Leave Policy

Leave Policy

DHS offers employees a wide range of leave options and workplace flexibilities, including sick leave, annual leave, a voluntary leave transfer program, and more.

For more information about DHS leave options, contact your component human resources office or e-mail worklife@hq.dhs.gov.

Sick Leave

Sick Leave Entitlement

An employee is entitled to use sick leave when he or she:

  • receives medical, dental, or optical examination or treatment;
  • is incapacitated for the performance of duties by physical or mental illness, injury, pregnancy, or childbirth; or
  • would, as determined by the health authorities having jurisdiction or by a health care provider, jeopardize the health of others by his or her presence on the job because of exposure to a communicable disease.

There is no limitation on the amount of accrued or accumulated sick leave that an employee can use for his or her own personal medical needs.

Advanced Sick Leave

At the discretion of the agency, up to 104 hours (13 days) of sick leave may be advanced to an employee, when required by the exigencies of the situation, for an employee's own medical, dental, or optical examination or treatment. An agency may also grant up to 240 hours (30 days) of advanced sick leave for an employee's own illness, injury, pregnancy, childbirth, or exposure to a communicable disease. For further details, please see the Advanced Sick Leave fact sheet.

Requesting Sick Leave

An employee must request sick leave within such time limits as the agency may require. An agency may require employees to request advanced approval of sick leave for medical, dental, or optical examination or treatment. If the employee complies with the agency's notification and medical evidence/certification requirements, the agency must grant sick leave.

Supporting Evidence for the Use of Sick Leave

An agency may grant sick leave only when supported by administratively acceptable evidence. For absences in excess of 3 days, or for a lesser period when determined necessary by the agency, an agency may require a medical certificate or other administratively acceptable evidence. An agency may consider an employee's self-certification as to the reason for his or her absence as administratively acceptable evidence, regardless of the duration of the absence. Employees should consult their agency-specific human resources guidance and review applicable policies set forth in collective bargaining agreements for information specific to their agency.

An employee must provide administratively acceptable evidence or medical certification within 15 days of the agency's request. If the employee is unable to provide evidence, despite the employee's diligent, good faith efforts, he or she must provide it within a reasonable period of time, but no later than 30 calendar days after the agency makes the request. If the employee fails to provide the required evidence within the specified time period, he or she is not entitled to sick leave.

Pregnancy/Childbirth

A pregnant employee who must be absent from work at some point before giving birth for her own health or that of her unborn child is entitled to use sick leave. According to the definition of serious health condition, any period of incapacity due to pregnancy or childbirth, or for prenatal care, is considered a serious health condition, even if the employee does not receive active treatment from a health care provider during the period of incapacity or the period of incapacity does not last more than 3 consecutive calendar days. Sick leave may be used for medical examinations and during the period of incapacitation for delivery and recuperation. Once the period of incapacitation is over, there is no entitlement to use sick leave. An employee may not use sick leave to voluntarily be absent from work to bond with a healthy newborn. There is no provision in law or regulation that permits the use of sick leave to care for a healthy newborn, bond with a healthy child, or for other child care responsibilities. Please see OPM's Handbook on Leave and Workplace Flexibilities for Childbirth, Adoption, and Foster Care (PDF file) for more information.

Sick Leave for Exposure to Communicable Disease

An employee is entitled to use sick leave if health authorities or a health care provider determine that the employee's presence on the job would jeopardize the health of others because of exposure to a communicable disease. The use of sick leave would be appropriate in these circumstances even if the employee is not sick but would be limited to circumstances where exposure alone would jeopardize the health of others and would only arise in cases of serious communicable diseases, such as communicable diseases where Federal isolation and quarantine are authorized, which currently includes: cholera, diphtheria, infectious tuberculosis, plague, smallpox, yellow fever, viral hemorrhagic fevers, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and influenza that causes or has the potential to cause a pandemic. For more information, visit the CDC website which provides an illustrative, but not exhaustive, list of the types of serious communicable diseases where exposure alone would jeopardize the health of others.

This provides an illustrative, but not exhaustive, list of the types of serious communicable diseases where exposure alone would jeopardize the health of others. If the employee actually contracts the communicable disease and becomes ill, sick leave for personal illness would be appropriate.

Questions?

For more information about DHS sick leave policy, contact your component human resources office or e-mail worklife@hq.dhs.gov.

