More than half of employers offer sabbaticals or extended leave, according to research by Personnel Today’s sister publication IRS Employment Review.
Eighty-four of the 161 companies questioned said employees were entitled to take extended leave, usually defined as between three to 12 months.
Most companies offered unpaid leave as part of their reward package but less than two in 10 gave staff the option of extended paid time off.
Colette Benham, HR consultant for housing association Amicus Group, who took part in the survey, said providing sabbaticals was part of a modernising approach to reward and made staff feel valued.
“Sabbaticals encourage employees to take a break if they feel it is needed, and we do not want to lose skilled staff who felt they could not ask for more time off,” she said.
“The fact that we offer them means we have a culture of flexibility with our employees. Staff appreciate this and it is bound to have an effect on retention and turnover,” Benham added.