How can I keep in touch during a career break?

It is vitally important to keep informed of business and job developments during a career break.

Before you leave, talk to your employer to agree the best way of keeping in touch, especially in the event of restructurings and transfers that might affect you.

You might, for example, agree to keep your work email address and access to the internet, attend training days or simply just go into work at regular intervals.

If your organisation has a newsfeed on its website or uses social media, and you have easy internet access while on your career break, this might also be one mechanism by which you could keep in touch with developments at work.

It is also vital to be clear, before you go off on your break, about what happens to your employment continuity while you are on your break. For example, what are your rights if something happens with your employer (such as a need to make redundancies) while you are away?

If you want to preserve your employment continuity while you are away, you must agree this clearly – and in writing – with your employer before you go on your break. If you do not do this you stand to lose out, for example if your role is made redundant.

You also need to be clear exactly what is expected of you by your employer – for example, in terms of any obligation to work, train or provide notice – in order to preserve your continuity and to preserve any agreed right to return to work at the end of the break. If you are not sure of the legal position, make sure you take advice before you agree the terms on which you will be taking your break.

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.

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