1. Sabbatical leave: meaning
  2. What are the benefits of a Sabbatical leave?
    1. It works as a break from work
    2. It is an opprutnity to explore careers
    It gives time to professionals to educate themselves
  3. To apply or not apply, that is the question?
    1. Answer "Should I apply for a sabbatical leave" with these questions
    2. Use this checklist to be sure
  4. When can you apply for a sabbatical leave?
    1. To pursue higher education
    2. Family crisis/health issues
    3. To take a career break
  5. What does a sabbatical leave application include?
  6. How to write a sabbatical leave application?
  7. Sabbatical leave application sample
    1. Sabbatical leave application for education advancement
    2. Sabbatical leave application for health issues/ family crisis
    3. Sabbatical leave application for a career break

All office-goers love taking a day off from work.

So much so, that a good leave policy is one of the benefits job seekers look for as they find a great place to work.

While casual leaves, sick leaves, paternity/maternity leaves, and others are a concern for everyone, it's shocking that many don’t even know the meaning of sabbatical leave.

If you are curious to find out, you have come to the right place.

Read on to learn everything about sabbatical leave, from what it is to writing an impressive sabbatical application along with sample letters.

Sabbatical leave: meaning

By Merriam Webster's definition, sabbatical means " a break or change from a normal routine (as of employment)"

Unlike other leaves, a sabbatical is a long-term, extended break from work that gives you time to pursue your interests, research or higher education, or to deal with personal responsibilities.

During this time, employees are on the payroll of their employer but do not have to perform their duties.

What are the benefits of a Sabbatical leave?

Sabbatical leaves benefit employees in various ways, both personal and professional.

Some of these benefits are:

1. It works as a break from work

Working for years without a break can exhaust anyone.

Sometimes, employees decide to destress and take some time off to relax, and what better way to do it than a sabbatical?

A sabbatical leave avoids professional burnout by giving you some time off work without having to worry about being unemployed.

2. It is an opprutnity to explore careers

If you are someone who wishes to explore new careers but is scared of leaving their job- A sabbatical might just be your saving grace.

With a sabbatical, you can find time to learn more about different career paths and choose a suitable profession, without the burden of finding a new job.

It gives time to professionals to educate themselves

A sabbatical can be very useful if you plan to study further.

Many companies are in favor of offering sabbatical to trusted employees as they believe it would eventually add value to the company.

Gaining more education can help you widen your horizons and lead to better opportunities with higher salaries.

To apply or not apply, that is the question?

Do you find yourself asking "Should I apply for a sabbatical?" If yes, you may want to reconsider.

While a sabbatical leave is great for those in need of some time, you must give a serious thought before applying- especially if your company doesn't offer regular salary and benefits during the same.

To make it easy for you, we have listed some questions here, answering which will help you decide if you should apply for a sabbatical.

Answer "Should I apply for a sabbatical leave" with these questions

  1. What salary and benefits will your company offer during the sabbatical?

  2. Are you financially ready to take a sabbatical from work?

  3. Will the sabbatical impact your retirement plans?

  4. Have you defined plans for the sabbatical?

  5. What would things look like for you post the sabbatical leave?

With this we are sure you must have got some clarity about taking a sabbatical leave.

Use this checklist to be sure

  • All companies have different policies for sabbatical leaves. Find out if you are eligible for it, and if the company holds you valuable enough to sanction the long-term leave.

  • Sabbatical leaves are not approved immediately. Apply well in advance so that your plans are not affected.

  • Talk to HR and understand the impact this sabbatical leave will have on your salary, perks, benefits, health plans, etc.

  • See if there is a company policy that requires you to commit employment to the company post sabbatical?

  • If you wish to explore other roles, are there any companies that you are not allowed to work with?

When can you apply for a sabbatical leave?

Sabbatical leave is given to employees who have achievements to their credit during their continued tenure with the company.

You need a good and valid reason to apply for a sabbatical. Here are a few of them:

To pursue higher education

Companies want their employees to upskill and add value to the company, which is why gaining higher education is the number 1 reason why one may get a sabbatical leave.

Family crisis/health issues

Many companies offer employees who are valuable to them, a sabbatical to deal with their health problems or that of their family.

