Information and Guidelines on Sabbaticals

Information and guidelines on Sabbaticals

What is a Sabbatical?

A sabbatical is a period of time after you have become qualified as a Supporter or probationary Supporter when you take leave from active supporting but remain registered with the BfN.

We recognise that offering breastfeeding support is a significant commitment and that there may be times in our lives when it is temporarily not possible to maintain that commitment. At these times, a sabbatical will give you leave until such time as you are ready to return to active supporting.

There are three types of sabbatical, each with their own arrangements:

  1. Planned sabbatical / maternity leave;
    (If you are going to have a baby, move house or start a new job, it will be possible to arrange in advance to have up to six months away from active supporting)
  2. Sabbatical with on-going learning and supervision
  3. Sabbatical with NO on-going learning and supervision
    How do I arrange a sabbatical?

You should contact your supervisor, who will discuss your needs and make the arrangements for you.

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What do I need to do while I am on sabbatical?

For all sabbaticals, you need to ensure that your BfN membership remains up to date. You may remain on the appropriate email lists, and you are encouraged to mention that you are on sabbatical when posting to these lists.

Although a BfN worker may act as a representative of the BfN while on sabbatical, for example at stalls, talks etc., it is important (except in the case of planned sabbaticals) that you are not drawn into supporting situations.

When your sabbatical period is over, you should re-read the Code of Conduct and re-sign it if it has changed while you have been away.

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How do I return to active supporting after a period on sabbatical?

In the case of a planned sabbatical or maternity leave of six months or less, you need only inform your supervisor that you are planning to return. You will need to complete your supervision and on-going learning requirements pro rata for the rest of the year.

In the case of a sabbatical with on-going learning and supervision, you should contact your supervisor to arrange a supervision session. This will be an opportunity to discuss anything you have learned during your time away; and also to begin to consider how you would like to begin supporting again.

If you have been unable to complete any supervision or on-going learning while you have been on sabbatical, you should contact your supervisor to make the appropriate arrangements. These will provide you with an opportunity to discuss anything you have learned during your time away; and also to begin to consider how you would like to begin supporting again; an opportunity to look at recent research and breastfeeding issues and to consider issues that have arisen in the time you have been away; and a session on practical skills.

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