Annual Leave

Annual Leave Entitlement

An employee may use annual leave for vacations, rest and relaxation, and personal business or emergencies. An employee has a right to take annual leave, subject to the right of the supervisor to schedule the time at which annual leave may be taken. An employee will receive a lump-sum payment for accumulated and accrued annual leave when he or she separates from Federal service or enters on active duty in the Armed Forces and elects to receive a lump-sum payment.

Annual Leave Accrual Rates

Employee TypeLess than 3 years of service *3 years but less than 15 years of service *15 or more years of service *
Full-time employees½ day (4 hours) for each pay period¾ day (6 hours) for each pay period, except 1¼ day (10 hours) in last pay period1 day (8 hours) for each pay period
Part-time employees1 hour for each 20 hours in a pay status1 hour for each 13 hours in a pay status1 hour for each 10 hours in a pay status
Uncommon tours of duty(4 hours) times (average # of hours per biweekly pay period) divided by 80 = biweekly accrual rate.(6 hours) times (average # of hours per biweekly pay period) divided by 80 = biweekly accrual rate.**(8 hours) times (average # of hours per biweekly pay period) divided by 80 = biweekly accrual rate.
SES, Senior Level (SL), and Scientific or Professional (ST) positions, and employees in equivalent pay systems, as determined by OPM8 hours for each pay period, regardless of years of service. (See Extension of Higher Annual Leave Accrual Rate to SES and SL/ST Equivalent Pay Systems fact sheet)

 

Note 1:  A temporary employee with an appointment of less than 90 days is entitled to accrue annual leave only after being currently employed for a continuous period of 90 days under successive appointments without a break in service.  (This restriction only applies to the accrual of annual leave.  If an employee on such an appointment already has annual leave to his or her credit from a previous appointment, he or she is allowed to use this annual leave during the temporary appointment.)   After completing the 90-day period of continuous employment, the employee is entitled to be credited with the leave that would have accrued to him or her during that period.

Note 2: An intermittent employee (i.e., a part-time employee who does not have an established regular tour of duty during the administrative workweek) is not entitled to accrue annual leave.

* See the Creditable Service for Leave Accrual section of this fact sheet. A change in accrual rate takes effect at the beginning of the pay period after the pay period an employee completes the required period of service.

** In computing leave accrual for uncommon tours of duty, the accrual rate for the last full pay period in a calendar year must be adjusted to ensure the correct amount of leave is accrued.

Scheduling of Annual Leave

Employees and their supervisors are mutually responsible for planning and scheduling the use of employees' annual leave throughout the leave year. Employees should request annual leave in a timely manner, and supervisors should provide timely responses to employees' requests.

Supervisor and Employee Responsibilities

Ultimately, supervisors are responsible for the overall planning, coordination, and approving of their employees' annual leave throughout the leave year so that the agency's mission and employees' needs are met, and so that employees do not approach the end of the leave year with a significant amount of annual leave that must be used or forfeited. While the final date to schedule leave applies only to situations involving the possible forfeiture and restoration of annual leave, employees should be sure to schedule and use annual leave throughout the leave year and not wait until the end of the leave year to schedule annual leave. When an employee makes a timely request for leave, the supervisor must either approve the request and schedule the leave at the time requested by the employee or, if that is not possible because of project related deadlines or the agency's workload, must schedule it at some other time. If the employee forfeits annual leave because the supervisor did not schedule the leave or request a determination that a public exigency exists that would prevent the employee from using the leave, the supervisor's negligence constitutes administrative error and the employee's leave must be restored.

Supervisors' Request for Additional Information to Grant Annual Leave

Since supervisors must balance the work of the agency against the interest of the employee in using annual leave, supervisors may find it necessary from time to time ask employees how they will use the requested annual leave so that the supervisors may make informed decisions about scheduling the leave. In such cases, employees are not required to provide the supervisor with this information, but should understand that in the absence of such information, their request for annual leave may be denied based on project related deadlines or the workload of the agency. However, supervisors should not make it a standard practice to require that employees inform them how the annual leave will be used.

Annual Leave Ceilings

Maximum Annual Leave That May Be Carried Over into the New Leave Year:

DescriptionDays
Federal Employees Stationed within the United States30 days
Federal Employees Stationed Overseas*45 days
Members of the Senior Executive Service, Senior-Level and Scientific and Professional Employees**90 days

 

* Employees stationed overseas must meet the requirements at 5 U.S.C. 6304(b) in order to receive the 45-day annual leave ceiling.

