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Guidelines for Study Leave


Does anyone have suggestions/guidelines with regard to how much study leave employs can have whilst doing a professional qualification, which has been sponsored by the company?
Jo Hine

3 Responses

  1. Reasonable
    This question is pretty much equivalent to how long is a piece of string? I would suggest that sensibly study leave should be kept to minimum and would usually be unpaid.

    But it depends on the qualification etc. as to the final rule – if it’s an MBA which the company has paid £20,000 to sponsor you might decide that a few days paid leave are a worthwhile part of the investment. If it’s a day release course like the Certificate in Training Practice – I’m not sure I’d give any time for study leave as the course doesn’t require that much effort and there’s plenty of time for the employee to complete the work – and it’s for their benefit as well as for the company.

    If the course is solely going to benefit the company then again some paid leave might be fair but if it will improve the employee’s prospects for promotion or alternative employment then why should your business take all the risk? Can the employee not use holiday leave if they want time off to study.

    Sorry if that’s a bit rambling but it’s hard to tell without knowing what the course is, why the employee is doing it and what the company is hoping to gain from it.

  2. Study leave dependant on…
    Our organisation supports staff financially and occasionally with paid study leave, the criteria being based on relevance and importance to current and envisaged role and responsibilities.
    Paid study leave is granted to those studying for professional qualifications. For intermediate qualifications we provide 1/2 day a month (plus time for the exams)where evidence of ongoing progress is being made. For advanced qualifications we grant 6 days per exam. (Nine in total) More than one exam can be attempted each six months though usually we do not find we are granting more than 12 days in any one year. We have study policies in existance that students sign and these state our expectations.

  3. Supporting study may increase employee loyalty
    I started studying towards an Open University Masters Degree before joining my current employer. Once with my current employer I was offered two day’s paid study leave per exam (the day of the exam and the day proceeding it). I paid my fees for the first 2/3 of the programme and then in a salary review negotiated with my employer to pay remaining fees (they had a seperate training budget so were more able to do that than offer a large pay rise, and had I left within a year I would have had to pay back part of the fees). That I am still with the same employer two years after completing the course, and finding elements of what I learnt useful to my job, shows that supporting study can boost moral, help retain staff, and increase the skills of staff.


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