8 facts employers should know about educational leave

In Germany, employees in 14 of the 16 Länder are entitled to additional vacation days that they can use for educational leave. However, it is estimated that only one to two percent of employees use the additional days. One of the reasons for this could be the lack of knowledge of the recruiting companies. So we have compiled the most important facts here.

Fact 1: Saxony and Bavaria do not participate

The question of whether and how the right to educational leave is regulated falls within the competence of the States. As a result, there are different rules depending on the countries in which the remedy exists. There are currently no rights in Saxony and Bavaria; In Saxony, a popular proposal is supposed to get things started.

Fact 2: Meaning and Purpose

Thanks to educational leave, employees should be able to continue their training not only professionally, but also personally. A range of different courses and seminars are available. It is important that it is a recognized course. The specific measurement has nothing to do with the work itself.

Fact 3: Five days a year

Employees are entitled to five days per year in addition to their study holiday rights. Whether these days can be distributed freely throughout the year or must be taken all at once varies from state to state.

Fact 4: Paid time off

Employees bear the costs of continuing education; However, the costs linked to the vacation itself, that is to say the continued payment of the salary, are the responsibility of the company which employs him.

Fact 5: The application cannot simply be rejected

Educational leave must be requested from the employing company. Deadlines vary from state to state.

The application can only be rejected if operational reasons, such as a high sickness rate, the order situation or planned vacations of other team members, prevent it. However, doubting the purpose of a specific educational measure is not grounds for rejection.

Fact 6: How relaxing can educational leave be?

As mentioned, educational leave doesn't necessarily have anything to do with your own work. You can also use this credit for personal continuing education. Educational trips to Krakow are also offered. You can take different language courses or participate in a mindfulness seminar in India. Educational leave can certainly be beneficial for mental health and can also be relaxing.

Berlin-based start-up Bildungsurlauber offers an overview of the possibilities.

Fact 7: This is how volunteering is strengthened

One of the objectives pursued by the right to educational leave is to strengthen the positions of volunteers. But: what is the link? Five days a year may not be enough to fill a volunteer position. This is true, but additional training is required for some volunteer positions. For example, if you want to accompany dying people on their last journey, you need a corresponding certificate. Educational leave can also be used for such continuing education. This allows employees to gain the time necessary to fulfill the conditions of volunteering.

Fact 8: Employer information is not necessary

One of the reasons why educational leave is not often requested is perhaps the absence of an information obligation: the companies which employ them are not required to inform their employees of this right.

Conclusion: positive effects on corporate culture

The topic of educational leave varies from state to state, but is rarely used. This is perhaps explained by the fact that there is no information obligation for companies. Another thing could also be that employees don't want to leave a bad impression if they don't complete the five-day business administration training marathon, but instead do yoga for their back. After all, you can also do it in your free time.

But: The legislator expressly wishes that this time be used for courses which serve more personal development. Employees should be able to choose freely. But then you have to pay for the course yourself. For employers, active communication about the existence of this right can also have positive effects: yes, the employee can be “absent” five more days per year. However, he may be happier and take something interesting learned during the course with him into his daily work. At a time when the topic of mental health is becoming more and more relevant, it is advisable to be more open to offers designed precisely for this purpose.

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