One month break from work could result in a salary deficit of almost £1,300

Brits taking a career break could lose as much as £1,300 off their annual salary over the course of an average 47 year career*, costing more than £60,000, according to new research from Adzuna.

The data – collated in June 2018 by Europe’s fastest growing job site – takes into account all types of career breaks, including maternity, paternity, gardening leave and sabbaticals.

And it shows the average salary of people without a gap in their CV is £34,870 – compared to just £33,580 for those who have had one.

That leaves a deficit of £1,290 for workers who’ve taken a job hiatus – which could add up to £60,630 over a full career.

In total, 48% of Brits have a gap of at least one month in their CV – with the average for men being 8.6 months, and the average for women being 10.2 months.

The data also shows that women can’t make up the gender pay gap by sticking around at work. The research show the average salary for women who haven’t taken a career break is still £7,644 less than men who also haven’t taken a career break (on average men earn £36,891 while women earn £29,157).

Andrew Hunter, Co-founder at Adzuna, said: “UK workers taking a break from their careers might be costing them a small fortune. Whether that be maternity or paternity leave – taken out of necessity – or the 50 percent** of Brits that take sabbaticals to escape the stresses of work – all this time out is adding up in the long run.

“And with the rise of the gig economy and increasing demand for a better work life balance, some Brits clearly value life experiences more than the extra salary they could earn through sticking to the traditional career ladder.

“Either way, the fact that the employment market is now more open and intelligent than ever this means that job seekers have more opportunities available to facilitate their changing circumstances.”

Table 1: Average cost of career break

Length of career break Average loss in salary
1 month £161
3 months £483
6 months £966
9 months £1,449
1 year £1,932
2 years £3,864
5 years £9,660





Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.