** Employees in SES/SL/ST equivalent systems, as determined by OPM, do not receive a 90-day annual leave ceiling by virtue of their being deemed by OPM to be SES/SL/ST equivalent employees.

Advanced Annual Leave

At its discretion, an agency may advance annual leave to an employee in an amount not to exceed the amount the employee would accrue within the leave year. An agency should not advance annual leave to an employee when it is known (or reasonably expected) that the employee will not return to duty, e.g., when the employee has applied for disability retirement. Before granting advanced annual leave, it is recommended that the approving authority consider such matters as the expectation of return to duty, the need for the employee's services, and the benefits to the agency of retaining the employee.

For more information on advanced annual leave, visit OPM's Advanced Annual Leave Fact Sheet.

"Use or Lose" Annual Leave

"Use or lose" annual leave is the amount of annual leave that is in excess of the employee's applicable annual leave ceiling. Any accrued annual leave in excess of the ceiling will be forfeited if not used by the final day of the leave year. Forfeited annual leave may be restored under 5 U.S.C. 6304(d). (See Restoration of Annual Leave fact sheet.)

Leave Year Beginning and Ending Dates

A leave year begins on the first day of the first full biweekly pay period in a calendar year and ends on the day immediately before the first day of the first full biweekly pay period in the following calendar year. (See Leave Year Beginning and Ending Dates for more information.)

Importance of Scheduling "Use or Lose" Leave in Advance

The maximum amount of annual leave that employees may carry over to the next leave year is shown in the annual leave ceiling table above. An agency may restore annual leave that was forfeited due to an exigency of the public business or sickness of the employee only if the annual leave was scheduled in writing before the start of the third biweekly pay period prior to the end of the leave year. (See Leave Year Beginning and Ending Dates for dates for scheduling "use or lose" leave.) Any annual leave scheduled after that date will be forfeited if not used by the final day of the leave year. Annual leave that was not scheduled in advance may be restored only under very limited conditions such as employees affected by the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act (5 U.S.C. 6304(d)(3)), administrative error, or prolonged sickness of the employee.

Effect of Government Closures and Special Holidays on "Use or Lose" Annual Leave

Dismissal or closure due to weather conditions or other emergencies, end-of-year holidays granted by Executive order, and other unexpected paid time off without charge to leave may disrupt plans to use scheduled annual leave. Workdays on which a Federal activity is closed are nonworkdays for leave purposes, and employees will not be charged annual leave on such nonworkdays. If such circumstances result in an employee being unable to reschedule and use "use or lose" leave before the end of the leave year, the leave will be forfeited. When "use or lose" leave is forfeited under such conditions, it cannot be restored.

Annual Leave for Sick Leave Purposes

Employees may request annual leave instead of using sick leave (see Sick Leave Fact Sheet). Although an employee may request annual leave for sick leave purposes, annual leave is subject to supervisory approval and may be denied. If an employee chooses to use annual leave for sick leave purposes, he or she may want to share the reason for the request with the supervisor so that the request receives proper consideration.

Annual Leave While on Extended Excused Absence

An agency cannot require an employee to use annual leave when the agency has placed the employee on extended excused absence (e.g., in cases where adverse actions are being pursued by the agency). However, being placed on extended excused absence does not relieve an employee of the responsibility to schedule annual leave that would otherwise be forfeited. If the employee fails to schedule (i.e., request in writing) the use of annual leave that would otherwise be forfeited, the agency cannot restore it to the employee. If an employee schedules (i.e., makes a writen request to use) annual leave, and the agency denies the request, the agency is required to restore the annual leave.

Annual Leave While on Active Military Duty

Employees entering on active military duty have the following options regarding their annual leave:

  • Use – Employees may elect to use annual leave while on active duty in order to receive both their full civilian and military pay. During the period of annual leave, employees are in pay status; therefore they will continue to accrue annual and sick leave. For example, if a full-time employee with an 80-hour biweekly tour of duty uses 80 hours of annual leave during a pay period, he or she will accrue annual and sick leave for that pay period since he or she is in pay status.
  • Lump-Sum Payment – Employees may elect to receive a lump-sum payment for any unused annual leave when they enter on active duty in the Armed Forces. Generally, a lump-sum payment will equal the pay the employee would have received had he or she remained employed until expiration of the period covered by the annual leave. This could help with the employee's financial obligations when going into activity duty service. (See Lump-Sum Payments for Annual Leave fact sheet.)
  • Remain to their Credit – Employees may elect to have their annual leave remain to their credit for use upon their return to civilian duty. While the employee is on active military duty, unused annual leave is not subject to the employee's "use or lose" ceiling and any annual leave above the employee's annual leave ceiling is not forfeited at the end of the leave year. Employees who choose this option will have annual leave available for their use upon return to Federal service.

