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Facts and Figures

The Sabbatical Movement

FACT: In the U.S., 24% of small businesses and 14% of large businesses allow their employees to take sabbaticals (paid or unpaid of six months or more). Source: The Families and Work Institute’s “National Study of Employers”.

FACT: 23% of U.S. companies offer sabbaticals — 17% unpaid, 6% paid. Source: Society for Human Resource Management.

FACT: 61% of 30,000 Accenture employees named sabbaticals as one of the top five most-favored options for work-life flexibility. Source: Accenture.

FACT: 37% of UK companies offered sabbaticals in 2007, up from 20% in 2004. Source: The Confederation of Business Industry.

FACT: 34 of the “100 Best Workplaces in Europe” offer paid sabbaticals. Source: Great Places to Work Institute.

FACT: A survey of 200 top businesses in the UK showed that 15% allow sabbaticals for volunteering projects. Source: Business in the Community / TimeBank.

FACT: 24.8% of Japanese companies offer sabbaticals. Source: Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

Sabbaticals in a Recession

FACT: In 2010, flex schedules and telecommuting options will continue to become more widespread in an attempt to maintain and create a better work-life balance. 35% of employers plan to give flex options to employees, up from 31% in 2009, including job sharing, summer hours, and sabbaticals. Source: A Channel Insider survey of 2,700 HR professionals.

FACT: To reduce salary costs, 3.9% of companies worldwide are offering voluntary unpaid sabbaticals and 10.8% are considering doing so, with a total coming to 14.7%. Source: Hay Group Global Survey 2009.

FACT: Sabbaticals enable firms to reduce their medium-term expenditure and can be effective in avoiding downsizing-related layoffs. Source: Sam Advanced Management Journal.

FACT: 94% of U.S. employees say they’re willing to change their schedules or cut their salaries to avoid layoffs - with 31% saying they would take unpaid sabbaticals. Source: Work+Life Fit.

Sabbaticals are proving to be a strong incentive for many top performers looking for workplace flexibility. For these top performers, sabbaticals can create a sense of company loyalty and commitment. - Andrew E. Carr and Thomas Li-Ping Tang, professors of management, Middle Tennessee State University

Top Sabbatical Trends

TREND: Some companies, including Patagonia and IBM, are developing programs that promote volunteerism.

TREND: Some accounting firms believe so strongly in the benefits of sabbaticals that they make participation in their programs mandatory.

TREND: Increasingly, companies are implementing more than one type of sabbatical program.

TREND: Some companies are offering sabbatical bonuses to their sabbatical-goers.

TREND: Some companies are using sabbaticals as an alternative to layoffs.

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