The system was introduced after the previous recession as a measure to improve employment of new job seekers and to combat fatigue in the workplace. However, the study shows the sabbaticals do not necessarily lengthen a person’s overall working life or reduce the incidence of sick leave.
Labour Minister Tarja Cronberg noted most participants in the scheme are women over 40 years of age and were probably more susceptible to unemployment than others.
Cronberg adds that looking after children or an elderly relative could be a reason for taking a sabbatical. Fatigue or other problems at work could also be a reason.
Nevertheless, the system has improved overall unemployment for those taking part. Minister Cronberg notes that younger job seekers, in particular, have clearly benefited from the scheme, the study shows. The sabbatical has opened the doors to many new employees, she notes.