Creditable Service for Leave Accrual

Civilian Service

All civilian service (including previous civilian service of a reemployed annuitant) that is potentially creditable for Civil Service Retirement Service (CSRS) purposes, including service covered by the Federal Employee Retirement Service (FERS) is creditable for purposes of annual leave accrual. Potentially creditable service includes service that could be credited if the employee made deposits to the retirement fund. Such deposits are not required before the employee receives credit for annual leave accrual purposes. (See OPM's Guide to Processing Personnel Actions, Chapter 6 - Creditable Service for Leave Accrual (PDF file).)

Uniformed Service

  • For non-retired members of a uniformed service*, full credit for active military service** performed under honorable conditions is given for annual leave accrual purposes.
  • For retired members of a uniformed servivce***, annual leave accrual credit is given only for:
    • Actual service during a war declared by Congress (includes World War II covering the period December 7, 1941, to April 28, 1952) or while participating in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge is authorized. (See Vets Guide -- War Service Creditable for Veterans Preference (external link).)
      or
    • All active duty when retirement was based on a disability received as a direct result of armed conflict or caused by an instrumentality of war and incurred in the line of duty during a period of war as defined in 38 U.S.C. 101 and 1101. "Period of war" includes World War II, the Korean conflict, Vietnam era, the Persian Gulf War, or the period beginning on the date of any future declaration of war by the Congress and ending on the date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or concurrent resolution of the Congress.

*Per 5 U.S.C. 2101(3), the uniformed services consist of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard), the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, and the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

** Includes service as a cadet at the United States Military Academy, United States Air Force Academy, or United States Coast Guard Academy; or service as a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy. See full definitions at 5 U.S.C. 8331(13) and 5 U.S.C. 8401(31).

***Per 5 U.S.C. 3501(a)(2), a retired member of a uniformed service is a member or former member of a uniformed service who is entitled, under statute, to retired, retirement, or retainer pay on account of his service as such a member. Per 5 U.S.C. 5534a, employees appointed on or after October 17, 2006 while on terminal leave pending retirement from the uniformed service are treated as retired members of a uniformed service for the purposes of annual leave accrual credit.

Non-Federal Service or Uniformed Service

A newly-appointed or reappointed employee may receive service credit for prior non-Federal service or active duty uniformed service that otherwise would not be creditable for the purpose of determining his or her annual leave accrual under the conditions prescribed in 5 CFR 630.205. See Creditable Service for Annual Leave Accrual for Non-Federal Work Experience and Experience in the Uniformed Service.

Non-Federal Service or Uniformed Service

A newly-appointed or reappointed employee may receive service credit for prior non-Federal service or active duty uniformed service that otherwise would not be creditable for the purpose of determining his or her annual leave accrual under the conditions prescribed in 5 CFR 630.205. See Creditable Service for Annual Leave Accrual for Non-Federal Work Experience and Experience in the Uniformed Service.

Annual Leave to Establish Retirement Eligibility

An employee may use annual leave to establish initial eligibility for retirement in reduction-in-force (RIF) and other restructuring situations. An employee who has received a specific notice of termination in a RIF situation may use annual leave past the date the employee would otherwise have been separated in order to establish initial eligibility for immediate retirement, including discontinued service or voluntary early retirement.

Questions?

For more information about DHS annual leave policy, contact your component human resources office or e-mail worklife@hq.dhs.gov.

Family Medical Leave Act

Family Medical Leave Act Entitlement

Most federal employees are entitled to a total of up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for the following purposes:

  • the birth of a son or daughter of the employee and the care of such son or daughter;
  • the placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care;
  • the care of spouse, son, daughter, or parent of the employee who has a serious health condition; or
  • a serious health condition of the employee that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her positions.
  • any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the spouse, or a son, daughter, or parent of the employee is on covered active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty) in the Armed Forces.

