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									                                        NHS Bournemouth and Poole
                    Bournemouth and Poole Community Health Services


June 2010                                 Review: June 2013

                   EMPLOYMENT BREAK SCHEME

Policy Reference:     WCA/HR/2010/019
Version:              2.0

                      Approval                        Distribution
             HR Sub                 Organisation Website
             Committee              Wide

Date         June 2010                             

Purpose                                 To provide the Trust with a policy relating to
                                        employment break scheme

Status                                  This policy replaces the previous Employment
                                        Break Scheme - 2007

Policy Application                      All Staff

Author and Directorate                  Director of Workforce and Corporate Affairs –
                                        Workforce and Corporate Affairs

Approving Committee                     Human Resources Sub Committee

Issue Date                              June 2010

Date of Next Review                     June 2013

Equality Impact Assessment              This policy has been assessed using the Equality
                                        Impact Assessment Tool as required by the Race
                                        Relations (Amendment) Act 2000

Responsibility for implementation       Directors and Heads of Service

Policy Statement                        Staff at all levels are responsible for ensuring they
                                        are working to the most up-to-date and relevant
                                        policies and procedures. By so doing, the quality of
                                        services offered will be maintained and the chances
                                        of staff making erroneous decisions, which may
                                        affect patient, staff or visitor safety will be reduced.
                                        All current policies can be found on the PCT
                                        website. (



                   EMPLOYMENT BREAK SCHEME

                       TABLE OF CONTENTS


1.    INTRODUCTION                               4

2.    PURPOSE                                    4

3.    SCOPE                                      4

4.    GENERAL PRINCIPLES                         4


6.    RETURN TO WORK                             5

7.    APPEALS                                    6

8.    IMPLEMENTATION                             6

9.    REVIEW AND MONITORING                      6

10.   APPENDIX                                   7

                               EMPLOYMENT BREAK SCHEME


1.1   The Employment Break Scheme is aimed at improving the recruitment and retention of
      staff in the Trust. It is recognised that there will be benefits both to the Trust and to staff
      as a result of the initiative.


2.1   The purpose of the scheme is to help to retain the experience and skills of staff that
      would otherwise have been lost to the Trust. The scheme helps to retain the services of
      staff who, as part of their lifetime plans, propose to take breaks from work for personal
      reasons. The Trust is committed to encouraging staff to pursue qualifications and training
      courses which would not have been possible if a career break scheme did not exist.

3.    SCOPE

3.1   This policy applies to all staff within NHS Bournemouth and Poole and Bournemouth and
      Poole Community Health Services.


4.1   The Employment Break Scheme is based on the principle of a two-way contract between
      the Trust and the member of staff (Appendix 1).

4.2   On returning to work after a career break, the same job will be available or where not
      reasonably practical an equivalent post on the same terms and conditions of service as
      the one held prior to the career break, subject to a suitable post being available.

4.3   The member of staff would undertake to rejoin the Trust after an employment break and
      to make the necessary personal effort to keep their professional knowledge and
      expertise up-to-date.

4.4   The Employment Break scheme can be used to cover childcare, eldercare, care for
      another dependant, training, study leave or work abroad. Other reasons than those
      stated will be considered on their merits.


5.1   All staff who have completed 12 months service with the National Health Service will be
      eligible to apply for an employment break of up to five years’ duration.

5.2   The maximum length of the break is five years and the minimum length of break
      available is three months. The length of break should balance the needs of the applicant
      with the needs of the service. Breaks may be taken either as a single period or as more
      than one period.

5.3   Agreement to an employment break will be entirely at management’s discretion. An
      application form requesting time off for an employment break should be completed and
      forwarded to your manager 6 months prior to the intended commencement of the career
      break. Arrangements for the employment break will be agreed between the manager and
      the member of staff and an employment break would not be unreasonably refused, but
      would be subject to the needs of the service.

5.4   The terms of the Employment Break will be set out in writing for the member of staff prior
      to the commencement of the Employment break.

5.5   The member of staff will make him or herself available for up to ten working days during
      each year of the break unless agreed otherwise with management for the purposes of
      keeping his/her knowledge, experience and skills up to date. Furthermore where
      appropriate the employee will undertake to maintain professional registration.

5.6   The member of staff agrees to undertake such counselling, training or “refresher”
      courses as may be necessary and reasonable during the break and/or before returning to

5.7   The level of pay for employment carried out during the career break will be at the same
      level as when the member of staff commenced the employment break.

