You can take a career break for:
- domestic reasons, for example, child-rearing
- educational purposes, for example, to get a post-graduate qualification
- foreign travel
Who can apply for a career break
Employees who have completed their probation period can apply for a career break.
If you are still on probation, you may be granted a career break in special cases. For example, to cope with unusual domestic difficulties. Your probation, in this case, will be extended by the length of the career break.
Approval of career break applications
Career breaks are granted at the discretion of management and subject to service requirements. Your manager will consider your application based on service needs and advise you of their decision.
How long you can take a career break for
The minimum period for a career break is one year - except where leave is needed to cope with unusual domestic difficulties.
The maximum period is 5 years.
Taking multiple career breaks
You may be granted a maximum period of 3 career breaks which, when added up, do not exceed 8 years.
If you have previously taken a career break(s), you must be currently working for a period of time which is either the same or longer than the length of your previous career break before you can apply for a second or third career break.
In special cases, this period of service between career breaks may be waived.
Notice to return to work
A vacancy may not exist when your career break ends. If so, you may be offered a post at a lower grade as a temporary arrangement. You will receive the salary applicable to that post during this period. You are guaranteed reemployment in your substantive grade within 12 months of the end of the career break.
You must give at least 3 months’ notice of your intention to return to work. Your right to return to work when the career break ends depends on you giving this notice.
Taking a career break after special leave
You may want to take a career break immediately following a period of special leave with nominal pay. You can do this as long as the combined leave does not exceed 5 years.
NCHD career breaks
How to apply for a career break
You can apply for a career break by submitting the career break application form to your department head.