sabbatical-everything-over-the-job time

Sabbatical - All about the job time-out

Taking time off and escaping the daily work routine is the wish of many employees. With a break in the form of a sabbatical, you can leave your job behind for a while. And you can do this without quitting your job. To make sure that everything goes smoothly, we show you how you can apply for a sabbatical and what you need to know when planning it. Planning your time out is important.

I'm off then: How to apply for your sabbatical properly

Time pressure, overload and lots of overtime - a large proportion of employees feel stressed by work. Also mental illnesses like Burnout and Insomnia are consequences of stress in the workplace.

If strategies for time and stress management no longer help, a longer sabbatical can bring the desired rest. A sabbatical is also a good opportunity to implement one's own projects or to take time off. Dream of a long journey to fulfill. But before that, you have to do some work - because a sabbatical needs to be carefully planned.


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1. sabbatical and sabbatical year: what is it actually?

In companies, a sabbatical year or sabbatical is usually understood as a long unpaid leave. Since a sabbatical year now no longer necessarily lasts a whole year, but often three to six months, the American term sabbatical has become established for this form of time out.

2. when can I take a sabbatical?

The requirements for whether and when employees may take a sabbatical vary depending on the job and the company.

In principle, anyone who works in the private sector or is self-employed can take time out in the form of a sabbatical. Nowadays, more and more companies are stipulating the sabbatical in the contract.

However, employees in Germany are not per se entitled to this time off. The situation is different for civil servants and public sector employees. Here, the requirements for the sabbatical are set by law.

Prerequisite for a longer sabbatical is that you full time for at least three years you've worked for the company.

The length of the sabbatical also depends on how long you have been working for a company. In many companies, you are entitled to a three-month sabbatical from three years and a six-month sabbatical from six years. However, these periods can vary depending on the company.

Our tip: Familiarise yourself with the contractual regulations in your company before the sabbatical, ask around and find out whether and which models of sabbaticals are possible with your employer.

3. how do I apply for a sabbatical?

You should prepare extensively for the sabbatical and invest a lot of time in planning. This starts with informing the employer in time and negotiating contractual regulations in detail.

The run-up, when you should inform the company about the time offdepends on how long you want to leave the company. The position in your company also determines when you should start planning.

To make the planning easier, you will find an overview of the key to-dosthat you have to consider when applying:

  • Give your employer at least one year's notice. Because it takes time until all details of the contract are settled. Depending on the position, the employer may have to find a replacement for you, whom you may have to train before your time off.
  • Inform your employer first during an interview about your plan to take a sabbatical. This leaves a better impression than expressing your desire in an email. The personal conversation provides a solid and confidential basis for later negotiations.
  • Record the result of this conversation in writing, both for yourself and for your interviewer. This also applies to all further discussions. This way you keep the overview and can check the sabbatical contract better later.

4. Do I receive a salary during the sabbatical?

In the case of a "classic" sabbatical in the context of an unpaid Holiday you do not receive a salary. The company will also only pay health insurance, pension and social security once you have resumed your work.

Insuring yourself and building up financial reserves is feasible, but it takes a lot of effort. That's why there are now two models that pay you a portion of your salary each month during your sabbatical.

Part-time model

Before the Sabbatical you agree with your employer on a Part-time contract. Meaning, reduced working time and adjusted salary. In practice, you continue to work full time - just for a lower hourly wage. The "overtime" is paid on a Working time account well written and during the sabbatical paid monthly.

The advantage of this model is that you continue to be covered by social and health insurance during your time out. You only have to pay for your pension insurance yourself.

Time value account

Similar to the part-time model, the Time value account. Here you waive the full payment of your salary for a certain period of time. The rest is credited to a time value account.

Compared to the Part-time model  Depending on the agreement, overtime, premiums and bonuses are also included here. During the Sabbaticals the payment is made in the form of a monthly salary.

5. what does the sabbatical contract say?

Being well secured is the be-all and end-all during the Sabbaticals. In a special Contract you should therefore make arrangements with your employer before the sabbatical. If the sabbatical is an unpaid leave, the sabbatical includes Sabbatical contract following contents. They vary depending on the model and agreement with the company.

Period of the sabbatical

At the beginning of the contract, the Contractors with their full names and the Duration of the sabbatical set.

Employment relationship during the sabbatical

Furthermore, the contract specifies how the labour relations to be continued during the sabbatical. The relevant paragraph summarises the following aspects.

  1. The employment relationship is suspended during the sabbatical. The employee does not have to perform any service for the company during this time.
  2. In addition, the contract states that during the sabbatical the employee shall no royalty claim is entitled to. During the sabbatical, the company pays the employer no salary. Also the company pension scheme paused. Depending on whether the employer and employee agree on a Part-time model or a Time value account this arrangement varies.
  3. In addition, the relevant part of the contract stipulates that the employee is not entitled to continued payment of remuneration either in the event of illness or during public holidays.

