A career break is an agreed period of unpaid leave from the workplace to enable staff to concentrate on domestic responsibilities
Career breaks are not intended for those wishing to move to a role outside BBSRC for a short period to develop their career or to undertake training.
BBSRC/the institute may terminate the career break if the employee is found to be working for another employer without consent or due to a change of circumstances on the part of the applicant which may prohibit his/her return to work on the pre-arranged date.
The scheme is open to all employees who have, immediately prior to the commencement of the career break period, a minimum of twelve months continuous service. Employees will normally be eligible for only one career break during their employment.
3. Practical arrangements
3.1 The start and end dates of the career break will be agreed between the employee and their line manager. The maximum period is five years. If an employee has a baby whilst on a career break she will not be eligible for maternity leave or maternity pay. A request from an individual who wishes to return to work prematurely will be considered, taking into account the reasons and the need to be fair and equitable in the treatment of any temporary replacement.
3.2 During the career break, the HR department and line management will agree a contact person for the employee and send appropriate literature so that the employee is kept up-to-date on developments/vacancies/news within the organisation. For establishments using the RCUK SSC Ltd, vacancies information will also be available through i-recruitment.
3.3 Employees on career breaks may be asked to undertake up to 10 days' work (either in their normal place of work or at home), or training each year (or the equivalent number of working hours on a part-time basis), paid at their usual taxable rate, so that skill levels and confidence are maintained. BBSRC/the institute may contribute towards any extra costs incurred of caring for dependants during any attendance at work or for training.
3.4 For more general 'keeping-in-touch' activities, the individual will not receive any pay, but may claim travel costs.
3.5 Employees on career breaks will be required to keep in contact with BBSRC/the institute and take part in opportunities to maintain familiarity with the work of the organisation wherever possible. The individual will be required to attend a meeting with their line manager and a representative from HR to discuss their return to work.
3.6 Employees taking a career break will normally return to a suitable job at their substantive pay band on their return. Where this is not possible, they will be offered redundancy terms calculated up to the start date of the career break, in line with the appropriate redundancy agreement. Upon return, terms and conditions will be those enjoyed by others in that band, and the rate of pay will take account of any JNCC employee cost-of-living increases which took effect during the career break. This does not preclude variation in the work pattern on return (e.g. part-time), which would be separate to the career break arrangement.
3.7 Where a return to work date has not already been agreed, employees must give at least 12 weeks notice of their intended date of return. Staff on career breaks will be notified of job opportunities in the three months leading up to their return to work.
3.8 The line manager will consider whether it is possible or necessary to arrange for a special period of retraining or re-familiarisation on return to work.
3.9 Any individual not returning to work at the agreed end date of the career break will be subject to the provisions of the relevant policy which may result in termination of employment.
4. Effects on terms and conditions
When an applicant is granted a career break, the period of absence will be regarded as a period of extended unpaid leave. The applicant will remain an employee but their contract will be suspended and the period of absence will not count as reckonable service for pension or other purposes.
During their career break the employee will be subject to BBSRC policies such as those on notice periods, redundancy, code of conduct etc.
Last updated 03/03/11
Amendment 122 - March 2011