Additional Days Off: How Employees Can Use Educational Leave

Lohmar (dpa/tmn) – Whether workshop days on the topic of digitalization, a stress management course in a monastery or a learning trip to Albania: numerous collaborators are legally entitled to time off for personal development.

With the exception of Bavaria and Saxony, each federal state has different legal frameworks that regulate this area. This is generally a five-day period per calendar year. Anyone interested can find out more about the rules on the InfoWeb Further Education website of the Leibniz Institute for Educational Research and Educational Information.

In general, the following rules apply to the selection of seminars: Training offers and organizers must be officially recognized. However, they can be searched relatively easily online in various databases.

The employee pays the seminar fees

The costs are usually split between the employer and the employee: this means that the employer continues to pay the salary for the days off and the employee pays the seminar costs.

The decision about which further education to follow lies with the employee: “This is personal further education – so everyone has the right to political education, for example,” says Renate Huppertz from the Institute for Further Education Lohmar. In your experience, even projects that are very far from your professional activity are generally accepted by employers.

She recommends: “Those who are interested should first familiarize themselves with the requirements of their state online.” In case of doubt, the decisive factor here is the federal state in which the place of work is located, and not the place of residence.

The first agreements with the employer are worth it

If you have found an interesting offer, it is advisable to contact the employer as soon as possible. Most state laws require that the leave request be submitted at least six weeks prior to the start.

The topic of educational leave can be approached very differently in each company – sometimes more, sometimes less openly. Inga Dransfeld-Haase, President of the Federal Association of Human Resources Managers, particularly emphasizes the importance of the social and personal skills that employees can develop during educational leave: ÔÇťAdaptability, willingness to change and knowledge “Orientation skills are skills that can be acquired and are very important in a transformation.”

Educational leave does not automatically mean a yoga retreat

Renate Huppertz attributes possible reservations on the part of employers to a misunderstanding: “The term educational leave often wrongly attributes to the concept a leisure-oriented character.” Depending on state law, practical exercises, such as rock climbing or yoga, likely make up only a limited share.

However, Huppertz assures: “If the chosen training program is reputable and the employee asks the company for it from the start, it usually works.”

If rejected, claims may add up

State laws specify various reasons why employers may refuse to provide leave for a specific period of time. This includes, for example, a serious staff shortage. So, if lifelong learning no longer works within a year, the following rule applies: In many states, the two-year educational leave days can, so to speak, be added together.

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