Im in a civil service type job -ive worked for them over 10 years and we have a career break policy where we can apply for up to a year break and come back to the same job (more than a year and you have to resign but can come back to a vaguely similar job.) The policy says they don't have to grant requests but will consider applications Vs business need etc. I'm seriously thinking of asking for 6 to 9 months off- but the thing is I don't have a specific reason other than being 50+, menopausal,tired all the time, few health problems, want to see more of my parents and kids etc- so no big travelling plans or MA to justify being off! Has anyone ever had a career break approved for such reasons or advice on how to word my request? The people I know at work who've had time off tend to be younger and want to go off backpacking etc. I'm pretty sure management will say it's not a good time to go- (partly why I'm so tired is we have high staff turnover leading to more pressure on everyone else as pay is pretty sure compared to private sector) but there never is a good time! My alternative is just leaving ( on much less notice than needed for a career break) which is too much like a step into the void!
Is the career break paid or unpaid? I would worry whether my job would be there on my return. I would give your employer a firm plan of why you want time off. What will your plans be if they say no ? I would take the time off., but I would need a definite plan of what I was going to do.
I'd have the right to return to my specific role. If they say no I'm not sure what I'd do, perhaps reapply later in the year? My problem is that there is no specific one "thing" I need to do in the break - I just want some unpaid time off before I get completely worn down by work/family stress
Is there someone in HR you could ask for advice? It sounds like an entirely rational reason to ask for a career break to me. The policy exists, you just need to find out whether it applies to your specific circumstance.
There is always attendant risk with exercising a right to a career break and if I'm brutally honest, if you aren't around for 6-9 months it may well mean "out of sight, out of mind". The organisation won't freeze in time while you're away.
Your return to work will happen under the policy but whether they have a job for you in exactly the same capacity, isn't predictable and whether you are OK with what your returning circumstances might be at that time, depends on your expectations.
If you are flexible and open-minded to what the future hold, then say something bland and general about needing to "care for a parent for a few months due to a recent illness" (don't need to give details for confidentiality reasons) and you'd like to return in Sept 2018 under the terms of Policy xyz Career Break.
I used to work for NHS and was in exactly the same position, I wanted a career break for the same reasons but my manager said no, career breaks are really for self improvement like travelling, studying, etc, thats what they said.
The Stifmeister- that's exactly what I think they may say (even though the policy refers to caring for dependents etc. ) Seems like if I was young and wanted to travel for 6 months it'd be fine, but being the sandwich generation is maybe not! Shame you had to leave for I'll health and hope you are in a better place health wise now
I’d say the menopause is absolutely the right reason for taking some time out to recharge your batteries and get back to yourself.
Awareness of age related discrimination is improving in the Civil Service. Have a look at the HR policy with a fine tooth comb, have a chat with your union to ask to speak to someone who liaises regularly with the HR senior people to find out what the score is.
My work has just agreed to a 9 month career break for me to spend more time with my children. Admittedly the children do have a few issues which would be hard to refuse, which is the reason why I wanted it. I would have left had it not been agreed though, so it not being agreed wasn't a huge issue to me.
Just an update- spoke to HR and my managers and they were all very lovely and supportive. They've agreed to give me a career break for 6 months with guarantee to return to my old job! With accrued leave etc I'll be paid for two months of it so I'm pretty happy, hopefully I'll return all energised after I've had a chance to get on top of things at home, thanks for your helpful suggestions