It may include but is not limited to someone undergoing a surgery or taking time off for recovery.

To take a career break

The nature of working has always been very dynamic and almost tiring all the time.

Should you ever reach a phase where you feel the need to take a break, a sabbatical leave can be very helpful.

What does a sabbatical leave application include?

Like other leave applications, a sabbatical leave application must also include the basic introduction, reason for your absence with a tentative rejoining date.

But to provide some more clarity here is everything you must have in your sabbatical letter:

  • Duration of your sabbatical- start and end date
  • Reason for sabbatical leave
  • Workflow plan in your absence
  • Documents to justify your application- joining letters from a university, medical files, etc.
  • A plan to make sure the work is not affected in your absence (You can discuss this with your team or the manager)

How to write a sabbatical leave application?

Here’s a step-wise guide to write a sabbatical leave application.

  • Step 1: The subject line of an email can make a huge difference. So, write a crisp and informative subject line to get started.

You can use something like:
(i) Request for sabbatical leave (Starting date-end date)
(ii) Sabbatical leave application for {X months}

  • Step 2: Find out who the recipient of your application should be and address them with their first name in the email.

  • Step 3: Start your application with your name and intent, followed by why you need the sabbatical leave.

  • Step 4: Talk about how the sabbatical would be beneficial for the company and yourself.

  • Step 5: Discuss the duration of your sabbatical leave. Give a start date and a potential end date as per your plans.

You can mention the month if you are not sure about the exact date.

Tip: Also, attach relevant documents like a joining letter or medical reports.

  • Step 6: Highlight your achievements through your tenure with the company and outline your plan to ensure seamless workflow in your absence, along with the names of people who will be filling in for you.

  • Step 7: Conclude your letter with a request to approve, and don’t forget to show appreciation and gratitude.

Sabbatical leave application sample

Sabbatical leave application for education advancement

Respected/Dear {Recipient},

My name is {your name}, and I’m writing to you to request a sabbatical for (duration) months.

I have been a part of this company for the last {number} years as a {your designation}.

There is a lot I have learned during my tenure, but I feel that my learning process is now gradual, and self- development is much needed.

I plan on pursuing a degree in {subject}, which would benefit both myself and the organization, and for that I need time.

I plan to enroll myself with {name of college} in {start date/month}. The program is {number of months} long, so I will be back by {end date/month} positively.

In my absence {name of the person substituting you} will take charge of all my projects and ensure everything goes smoothly without any hiccups.

I request you to consider my request and approve at the earliest. I’m attaching herewith the joining letter from {name of college} for your reference along with other documents.

Regards,
Your name

Sabbatical leave application for health issues/ family crisis

Respected Sir,

Due to an unfortunate accident, my family needs my attention and I regret to inform you that I will not be able to pay attention to work in this hour of crisis.

The surgery is on {date}, so I would like to take leave starting {start date/month}. I will positively be back by {end date/month} and resume work best to my capacity.

I’m attaching all the medical reports with this letter for your reference.

In my absence {substitute’s name} has offered to help with all my projects, and I believe he/she will ensure that the work doesn’t suffer due to my absence.

You can always find me on my cell phone or email whenever needed. Request you to consider and approve my application at the earliest.

Awaiting a positive reply.

Sincerely,
{your name}

Sabbatical leave application for a career break

Respected/Dear {Recipient},

My name is {your name} and I write to you to request a sabbatical for (duration) months.

I have been a part of this company for the last {number} years as a {your designation} and while I have grown a lot in my time here, I feel the need to take a short-term career break and pay attention to myself.

I believe taking some time off will make me a more relaxed and efficient person and would benefit the company too.

I plan on pursuing my love for pottery and wish to take up a full-time course on the same to make this sabbatical leave worthwhile.

If approved, {Name of the person substituting you} will take charge of all my projects in my absence to ensure everything goes well.

I request you to consider my request and approve it at your convenience.

Regards,
Your name

In the end, we would like to say that getting a sabbatical leave is a wonderful opportunity to do great things.

So reach out to the stars and use this time well to find the job of your dreams!

All the best!

Career Advice