Personal commitment (a so-called social sabbatical) can be integrated into professional life in various ways. Either by saving overtime on a long-term account, changing a full-time position contractually to a part-time position, taking unpaid leave or applying for time off in periods of economic weakness.

Remuneration waiver and part-time model:
If an employee waives part of his or her salary for several years, he or she can save it up as remuneration credit. During the sabbatical, this remuneration is then available to the employee. The social insurance cover is maintained during the sabbatical.

In the part-time model, a part-time contract is concluded for a limited period and the full-time job is reduced to a part-time job. The payment is correspondingly lower. In fact, the employee continues to work full-time during this time. The overtime is credited to his or her working time account. If the limited part-time contract expires, the employee can use the hours saved for a time-out. The advantage of this model is that the employee continues to pay his or her salary and social insurance contributions.

Unpaid time off / unpaid leave:
If an employee takes unpaid leave, the employment relationship is suspended during this time. This means that the employee does not receive a salary, and social security contributions are also suspended – with the result that the employee must take care of his or her own social security coverage for the duration of the sabbatical. However, there is a written assurance that the employee will continue working after the end of the sabbatical.

Fund savings model:
This model also has a working time account. Overtime, unused vacation days, parts of the salary, vacation pay, Christmas bonus, special payments from the company, etc. are transferred to this account. Exactly what can flow into this account must be defined and fixed in advance. Now the employer can invest the saved values (more precisely: the value of the paid-in hours and benefits) in investment funds to increase them.

Interest is due for this. In the phase of release from work, the employee is paid from this fund during the sabbatical year. This model is not yet used too often in Germany and if it is, it is often used with the restriction that it only applies to early retirement.

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