Sabbatical or a sabbatical (from Hebrew: shabbat (שבת) (i.e., Sabbath), in Latin: sabbaticus, in Greek: sabbatikos (σαββατικός), literally a "ceasing") is a rest from work, or a break, often lasting from one month to a year. The concept of sabbatical has a source in shmita, described in several places in the Bible. For example, in Leviticus 25, there is a commandment to desist from working the fields during the seventh year. Strictly speaking, this means a sabbatical would last one year.
In recent times, "sabbatical" has come to mean any extended absence in the career of an individual in order to achieve something. In the modern sense, one takes sabbatical typically to fulfill some goal, e.g., writing a book or travelling extensively for research. Some universities and other institutional employers of scientists, physicians, and academics offer the opportunity to qualify for paid sabbatical as an employee benefit, called sabbatical leave. Some companies offer unpaid sabbatical for people wanting to take career breaks; this is a growing trend in the United Kingdom, with 20% of companies having a career break policy, and a further 10% considering introducing one.
In British and Irish students' unions, particularly in higher education institutions, students can be elected to become sabbatical officers of their students' union, either taking a year out of their study (in the academic year following their election) or remaining at the institution for a year following completion of study. Sabbatical officers are usually provided with a living allowance or stipend.
- Confederation of British Industry survey, 2005.
- Eells, Walter C. "The Origin and Early History of Sabbatical Leave." Bulletin, American Association of University Professors, XLVIII (1962), 253–56.
- Kimball, Bruce A. "The Origin of the Sabbath and Its Legacy to the Modern Sabbatical." Journal of Higher Education 49 (1978): 303–15.
- Zahorski, K.J (1994). The Sabbatical Mentor: A Practical Guide to Successful Sabbaticals. Anker Publishing.
- Gap year travel guide from Wikivoyage