Human Resources


Subject to a career break being approved, it is a requirement that, before taking the career break, this offer is accepted, understood and agreed by the applicant.

The following terms may apply:

  1. The employee will benefit from a continued contractual relationship by being “retained as an employee”, with the right to maintain unbroken service and a job (or redundancy if a job is unavailable) at the end of the career break.

  2. During the career break all remuneration will cease including employer and employee pension contributions.

  3. During the career break period, the employee’s pension membership will be suspended.  The Employee may elect to pay their and the employer’s pension contribution to maintain continuity of service if they so wish.

  4. Holidays will continue to accrue during the career break leave but the accrued holiday days must be taken either at the beginning or end of the career break and individuals may not elect otherwise. 

  5. Death in Service benefits, if applicable before the leave period, will continue throughout the career break but the College’s insurers must be informed if the employee intends to visit high risk countries and/or participate in any dangerous sports or activities (as defined by the insurers) during their absence.

  6. It should be noted that all other benefits will be discontinued for the duration of the absence.

  7. The employee must supply full details of contact addresses and telephone numbers in order to enable the College to contact the employee in case of any emergency during the period of the career break.

  8. Any employee on a career break may not work for any other employer during their absence without prior written authorisation from the Human Resources team. However if Birkbeck is not currently your only employer this may be waived, you should detail this in your career break request and speak to a member of Human Resources about it.

  9. The line manager is responsible for ensuring that the employee is assigned a member of staff to liaise with the employee. Each employee will be provided with a mentor/contact. The employee is encouraged to maintain regular contact with their mentor during his/her period of absence. 

  10. All employees must return on the date originally agreed. Employees intending to return to work on date earlier than the previously agreed return date must liaise with their line manager to establish an appropriate alternate return date. The line manager has responsibility to ensure that Human Resources are advised and that that the relevant contractual communications are carried out.

  11. There is no guaranteed right to return to the existing job. Upon return, if the employee’s previous job is not available, every effort will be made to provide a suitable alternative opportunity including redeployment where appropriate and acceptable.

  12. Upon a successful return, length of service and all terms and conditions will be re-instated. There will not be any incremental progression or annual accrual for the period on career break.

  13. Upon return, the same salary (plus any cost of living increases) will apply as at the start of the career break, irrespective of any Salary Review dates which may have occurred during the employee’s absence. The employee’s salary will not be reviewed until the next review cycle following their return.

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The HR team is based on the first floor of Egmont House
Postal address: Human Resources, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX