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Guidance

What is a Career Break?
A career break allows employees an opportunity to leave their employment on a long-term basis mainly to undertake further education or to fulfill domestic commitments.

Am I entitled to apply for a Career Break?
So long as you have at least 12 months’ service with the NHS then you are eligible to apply for a career break. Applications will be considered on the merits of each individual case.

How much time off am I entitled to?
The minimum period for a career break is 6 months and the maximum period is five years. An employee may, however, make a number of breaks throughout their employment with the Board provided that the total periods of absence do not exceed five years.

How do I apply for a Career Break?
You should initially discuss your intention to apply for a Career Break with your line manager.  An application should then be made, in writing, to your line manager at least 3 months before commencing the proposed career break. This timeframe can be waivered at the Manager’s discretion. If approved, your line manager will notify Human Resources who will then issue you with an agreement detailing the terms and conditions of the career break.

Return to Work Arrangements
Three months’ notice of an intention to return to work must be given to the line manager.While no guarantee of a return to a particular post can be given, every effort will be made to place individuals in posts of similar band, hours and responsibility to that held prior to the break, and will take into account the employee’s experience, achievements and qualifications.

Are there any expectations of employees while on Career Break?
Employees are expected to fulfil the following requirements while on a career break:
• Attend any seminars or meetings to which they are invited by the Board.
• Maintaining professional membership or state registration.
Keep their knowledge updated by reading relevant professional journals and attending professional meetings.
• Attend a minimum number of training sessions, as agreed with the Head of Department to update and refresh their knowledge and skills.
• Undertake a minimum of two weeks paid employment per year as agreed with their Head of Department
• Advise their manager of any changes in circumstances, such as home address.
• If the career break lasts for more than one year, employees must notify their manager of their intention to continue the break at least three months prior to the end of each year.
Please refer to the full Career Break Policy for details on general terms and conditions of a Career Break and for information on SPPA contributions, lease cars, organisational change and sick and maternity leave.

Keeping records up to date
We need to know when you’re at work and when you have any type of time off. This is important to make sure we pay you correctly too.

All managers should ensure that SSTS is updated correctly and payroll is informed, where SSTS is not available.The HR Support and Advice Unit can be contacted on  0141 278 2700  if you have any further questions or need advice on this policy area.