Many companies offer seasoned employees a chance to spend several weeks outside of the office to further educate themselves in their field. Besides providing long-tenured employees with a break from a regular work schedule, research- and study-leave policies benefit the company when employees returns refreshed and equipped with new knowledge.
Below is the research- and study-leave policy from New York benefits, compensation and HR consulting-firm The Segal Co. Inc., which can offer some insight into the elements of such a policy:
The Segal Co.'s Research & Study Leave Policy
Research and study leaves, common in educational institutions, are unusual in business enterprises. We offer this program because we believe that it will help us develop new insights, greater knowledge and better skills. All of these inevitably aid our clients and the company.
Research and study leaves are available to the non-clerical staff, subject to the approval of your supervising officer and the chairman. You are eligible to apply for this type of leave if you are a full-time, regular employee, or a part-time employee working an 80 percent schedule, and after you have completed 15 years of service. A second research and study leave is available after 25 years with the company. Research and study leaves generally are taken in the 16th and 26th year of service and must be requested in writing and approved by the chairman. The leave may be deferred, but may not be taken together.
The leave may not be taken in the year of retirement or separation from the company. Further, it is not meant to be used as terminal leave and, unlike accrued vacation, has no value at separation. There must be a period of five or more years between the time an employee takes the 15-year research and study leave and the 25th-year research and study leave.
Approved research and study leaves are granted for eight consecutive weeks. They can be taken in conjunction with vacation, providing 12 weeks of uninterrupted time away from your regular duties.
It is possible, with approval, to take half of your 15-year research and study leave after 10 years of service. In this case you have four weeks of such leave which can be taken in conjunction with two weeks of vacation. After the 15th year of service you may apply for the remaining four weeks of research and study leave, combined with two weeks of vacation.
The company will reimburse up to $1,500 for approved travel and educational expenses (upon submission of receipts) necessary to carry out a research and study project. If you take a prorated leave, as described above, the amount is $750. Another allowance up to $750 is available when you take the second half of your leave.
Research and study leaves must be used constructively both for you and the company. This time may be spent to learn more about our field and profession or to develop new ideas. This could include organized study in a broadly related field at a school, college or university. It might also include working in another office of the company to get or give some specialized training. Or it might involve a study of benefit programs in another country.
To apply for a research and study leave, complete and submit a research and study leave application (on SegalNet) and a proposed project to the chairman, your supervisor or business unit leader at least six months in advance.