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A Career Break As An Employee Benefit

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 3 Oct 2014 | comments*Discuss
 
Career Break Benefits Package Employee

A career break can be an excellent employee benefit that will attract candidates to a company. Forward-thinking employers are aware that offering career breaks can actually retain staff over the long-term.

What Is A Career Break?

A career break is an extended period of leave granted to employees that can be either paid or unpaid. Companies often include careers breaks as part of their benefits package to entice candidates. Not all employees will take a career break, but having it as a benefit can make an employer look like an attractive proposition. Career breaks are particularly appealing to younger employees, who may consider travelling at some point during their working life. Employees who intend to stay with a company for many years will find a career break is a valuable benefit.

Eligible Candidates For A Career Break

If a company does offer a career break as part of its benefits packages, then all employees should be eligible. But there will usually be eligibility requirements before an employee can take advantage of this, including the reason for the requested break. Some companies will permit career breaks for extended paternity leave or for educational purposes. In most cases, an employee will be required to have served a minimum number of years at a company.

Paid Or Unpaid Career Breaks

Whether or not a career break is paid will be set out under the terms and conditions of the benefits package. In some cases, an employer may pay a percentage of the employee’s salary depending on the length of the break. Most career breaks are unpaid unless otherwise specified in a benefits package. Employers may find it is cheaper to pay for an employee’s career break than to recruit and train new staff. If an employee is considered a valuable asset to a company, it may be possible to negotiate some form of salary under the condition they return to the employer.

The Benefits Of Career Breaks For Employees

Many years in the same job can have a demoralising effect on employees. The chance to take a career break for whatever reason can help to combat a career slump. It will give the employee time to decide where their career is going, and offer them the opportunity to experience new things. Many employees take career breaks to try out self employment for a period of time. They may decide to travel or take a break when a child is born. Career breaks can also be used for educational purposes, bringing new skills that will benefit employers.

Advantages For Employers Who Offer Career Break Benefits

One of the big advantages of permitting career breaks is staff retention. Good employees are valuable assets to a company, and a career break is an excellent alternative to losing a worthwhile employee who has become demoralised. It’s not unusual for employees who have been in long-term jobs to simply hand in their notice. Giving an employee a career break is an indication that they are valued by their employer. The benefit to the employer is that the employee often returns to work renewed and full of new ideas.

Terms And Conditions Of An Employee Career Break

Eligibility requirements will come under the terms and conditions of a career break, but there may also be other conditions. If the career break is paid, it may be a condition that the employee does not take on paid employment elsewhere during the break. An employer may also require the employee to return at some point to undertake temporary work. If a paid career break is specifically for work-related training and education, then an employee may be required to return to the employer. These conditions should be fully detailed in the career break benefits package.

If an employer offers a career break as a benefit, this should be given in writing. Too many employers will mention career breaks in a vague gesture during interviews but, when the time comes for the break, may say that work commitments will not permit this. Always ensure that terms and conditions are understood and agreed upon when signing an employment contract.

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