Section 20. A chief justice of the trial court may, subject to the approval of the chief justice of the trial court, grant a leave of absence for study, research, teaching, or such other reason as said chief justice deems appropriate to the improved administration of justice, to a judge of said department, said leave to be for a period not to exceed one year. Any judge who takes an approved leave of absence shall not receive pay during the period of the leave of absence; provided, however, that time spent on leave of absence shall be credited to the judge for retirement purposes; provided, further, that for the purposes of eligibility for life insurance and health plans available under chapter thirty-two A, said judge shall be considered an active employee. The chief justice for administration and management, in approving such leaves, shall consider the speedy dispatch of judicial business, including reassignment of judges pursuant to section nine. The chief justice of the trial court, in consultation with the chief justices of the departments of the trial court, shall establish and promulgate standards governing the approval of such leaves including procedures for the submission and disposition of requests for leave.
No leave of absence under this section shall be granted prior to the seventh year of service or within one year of retirement. A judge granted a leave of absence under this section shall not be eligible to take another leave of absence until the expiration of seven years following his return to judicial duties.
All statutory requirements and rules of court pertaining to judges shall continue to be applicable to a judge while he is on leave of absence pursuant to this section.