Who is eligible to take a career break?

Around 90,000 working Brits take some sort of career break every year. In principle, everyone is eligible but no one is entitled. Career breaks are purely at the discretion of your employer, and if your request is granted, it’s very unlikely they would pay you during your break. However, employers are increasingly coming round to the idea of them. The logic goes that rather than have restless staff resign and lose the training and development they’ve invested in them, employers hope they’ll return re-energised and re-focused for work after temporary time off.

You may be denied a break at the time you want or for as long as you want. This will depend on the specific demands of your job and the cycle of work. However, if career breaks are offered to certain sections of staff but not others, this may well be discriminatory.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.