A career break can be of benefit to you and your employer.
Taking a career break can be a way of enhancing your personal and professional development. Employees who have had a career break often return with a more positive outlook and enhanced skill set.
A career break may be a deliberate choice or be the result of something unforeseen. You may have spent months thinking about going abroad for a while and choose a career break as a way of having the time to dedicate to this. It can often lead to you having skills that others may not have, such as having experience of dealing with a wider variety of people and having to make unusual decisions.
Even if you take time off to have a child or to spend time with your family, you will learn and develop skills such as multi-tasking and time-management. If you need to suddenly take time off to care for an elderly relative, the experience of responding well to a crisis will add to the skills which you can bring back to the workplace. Whatever the experience, you are likely to return to work revived and with a fresh outlook.
Most career breaks tend to be unpaid, unless you have a paid career break as part of your benefit package. It is usually cheaper and easier for an employer to allow you to have unpaid time than the effort involved in recruiting and training someone new.