Leave of absence to take up employment outside Aarhus University

Leave of absence means that an employee is excused from all or some of his or her duties at the university for a specific period of time, with the right and the obligation to return to a position within the area of employment when such a period expires.

The university may grant an employee leave of absence following an application. As a rule, the leave is granted without pay. In some cases, a partner, or perhaps a research council, provides funding for employment of a temporary substitute when a member of the academic staff is on leave (sometimes called "workload reduction").

Normally, there is no legal entitlement to leave of absence. However, there are situations in which the employee is entitled to leave: 

  • Leave for joint Nordic exchange
  • Leave for service abroad, international organisations and Greenland’s Self-Government
  • Leave for conscription and UN service
  • Leave to manage civil duties

In a number of private situations, it is possible to obtain the right to paid or unpaid leave. This applies, for instance, to leave to care for seriously ill children under the age of 18.

For what can leave be granted and for how long?

The leave can have different purposes. Examples are temporary employment in a position outside Aarhus University, the holding of an honorary office, study visits, further education and training or personal reasons such as leave granted to a spouse. 

Where there is no legal claim to be granted leave for external purposes, it is up to the individual department head, in AU Administration the relevant Deputy Director, to specifically and individually assess whether leave should be granted. 

The assessment can include considerations as to whether leave is compatible with university interests, whether the employee will obtain experience during his or her leave that could benefit the university, and whether there is a wish to maintain the connection to the employee in question. This means that there must be professional reasons for the leave. As the university employees are generally encouraged to engage themselves in life outside the university, it is recommended not to be too restrictive, if the leave can be combined with the university's interests. 

Leave for external purposes is normally granted for one year, with the possibility of prolongation following a renewed application. On the basis of a specific and individual assessment, leave is granted to permanent staff who have been employed for a certain period of time.

Returning from leave

In order for the workplace to be able to plan ahead, it is recommended that you inform the university at the latest 2 months before the expiry of your leave, whether you wish to return to your employment after your leave.

If you do not wish to return to your employment with Aarhus University, you are under an obligation to inform the university of this with a notice of at least 1 month to the of the month in which your leave expires. (This term of notice does not apply to civil servants.)  

The manager informs AU HR about the employee’s return, and AU HR prepares a letter to the employee about his or her return to work. The aim is for the employee to return to the position from which he or she has leave; however, technical and administrative staff do not have the right to return to a specific position after completion of leave for external purposes. The employee must thus accept to be placed a different place within the department's or the administration’s area. The aim is a location within the same geographical area. A member of the academic staff will return to the position from which he or she has leave.

If an employee who has been granted leave does not give notice of his or her return, it is interpreted to mean that he or she does not wish to return to AU, and, consequently, it is considered as a resignation from the employee. This also appears from the university's letter to the employee about the granting of leave. 

Application and granting of leave

Application for leave should be addressed to the employee’s immediate superior (department head/Deputy Director).
When applying for leave to which the employee has a legal claim, the leave is as a rule applied for (and granted) for the entire period agreed on (e.g. stationing period). However, an application can be made for a shorter period, if the employee wants to be able to return before expiry of the stationing period. Application for the entire leave period contributes to giving the university the best opportunities to plan the handling of assignments and employment of substitutes during the period.

The individual main area/the administration can determine who is to approve a request for leave for the various job categories.

If a leave can be granted, this is to be communicated to AU HR, which draws up the grant of leave for the employee.

The grant states the period of leave; whether an application can be made for extending the leave; which position/job type the employee will return to; the duty to notify the time of return after finished leave no longer than two months before the end of the leave; as well as the fact that, if no notification of return is given, the lack of notification will be interpreted as if the employee does not want to return to a position at the university and, consequently, it is considered as a resignation from the employee.