Sabbatical Leaves

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Definition: Sabbatical Leaves

Sabbatical Leaves are extended absence from workplace by individuals for achieving life goals. This is a benefit provided by the organizations to its employees. Sabbatical Leaves may be paid or unpaid. The trend of Sabbatical Leaves originated from universities, where paid leaves were provided to its faculty members for carrying out research work, writing etc.

In India sabbatical leaves are given to employees to perusing higher studies usually with a guarantee that they would continue working for the same company (at least for a certain period of time) on completion of study. This give employees a strong sense of belonging and motivation, and increases their loyalty towards the company.


Sabbatical leave policies

Sabbatical leaves are leaves which are granted to employees to take a break from work and focus on their personal goals. Long-serving employees with a proven track record are only preferred as they are an asset to the company. Companies have this policy so that employees can rejuvenate and do the following:

1. Pursue higher studies & acquire new skills

2. Author books & pursue personal life goals

3. Quality time to improve their work life balance

However, as a part of the sabbatical leave policy, employees are supposed to:

1. Continue working for the company for a specific period post the sabbatical leave.

2. Not engage in any information sharing or activity with competitor.


Advantages of sabbatical Leaves

For employees:

• Improved relationships: Sabbatical Leaves give the perfect opportunity to spend time with friends and families thus improving personal relationships

• Learning new skills: This time can be utilized to learn new skills and brush up on the old ones. New trainings and qualifications can be perused in this time.

• Relaxation: Away from the everyday gruelling routine, one has ample time to destress and relax.

• Increased management skill: Spending a few months away on a sabbatical leave from the regular schedule helps one gain experience of managing themselves and their life in a new setting

For employers:

• Recharged employee: The extended leave relaxes the employees and thus their productivity increases once they are back at work

• Good PR: It increases the employee-employer relationship and can be used as a PR tool to attract new recruits


Disadvantages of Sabbatical Leaves

For employees:

• Difficulty of fitting in: After an extended sabbatical leave away from work may lead to difficulty in coming back to the workplace and fitting in easily as things might have changed at work.

• Cost: Unless it is a paid sabbatical, the cost of maintenance may be too high and may force once to take up another job.

• Career set back: Being away from work for too long may even make the importance of the employee lesser and the earlier attention enjoyed by them may become redundant. This can also result in hampering any chances of promotion or career progress.

For employers:

• Cost: In case of a paid sabbatical leave, the employee is practically a cost to the organization as they are completely non-productive.

• Overburdened employees: If a teammate goes for a sabbatical leave the onus is on the other teammates to take care of his work and responsibilities. This might lead to stress among the other employees.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Sabbatical Leaves along with its overview.

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