5.8   Annual pay awards and incremental progression will not apply during employment

5.9   The member of staff undertakes to remain in the Trust’s employment for at least two
      years after returning to work from the career break unless alternative arrangements are


6.1   Written notice of the intended date of return is required so that arrangements may be
      make to reintegrate the member of staff as smoothly as possible into the Trust. The
      member of staff should give no less than two months notice if the break is less than one
      year and six months’ written notice if the break is over a year.

6.2   Should the member of staff fail to give formal written notice of his/her intention to return
      to work following the employment break, he/she will be deemed to have terminated
      his/her contract of employment.

6.3   If an equivalent post is not available, the member of staff will be offered an alternative
      post until a suitable vacancy arises.

6.4   Should the alternative post be at a lower grade, the Trust’s Protection of Pay and
      conditions of Service Policy will apply.

6.5   If it is not possible to appoint the member of staff to an equivalent post or an alternative
      post in the Trust, every effort will be made to offer the member of staff employment
      elsewhere in the Trust.

6.6    Should it not be possible to find suitable alternative employment, the member of staff’s
       continuing employment with the Trust will be considered to be at risk and dealt with in
       accordance with statutory requirements which may include redundancy.

6.7    The period of the break should count towards continuous employment for statutory
       purposes i.e. statutory sick pay, statutory redundancy entitlement.

6.8    Other entitlements dependent on length of service i.e. pensions, contractual redundancy
       payments, annual leave entitlements will be suspended during the break and reinstated
       on return to work.

6.9    Should there be a radical change in the delivery of patient services affecting the member
       of staff, he/she will be advised as soon as is practicable of the implications for his/her
       return to work after the employment break.

6.10   The Trust will reserve the right to terminate the continued inclusion in the scheme of any
       member of staff who:
       •      moves away from the area and is thereby unable to undertake the required
              training or work experience;
       •      fails to cooperate in meeting the updating or other provisions of the scheme;
       •      works for the NHS during the employment break;
       •      obtains alternative substantive employment.

6.11   The member of staff will be responsible for all lease car costs associated with either the
       termination or continuation of his/her lease car contract.

7.     APPEALS

7.1    Applicants are entitled to a written reason for refusal of any application.

7.2    Appeal against a decision is through the Trusts Grievance procedure.

7.3    Applicants choosing to appeal against a decision should submit a grievance in Writing to
       their line manager.


8.1    This policy is available on the Trust Intranet and available on request from your Line
       Manager or the Trust’s Human Resources Department.


9.1    The Career Break Scheme will be monitored by the Staff Forum. All records of
       applications and decisions should be kept for a minimum of twelve months.

                                             Appendix 1

                           Employment Break Application / Agreement

Name: _________________________________Job Title: ________________________________

Base:__________________________________ Length of service: _________________________


Date of Commencement of Employment Break: __________________________________________

Duration of Employment Break: _______________________________________________________

Latest Possible Date of Return: _______________________________________________________

Notice Period to Return: ____________________________________________________________

Terms and Conditions of Employment Break

I agree to undertake any relevant mandatory training prior to my return to post.

I acknowledge that my current post can be held open for a maximum duration of XXX months from
the date of commencement of the employment break.

I undertake to give no less than XXX months’ written notice of my intended date of return. I agree
that my date of return must be on or before XXX

I acknowledge that if I fail to return to work on the agreed date without giving any satisfactory
explanation, this will be taken as a resignation from my post. I recognise that a resignation, whether
explicit or implied through my failure to return, will not entitle me to receive any monies by way of
notice payment or compensation for loss of employment.

I acknowledge that the ‘Trust’ is under no obligation to extend the duration of the agreed employment

Due to the unique nature of my post, I acknowledge that a post of equivalent salary, status or grade
cannot be guaranteed if I wish to return to the ‘Trust’ after the agreed length of employment break.

I acknowledge that during the employment break, I will retain continuity of employment but no other
terms and conditions of employment will apply. For the avoidance of doubt, I will not be required to
attend work for the duration of the employment break and I will not be entitled to any payments in
respect of salary, benefits or accrued holiday. I agree that I will obtain the written agreement of the
‘Trust’ before undertaking any form of paid employment during the employment break.

Signed: ___________________________________________ Date: _________________________

Signature of Authorising Manager: ____________________________________________________


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