A period of extended leave granted to employees to pursue personal and professional development activities. The employee's position remains available for them to resume upon the end of the leave. Typically, the duration is at least a month to as long as a year or more.
Sabbatical should not be construed to mean simply 'time off'. The employee is typically engaging in activities commensurate with growth in their field.
- A professor of archaeology would take sabbatical for a semester to participate in a dig. Upon their return, the professor would resume their teaching duties.
- A business professional might use a sabbatical to travel and engage in different cultures, learning new languages and cultures.
- A doctor might join an organization like Doctors Without Borders to learn and practice medicine in other countries, under different conditions, and learn about different ailments.