What Is a Sabbatical Leave?

A sabbatical leave is a period during which an employee is absent from their job without losing employee status or salary.

How Does Sabbatical Leave Work?

Many companies and educational establishments who wish to offer their employees the opportunity to take time off work to pursue other activities grant sabbatical leave.

For example, some schools allow teachers to take a year off to teach at another institution abroad, or to devote themselves to research.

Employees wishing to take a sabbatical should make their request as early as possible, and make sure they meet the criteria defined by their employer. For example, some companies will require a certain number of years’ seniority.

How Long Does a Sabbatical Last?

Sabbatical leave has no fixed duration. It generally lasts between 1 and 12 months, depending on the agreement between employee and employer.

Is Sabbatical Leave Paid?

Sabbatical leave does not have to be paid.

Some organizations, however, decide to withhold a certain percentage of the employee’s salary for a certain number of years, so that the employee still receives a salary during their absence. A teacher, for example, might receive 75% of their salary for 4 years, and the remainder during the sabbatical year.

Other organizations choose not to pay employees during their absence.

What Are the Benefits of Sabbatical Leave?

Sabbatical leave benefits for employees and employers include:

What Are the Laws for Sabbaticals?

In Quebec, companies wishing to offer sabbaticals with deferred salary payments must ensure that they comply with current tax laws.

What Is the Difference Between a Sabbatical Leave and a Vacation?

A sabbatical is generally longer than a vacation. The employer must therefore find and train a replacement to ensure the continuity of the company’s activities.

Vacations are typically regulated by law, and companies are obliged to offer their employees a certain minimum number of days off. Sabbaticals are not compulsory.

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