Companies are allowing more employees to take Sabbaticals, surve - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Companies are allowing more employees to take Sabbaticals, survey says

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

A recent survey shows 16% of companies are allowing employees unpaid Sabbatical leave. Experts say Sabbaticals are growing in popularity.

"The pace of work now especially after the economic downturn," Society for Human Resources Management Dan Ryan said. "Is very frantic and the sabbatical is a very innovative way for companies to hang on and keep some of the really prized individuals, the ones who really make a difference."

Here's how it works - People who take the sabbatical have to meet some requirements. They include being employed a certain number of years or leaving to do something specific like volunteering.

"Some companies have what I would call very rich plans," Ryan said. "Where they'll pay full salary and benefits. Other companies will say you can keep your benefits but we're only going to pay half your salary. And there are even circumstances where other people will take a sabbatical that will be unpaid but they will have a job when they actually come back."

If your company doesn't offer this plan, experts say negotiate a plan. And if that doesn't work, plan ahead and adjust your expenses.

"You have to plan for it," YourSabbatical.com spokesperson Elizabeth Pagano McGuire said. "It generally takes one to three years. You afford it by saving for it. It's just like any other important life experiences. You cut your expenses, you put your money away."

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