Introduction to this document

Career breaks policy

Career breaks are often a useful way of ensuring that long-serving employees don’t permanently leave your employment. If you do wish to include
a provision for career breaks, always ensure they are discretionary and not contractual entitlements.

Time out

When granting an employee a career break, you need to ensure you set out the parameters, such as the amount of time off granted, the purpose of the break, the status of the employee’s contract of employment during it and the arrangements for their return to work at the end of the break. All these matters and more are covered in our Career Breaks Policy. You will need to adapt it accordingly to suit your business needs.

Continuity of employment?

If the period of an employee’s career break is paid, whether this is on full pay or at reduced rates, be aware that their contract of employment will remain in force. If the career break is unpaid, the employee may still be entitled to claim continuity of employment once they’ve returned to work if the career break can properly be defined as an “arrangement” agreed in advance between you. Thus, if you want to try and ensure continuity is broken, use the wording in our policy statement which makes it clear that there’s no arrangement regarding continuity of employment. If the employee’s contract of employment does continue in force during the career break, it will be necessary for you to allow statutory annual leave to continue to accrue under the Working Time Regulations 1998.