Under certain conditions, an employee may use the 12 weeks of FMLA leave intermittently.  An employee may elect to substitute annual leave and/or sick leave, consistent with current laws and OPM's regulations for using annual and sick leave, for any unpaid leave under the FMLA.  (The amount of sick leave that may be used to care for a family member is limited.  See Sick Leave to Care for a Family Member with a Serious Health Condition.)  FMLA leave is in addition to other paid time off available to an employee.

Job Benefits and Protection

  • Upon return from FMLA leave, an employee must be returned to the same position or to an "equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay, status, and other terms and conditions of employment."
  • An employee who takes FMLA leave is entitled to maintain health benefits coverage.  An employee on unpaid FMLA leave may pay the employee share of the premiums on a current basis or pay upon return to work.

Advance Notice and Medical Certification 

  • An employee must provide notice of his or her intent to take family and medical leave not less than 30 days before leave is to begin or, in emergencies, as soon as is practicable.
  • An agency may request medical certification for FMLA leave taken to care for an employee's spouse, son, daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition or for the serious health condition of the employee.

Questions?

For more information about the Family Medical Leave Act, contact your component human resources office or e-mail worklife@hq.dhs.gov.

Voluntary Leave Transfer Program

Under the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP), a covered employee may donate annual leave directly to another employee who has a personal or family medical emergency and who has exhausted his or her available paid leave. There is no limit on the amount of donated annual leave a leave recipient may receive from the leave donor(s). However, any unused donated leave must be returned to the leave donor(s) when the medical emergency ends. An employee may participate concurrently in both the VLTP and the Voluntary Leave Bank Program, if available.

Definitions

Medical Emergency:

A medical emergency is a medical condition of either the employee or the employee's family member (see below) that is likely to require the employee to be absent from duty for a prolonged period and to result in a substantial loss of income because of the employee's lack of available paid leave.

Note: The threshold for "a substantial loss of income" is absence (or expected absence) from duty without available paid leave for at least 24 work hours for a full-time employee. (See Approval or Disapproval of Application to Become a Leave Recipient)

Family Member:

The definition of family member covers a wide range of relationships, including spouse; parents; parents-in-law; children; brothers; sisters; grandparents; grandchildren; step parents; step children; foster parents; foster children; guardianship relationships; same sex and opposite sex domestic partners; and spouses or domestic partners of the aforementioned, as applicable. The list of family members for whom an employee may request donated annual leave under the VLTP (as well as important associated definitions for the terms son or daughter, parent, domestic partner, and committed relationship) may be found in the fact sheet Definitions Related to Family Member and Immediate Relative for Leave Purposes.

Available Paid Leave:

Available paid leave includes an employee's accrued, accumulated, recredited, and restored annual or sick leave. It does not include advanced annual or sick leave, any annual or sick leave in an employee's set aside leave accounts which has not yet been transferred to the employee's regular annual or sick leave account, or other forms of paid time off (i.e., credit hours under flexible work schedules, compensatory time off, or religious compensatory time off).

Note: An employee is entitled to a total of 12 weeks of sick leave each year for all family care purposes. This means if the employee is applying to the VLTP for a medical emergency affecting a family member and the employee has already exhausted his or her entitlement to 12 weeks of sick leave for family care in that leave year, any remaining sick leave is not considered available paid leave and he or she would not be required to exhaust his or her sick leave balance before being eligible for donated leave.

Application to Become a Leave Recipient

An employee should apply in writing to his or her agency to become a leave recipient. (See "Forms" below for an optional application form.) If the member is not capable of making written application, a personal representative may make the application on behalf of the employee.

Each application should include:

  • The name, position title, and grade or pay level of the potential leave recipient.
  • The reasons transferred leave is needed, including a brief description of the nature, severity, and anticipated duration of the medical emergency, and if it is a recurring one, the approximate frequency of the medical emergency affecting the potential leave recipient.
  • If required by the potential leave recipient's agency, certification regarding the medical emergency from one or more physicians or other appropriate experts. (The agency must pay the expenses associated with obtaining agency-required certification from more than one source.)
  • Any additional information required by the potential leave recipient's employing agency.

Note: When an employee requests leave transfer for a family member, the agency may require the employee to document his or her relationship with that family member. Agencies should establish consistent rules and follow the same documentation requirements for all relationships, but agencies have authority to request additional information in cases of suspected leave abuse.

