here are some relevant ones:

  1. Employment Rights Act 1996: Provides the legal framework for different types of leave, such as unpaid leave or career breaks.

  2. Working Time Regulations 1998: Ensures compliance with working time limits, rest breaks, and rest periods, which can impact sabbatical arrangements.

  3. Equality Act 2010: Prevents discrimination in granting sabbatical opportunities to employees with protected characteristics.

  4. Flexible Working Regulations 2014: Enables employees to request flexible working patterns, potentially accommodating sabbatical arrangements.

  5. Time Off for Study or Training: Allows employees to request time off for study or training purposes, which could align with sabbatical goals.

  6. Collective Agreements: If applicable, any relevant collective agreements negotiated between employers and trade unions might include provisions related to sabbaticals.

Other territories

Consult your jurisdiction's employment legislation or labor laws to ensure compliance with the template. Review the language for local precision.

Sabbatical Policy


The company recognises the importance of employee well-being, personal growth, and continued professional development. To support these goals, we offer a sabbatical leave program to eligible employees. This policy outlines the guidelines, eligibility criteria, application process, and expectations associated with taking a sabbatical leave.


This policy is applicable to all employees of [Company].

General principles

All full-time employees who have been employed with the company for a minimum of [insert number of years] years are eligible to apply for a sabbatical.

Length of Sabbatical

Eligible employees may take a sabbatical for a minimum of [insert number of weeks or months] and a maximum of [insert number of weeks or months]. The length of the sabbatical will be determined by the employee's proposed plan and its relevance to their role at the company. Requests for extensions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Application Process

Employees interested in taking a sabbatical leave must submit a written application to their immediate supervisor at least [number] months in advance of the proposed leave start date. The application should include the following:

  • Reason for requesting sabbatical leave
  • Proposed start and end dates
  • A plan outlining how the employee's responsibilities will be managed during their absence
  • How the employee intends to use the sabbatical time for personal or professional growth
  • Any additional relevant information

Approval Process

Sabbatical leave requests will be reviewed by the employee's immediate supervisor and the HR department. Approval will be based on factors such as the employee's performance, business needs, workload distribution, and overall impact on the team. The company reserves the right to approve or deny sabbatical leave requests based on operational requirements.

Responsibilities and Expectations

Employees approved for sabbatical leave are expected to adhere to the following:

  • Maintain open communication with the company and provide updates on their wellbeing and any changes to their sabbatical plans.
  • Return to work on the agreed-upon date and be ready to resume their duties and responsibilities.
  • Complete any pre-arranged assignments or projects as agreed upon with their supervisor.

Compensation and Benefits

During the sabbatical leave, employees will not receive their regular salary. However, they may be eligible to receive a partial payment, which will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Employees will continue to receive the following company benefits during the sabbatical, subject to the terms of the benefit plans:

  • [e.g. healthcare, perks etc.]

Annual Leave

While on sabbatical leave, employees [will | will not] continue to accrue their annual leave as per company policy. [This accrued leave can be used upon their return from sabbatical, subject to the company's annual leave policy.]

Return to Work

Upon completion of the sabbatical leave, employees are expected to return to work on the agreed-upon date. The company will make reasonable efforts to reintegrate the employee into their previous role or an equivalent position, taking into consideration any changes that may have occurred during their absence.


Employees who have taken sabbatical leave may apply for another sabbatical after completing an additional [insert number of years] year service following their return from the previous leave.

This policy [does not] form[s] part of your terms and conditions of employment.

Version: [1.0]

Issue date: [date]

Author: [name, job title]

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