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Managing leave


Coherent leave management system and program for staff returning from leave

Target groups

general staff/administrative staff / scientific staff / artistic-scientific staff /

Implementing organization

Danube University Krems - Office for Gender Equality and Gender Studies /


Doris Czepa; doris.czepa@donau-uni.ac.at


Implemented at the University of Continuing Education Krems since 2015

Relation to gender equality targets

Under “A2.2 Projects and social responsibility”, the “Program for Returners from leave” (a part of managing leave) is included in Danube University Krems’ most recent performance agreements. Established there are the continuation of the program started in 2015 as well as its evaluation. Implementation is scheduled on an ongoing basis. Furthermore, the program is firmly established in the Development 2015-2020 as an objective to be found under the following wording: “Reentry after leave: successful and qualifications-adequate.”


The objective(s) of the tool

Regarding the challenges represented by periods of leave, managing leave is intended to optimally structure universities as workplace for employees and to inform senior staff about the role and duties they have during these phases of life. Managing leave manages all currently possible forms of leave of absence (parental-, educational-, nursing leave).


Description of the tool

Danube University Krems’ leave management system includes numerous offerings for employees on leave. In 2015, the Office for Gender Equality and Gender Studies expanded existing elements and services (such as “Campus Kids” – the university kindergarten, flexible and individual working time models including an option to work from home, the Dual Career Service in the Human Resources Service Unit) with the following features:

  1. Extensive and specifically targeted information material, i.e. separate informational brochures and checklists for employees and senior staff.
  2. The leave-sponsor system – introduced  to maintain access to – at times informal – developments, decisions and information that may prove relevant upon return.
  3. Targeted trainings offered to returners during their period of leave, depending on their needs, as well as a program of career oriented individual coaching by an external coach – during their period of leave and prior to, respectively at the time of, reentry.


How the tool works, practical experience

Regarding how the tool works, only a portion of the program can be assessed, the “Returner Program”: In the two rounds offered since 2015, 11 employees (9 women, 2 men) attended individual coaching (4 units of 50 min. each). All rounds are evaluated via the evaluation software EvaSys and in a report by the coach. Even though coachees’ needs differ quite substantially – owing for instance to the different phases of their leave – recurring themes can be identified, specifically:

  1. Career planning and development in the strict sense of the word (assessment of current career situation, professional ambitions, deciding on further career steps)
  2. Clarifying role and function (analyzing and reflecting one’s profile of activity and areas of responsibility, preparing meetings)
  3. Self- and time management (current workload, developing resource-oriented strategies for handling individual workload, work-life balance)