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The sabbatical leave in ten questions

The five weeks of paid leave per year are not always enough to satisfy the cravings of large, wide, change of air, or of introspection. The sabbatical is done t

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The sabbatical leave in ten questions

The five weeks of paid leave per year are not always enough to satisfy the cravings of large, wide, change of air, or of introspection. The sabbatical is done to address them.

Want to travel or develop a personal project, the sabbatical leave may respond to the need of the employee at a given moment of his professional life. The employment contract is then suspended until the return of the employee to the same position or to an equivalent position.

1. Sabbatical leave, that is what it is?

simply a right to be absent from his business for six to eleven months, with the guarantee of finding work, or at least a position and a salary equivalent. Such as holidays, training or business creation, the sabbatical year is part of the holidays, said to "personal reasons". Etymologically, it refers to the sabbath, the rest that the jews observe on Saturday, a day dedicated to divine worship.

Cecile Arena, auxiliary childcare, Tours, tells precisely in its 18 months of immersion in the life of buddhist nuns in the Auvergne region. But you don't need a quest for spirituality to put between brackets his career: certain employees are embarking on a world tour, others in a personal project, a passion or a change of career

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2. Who can benefit?

any employee who has completed six years of activity, at least three of which passed in the company. The 36 months need not have been consecutive. Useful, for example, for an employee who collected the CDD before getting a CDI. However, an employee has no more right if he has already taken a sabbatical leave, a leave for business creation or training of at least six months in the previous six years, working for the same employer.

3. Where to start?

As any departure from the company, even a temporary one, the sabbatical has its notice: an employee tempted by the leap must inform the management at least three months before the date on which he wishes to go. By registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt, it specifies when he plans to take his leave, and for how long. The employer must reply in the same format. If he does not do so within 30 days, the employee may take that for a yes.

4. A leader can he refuse?

The sabbatical leave is a right of the employee , listed in the labour Code. The only case where a boss can say no, it is when he considers that the absence of the employee, may harm its business, in companies with fewer than 200 employees only. The leader must however, discuss the matter with the committee of company or delegated of personnel, and the employee may dispute it within 15 days for his refusal in front of the prud'hommes.

however, nothing prevents the leaders to postpone the departure date, without having to justify, in the limit of six months for companies of more than 200 employees, and nine for the smaller. They can also shift the sabbatical year, if a too large share of the employees of the company, is absent at the same time.

5. What is the period of time from?

The employee when he wants to, as long as it adheres to its three-month notice period. The more cautious will, however, not to penalize their retirement. For example, "if the employee is on sabbatical leave from 1 January to 30 November, it will not charge on the new year with a month of salary, which will not enable him to validate that a single quarter", says the magazine Capital. Conversely, "starting from the 1st of July, they have completed four quarters in six months. Ditto the following year," adds The Tribune.

6. That is what is key during this time?

Not a salary, since the sabbatical leave suspends the contract of employment. However, the employee continues to benefit from the "daily allowances in case of sickness and maternity benefits, and benefits for disability and death, and reimbursement of care in case of illness and maternity," says the website of the social Security.

To build a bankroll and fund his year, it can also defer its rights to the fifth week of paid leave, and ask for a compensatory allowance for the days not taken.

7. Can we use them to work elsewhere?

Yes, or even create his own company, "subject to compliance with the obligations of loyalty, confidentiality and non-competition to their employer," explains the site In 1988, the Court of cassation has, for example, gave reason to an employee of the Company central real estate of the caisse des dépôts who was on sabbatical at the public Office of HLM of Paris, dismissed this ground for serious misconduct. Illegitimate, had settled the judges, all the more that the employer was aware of the reason for his sabbatical year.

8. Can we resign or get fired?

More eager to return? A sabbatical leave is not forbidden to resign. "In this case, the employee is also subject to a notice. If he decides to resign at the end of his sabbatical leave, the notice shall be exercised in the company," says Carole Vercheyre-Grard, a lawyer in employment law and business at the bar of Paris.

as For the dismissal, "the disciplinary sanctions are rares since the contract of employment is suspended, unless, for example if the employee works during his / her sabbatical leave is accused of unfair competition, details the lawyer. On the other hand, the employee is not spared when a wave of dismissal on economic grounds."

9. What are the differences with a leave without pay?

unlike the sabbatical leave, the leave without pay is not provided for by the labour code. Suddenly, the employee must submit to the collective agreement of his sector, or directly to his employer. He needed his agreement, and it is with him that he sets the duration of the leave. However, it also gets the guarantee to recover his position and salary upon his return.

10. What happens to the return to the company?

The sabbatical leave allows the employee to regain his or her position or an equivalent job in terms of salary and responsibilities. However, sometimes events do not unfold as well as they should. "The employees and the return in the business is going well don't come to see me, says Carole Vercheyre-Grard, but for others, it is not uncommon that they do not return to the same working conditions to their return."

updated the 19/07/2016. MB.

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The lawyer cite for example the case of an administrative and financial director who had seen its responsibilities divided between several colleagues. "Upon his return, he stated that he was supposed to oversee these colleagues, but he had no information and no way in practice to do so. He had to make feet and hands to find an office and saw some of his premiums waived or reduced, " she explains. He has consulted and we had to try best to negotiate his departure, without being able to find a situation identical to the one before his sabbatical."

updated the 19/07/2016. MB.

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