Voluntary leave is one of the labor rights included in the Workers’ Statute. It’s about a unpaid leave in which the worker temporarily suspends his employment relationship with the company for which he works. We guide you on how you can request a voluntary leave of absence from work and how it may affect your career in the company.
4 key aspects that you should take into account before requesting a voluntary leave of absence from work
#1. The reasons, personal or professional?
The right to request a voluntary leave of absence He doesn’t understand reasons, it doesn’t matter if they are personal or professional.. You may want to undertake a personal project, go to another country to perfect a language, try your luck in another work activity or dedicate more time to caring for other people. If it is the latter, keep in mind that there are specific conditions for caring for family members.
That is, “can I work while I am on voluntary leave?”: yes, you have the right to do so.
So, don’t let your reason stop you because no one should approve your cause. Although there are collective agreements that do establish a series of conditions. But, in principle, you only have to worry about meeting the necessary requirements to request the leave of absence, which we explain below.
#2. Labor regulations
The right to request a voluntary leave of absence is included in art. 46.2, 5 and 6 of the Workers’ Statute. You can request a leave of absence from work if you have worked more than a year in the company. However, you will not be able to do so if you requested another voluntary leave of absence less than 4 years ago.
Refering to duration, cannot be less than 4 months nor more than 5 years. In any case, check your collective agreement carefully because the most specific conditions of your sector are regulated there.
With respect to Social Security, keep in mind that leave of absence implies a temporary suspension of the employment contract, so the company will not contribute contributions for you during that period. In fact, they have to give you the settlement in case you don’t come back. Although don’t expect to collect unemployment because you have voluntarily suspended the relationship.
#3. Steps to request it
You will have to write a letter of request. Keep in mind that it is best to do it with a little advance so that the company has time to organize itself. A month may be fine. Indicate in the writing the start and end date of the leave. As we have said, unless specified in the agreement, it is not necessary to communicate the reasons. But doing so can make it easier for the company to understand your decision and facilitate your subsequent reinstatement.
#4. Return to work
There are a series of conditions for re-entry once you have exhausted the leave of absence. You will have to request reinstatement in writing in advance. The company is not obliged to admit you to the same position, but rather to one from the same professional group. (Unless you signed an agreement before the leave). AND only if there are vacancies in the company. If there are not, they could deny your re-entry. They must expressly communicate this to you so that the employment relationship can be terminated. In this case, as it is at the company’s discretion, you could apply for unemployment benefits (as long as it applies to you).