Approval or Disapproval of Application to Become a Leave Recipient

A potential leave recipient's employing agency must determine that a full-time employee's absence from duty without available paid leave because of the medical emergency is (or is expected to be) at least 24 work hours, which may be consecutive or intermittent. For a part-time employee or an employee on an uncommon tour of duty, the period of absence without paid leave is prorated. This period of unpaid absence qualifies as a substantial loss of income for purposes of the medical emergency determination.

The employing agency must review the employee's application and notify the employee of the approval or disapproval of the application within 10 calendar days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) after the date the application is received (or the date established by the agency, if that date is later). If disapproved, the agency must give the reason for its disapproval.

An employee may receive donated annual leave when he or she becomes an approved leave recipient.

Use of Donated Annual Leave

A leave recipient may use donated annual leave only for purposes related to the medical emergency for which the leave recipient was approved. Except for leave in set-aside accounts (described below), a leave recipient must use any accrued annual leave (and sick leave, if applicable) before using transferred annual leave.

Annual leave transferred under the VLTP to a leave recipient may be -

  • Substituted retroactively for any period of leave without pay used because of the medical emergency; or
  • Used to liquidate an indebtedness incurred by the leave recipient for advanced annual or sick leave used because of the medical emergency.

Annual leave transferred under the VLTP to a leave recipient may not be -

  • Transferred to another leave recipient except by election of the leave donor;
  • Included in a lump-sum payment for annual leave; or
  • Recredited to a former employee who is reemployed by a Federal agency.

Set-Aside Accounts

While using donated leave, a leave recipient may accrue no more than 40 hours of annual leave and 40 hours of sick leave in "set-aside accounts." The leave in the set-aside accounts will be transferred to the employee's regular leave accounts when the medical emergency ends or if the employee exhausts all donated leave. Leave in set-aside accounts is not available for use by the employee until transferred to the employee's regular leave accounts.

An employee who returns to work part-time and who uses donated leave part-time accrues leave in his or her regular annual and sick leave accounts for the time spent in work status and in his or her set aside annual and sick leave accounts for the time spent in shared leave status (when using donated leave).

Limitations on Leave Donations

In any leave year, an employee may donate not more than one-half of the amount of annual leave he or she would accrue during the leave year. An employee with "use or lose" annual leave may donate the lesser of one-half of the annual leave he or she would accrue in a leave year or the number of hours remaining in the leave year for which he or she is scheduled to work and receive pay. These limitations apply to a combined total amount of annual leave donated by an employee under the VLTP and an agency leave bank program. Each agency must establish written criteria for waiving the limitations on donating annual leave.

An employee may transfer leave to an employee of another agency only when:

  • The donor is a family member employed by another agency;
  • The leave recipient's agency believes that leave donations within the agency may not be sufficient to meet the recipient's needs; or
  • The leave recipient's agency concludes that the transfer of leave from another agency furthers the purpose of the voluntary leave transfer program.

Termination of the Medical Emergency

The medical emergency terminates:

  • When the leave recipient's Federal service is terminated;
  • At the end of the biweekly pay period in which the leave recipient provides written notice that the medical emergency is over;
  • At the end of the biweekly pay period in which the agency determines, after written notice to the leave recipient and opportunity for response, that the medical emergency is over; or
  • At the end of the biweekly pay period in which the agency receives notice that the leave recipient has been approved for disability retirement.

The agency must monitor the status of the medical emergency to ensure that it continues to affect the leave recipient. When the medical emergency terminates, the agency may not grant further requests for transfer of annual leave to the leave recipient.

Even though an employee may not be affected currently by a medical emergency, an agency may deem a medical emergency to continue for the purpose of providing a leave recipient time to receive adequate donations of leave (for example, to compensate for a previous period of leave without pay or to liquidate an indebtedness for advanced leave).

Restoration of Unused Donated Annual Leave

Any unused annual leave remaining to a leave recipient's credit on termination of the medical emergency must be restored to the annual leave accounts of the donors. Once transferred leave is restored to a leave donor's account, the leave is treated the same as other annual leave in the account and becomes subject to the annual leave "use or lose" carryover limitation

A leave donor can opt to have this leave restored during the current leave year or the next leave year, or can donate all or part of the leave to another leave recipient.

Questions?

For more information about DHS Voluntary Leave Transfer Programs, contact your component human resources office or e-mail worklife@hq.dhs.gov.

Forms

Visit the Office of Personnel Management's Leave Administration page to access forms pertaining to leave options.

For More Information

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) maintains up-to-date, detailed information on a wide variety of leave policies and workplace flexibilities for federal employees:

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