Sabbatical leave is a professional renewal incentive scheme designed to provide employees with a flexible arrangement whereby they can fund a period of sabbatical leave.

In particular, sabbatical leave enables employees to engage in a variety of alternative activities of their choice and to gain skills and experiences that they might otherwise not be able to access.

The sabbatical leave scheme comprises 2 components:

  1. a work period during which the employee will receive their annual salary reduced by 20%, and
  2. a sabbatical leave period during which the employee will be placed on leave and will receive the accrued salary owing

The duration of the work period may be for a minimum of 1 year up to a maximum of 4 years.

The period of sabbatical leave shall be taken immediately following the completion of the relevant work period during which salary was reduced.

An employee is eligible to apply for sabbatical leave provided they are employed by the Department and their term of employment extends beyond the sabbatical leave period.

Further information regarding the arrangements that apply to participation in the Sabbatical Leave Scheme is set out in the Schedule of Conditions available on the Resources tab.

Relevant legislation

Department overview, policy, guidance and resources for Sabbatical leave for teaching service

Reviewed 22 May 2020

Policy last updated

15 June 2020


  • Schools


People Division

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