Regulation of social security and health insurance cover

During the Sabbatical employees must work independently for Pension and social security come up. Also the Health insurance cover lies with the employee in the case of unpaid time off.

Holiday entitlement during and after the sabbatical

How much Holiday of employees after the sabbatical is another component of the agreement. As a rule, you are entitled to leave on a pro rata basis for the rest of the year after the sabbatical. During the sabbatical, the holiday entitlement does not apply.


As financial support or to try out something new for once, there is no need for a Sabbatical the possibility of Part-time job to exercise. However, the prerequisite is the Informed consent of the employer. If you plan to work a part-time job during your time off, you should consider this in the Sabbatical contract from your employer.

Continuation of contractual obligations during sabbaticals

The Duties of the employee to the company, which also apply during the Sabbaticals exist. These include for example Secrecy and the prohibition on disclosing business-related information to competitors during the sabbatical.

The so-called Non-compete also includes all activities of the employee with which he could compete with his employer.

Sabbatical agreement revoked

When and under which conditions you can Sabbatical contract revoked can, is also in the agreement. In most cases, however, the consent of both the employee and the employer is required.

terminate employment

If the employee decides during the sabbatical leave to terminate his or her existing to dissolve the employment relationshipThe sabbatical contract shall contain provisions as to when the employee may cancel can.

Also during the Sabbaticals the period of notice that you have agreed with your employer applies. The conditions under which the employer may dismiss the employee are also regulated in the contract.

Resume work after sabbatical

Probably the most important question is what happens after the sabbatical. At best, this is regulated as precisely as possible in the contract. Then there will be no unpleasant surprises later.

After the sabbatical, you will often be deployed where there is a need. So that this does not have a negative effect on your salary, the contract should definitely contain a clause that states that your Remuneration after re-entering the company undiminished is allowed to be.

It is better if you agree in advance with the company in which position you will be employed after the sabbatical.

Tip: You've been wanting to move to another department or take on a new area of responsibility for a long time? Then the time after the sabbatical is the optimal time to take on this challenge.

Final provisions

Like any employment contract, the sabbatical contract contains final provisions. They stipulate that no written or oral side agreements exist.

5. Do I have to take out health insurance during my sabbatical?

If you have not made any special agreements, the sabbatical is considered an extended vacation. In addition to the salary, which will now no longer be paid, the contributions for Social security, pensions and health insurance.

Exception: If you could agree with your employer on a part-time or time-value account, you will continue to receive a salary and will therefore still be covered by health insurance as long as you do not travel during your sabbatical.

For longer stays abroad, a Health insurance abroad needed.

For the time in the country you should during your time off voluntarily with a statutory health insurance fund insure. Incl. Long-term care insurance this costs about 130-150 euros. Provided you have no income during this time or only a low income of about 800 euros per month.

In addition, it is worthwhile to continue paying into the pension fund.

6. financial security during the sabbatical: the best tips

In addition to good insurance cover during the sabbatical, a financial basis is of course also necessary. In order to survive the unpaid leave without a financial bottleneck, it is worthwhile to start saving early. With the right strategy, this is not so difficult.

Start early enough

Banal but true - the sooner you start saving, the more you'll accumulate until your sabbatical. It's best to start saving as soon as you decide to take time off.

Create a savings account

It is helpful to open a separate account for the sabbatical and set up a standing order. This way, a certain amount will "automatically" accumulate over the months.

keep records

The good old budget book helps you save. This way you have a better overview and can control your expenses and reduce them if necessary.


Subscriptions are money guzzlers. Especially when they are no longer used properly. So you don't have to cancel your subscription to your favorite magazine right away. But maybe you have already taken out a free subscription and simply forgot to cancel it after the cancellation period had expired? Then it's high time now.

Sell, sell, sell 

In almost every household there are bits and bobs, unworn clothes, bad buys and that old chest of drawers that now sits unnoticed in the basement. All this can be turned into money.

In addition, the time before the break is the best time to free yourself from old ballast and to really clean out again.

Those who don't feel like taking care of the sale themselves send clothes to second-hand dealers with concierge services. For a small commission, dealers like Rebelle or Girls' Flea Market the sales processing including shipping.

cook dinner in advance

Instead of lunch in the canteen, there is now home-cooked food. This will save you a few euros a month. That's worth a try, isn't it?

capsule wardrobe

You save time and money with a capsule wardrobe. This is a wardrobe that consists of a few pieces of clothing. Important: Everything can be combined with each other. In the long run, you can get by with far fewer items of clothing.

Text: Natalie Grolig