Career Break and Sabbatical Leave

A career break is a form of unpaid leave that can be taken over a specified period of time.  

Examples of reasons for a career break could be to care for a dependent relative, continuing childcare, voluntary work, further education or training or overseas travelling. A  career break cannot be used for the purpose of taking up alternative employment, other than voluntary work.

Detailed in the tabs below you will find Career Break policy and process information in place within your Board.

National Services Scotland

A career break request can be made by NSS employees with at least 12 months NSS continuous service. 

Length of career break

The maximum period for a career break is two years. A member of staff may, however, take a number of breaks throughout their employment provided that the total periods of absence do not exceed five years. 

Applications - New and Extensions

Please refer to the Notification of Change Portal to request a new career break or to request to extend a current career break.

SPPA contributions 

If you wish to continue paying SPPA superannuation contributions whilst on a career break, please contact Payroll directly to find out what your contributions will be and to arrangement payments - 0131 275 7698 / NSS.PayrollSupport-NSS@nhs.net

NHS 24

The purpose of the career break policy is to provide a methodology in appropriate circumstances for staff to leave their employment on a long-term basis (for example, a career break would normally be between one to five years in duration).

NHS Education for Scotland

Employment Break schemes are a means of managing relationships between employers and employees during periods when people want to take a break from their working lives.  The most typical examples are caring for elderly or sick relatives and parents taking time out to raise a young family to school age.  However the scope has widened to include people of all ages who have reached a point in their lives where they want a period away from work but with the intention of returning later.

NHS Golden Jubilee

This policy enables staff to take an unpaid break from work where the contract of employment does not terminate. The purpose of the career break policy is to provide a methodology in appropriate circumstances for staff to leave their employment on a long-term basis (for example, a career break would normally be between one to five years in duration).

Some examples of where applications could apply are in the context of:

  • Caring for a dependent relative;
  • Continuing childcare following a period of maternity leave; or
  • Undergoing further education and training of mutual benefit to employee and employer.

This policy will enable staff to keep up to date with the workplace during their career break and assist them where possible with affecting a return to work at the end of the agreed break.

Public Health Scotland

A career break enables staff to take an unpaid break from work without terminating the contract of employment. 

From 1st April 2020 Public Health Scotland will bring together staff previously employed by NSS and NHS Health Scotland alongside new PHS employees, meaning different routes for staff to access HR information.  Please refer to the option below that best describes your circumstances to ensure you refer to the correct information. 

• I have TUPE transferred from NHS Health Scotland into Public Health Scotland – Please raise your query with HR via Contact Us
• I have TUPE transferred from NSS to Public Health Scotland – please select the National Services Scotland tab above to access all information.
• I am an employee in Public Health Scotland – please select the National Service Scotland tab to access all information.

Scottish Ambulance Service

The Scottish Ambulance Service is committed to equal opportunities and the promotion of flexible, employee-friendly work practice opportunities for all members of staff. By implementing this career break policy the organisation aims to create an environment which will allow all employees to utilise their skills, talents and expertise and thereby allow it to both recruit and retain a well-motivated and committed workforce.

The purpose of the career break policy is to provide a methodology in appropriate circumstances for staff to leave their employment on a long-term basis (for example, a career break would normally be between one to five years in duration).

The State Hospital

Career Break

The State Hospital is committed to equal opportunities and the promotion of flexible, employee-friendly work practice opportunities for all members of staff. By implementing this career break policy the organisation aims to create an environment which will allow all employees to utilise their skills, talents and expertise and thereby allow it to both recruit and retain a well-motivated and committed workforce.

The purpose of the career break policy is to provide a methodology in appropriate circumstances for staff to leave their employment on a long-term basis (for example, a career break would normally be between one to five years in duration).

Sabbatical Leave

The purpose of having a policy on Sabbatical Leave is to provide a facility whereby an employee of The State Hospital (TSH) can have access to a period of further education which enhances their skill/knowledge base. The outcome will be an increased quality of the individual’s future contribution to the organisation.

Employees will often see learning opportunities that will increase their skills/knowledge. It is, therefore TSH policy to support employees to apply for sabbatical leave. This policy is in line with the national Educational, Training and Lifelong Learning Strategy, which encourages staff to increase their skills and knowledge base.