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HRDG 4630 - Absence and Leave - Section B - Subsection a

Subchapter 4630 - Absence and Leave
Section B - Annual Leave
Subsection a - Accruing Annual Leave


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Annual Leave Accrual Rates
Updated 05/15
Employees earn annual leave based on the amount of service which is creditable for leave accrual purposes. (Service computation dates for leave appear on biweekly leave and earning statements.) Refer to the following table to determine an employee's leave category and appropriate accrual rate:
Years of Creditable Service: Leave Category: Accrual Rate:
Less than 3 Category 4

Full-time employees earn 4 hours each full pay period.

Part-time employees earn 1 hour for each 20 hours in pay status.

At least 3 but less than 15 Category 6

Full-time employees earn 6 hours each full pay period (except the last full pay period in the calendar year, when 10 hours are earned).

Part-time employees earn 1 hour for each 13 hours in pay status.

15 or more Category 8

Full-time employees earn 8 hours each full pay period.

Part-time employees earn 1 hour for each 10 hours in pay status.

Note: 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.

SES/SL/ST Annual Leave Accrual Rate
Added 04/05

Effective October 30, 2004, Senior Executive Service (SES) and Senior Level/Scientific and Professional (SL/ST) employees accrue annual leave at the rate of 1 day (8 hours) for each full biweekly pay period, regardless of the length Federal service (Federal Workforce Flexibility Act 2004 section 202[b] [Pub,L.108-411, dtd 10/30/04] which amends 5 USC 6303; 5 CFR 630.301[a]).

Accruing Annual Leave for Fractional Pay Periods

An employee earns annual leave on a pro-rata basis if, during continuous employment, the employee's leave earning status is interrupted for a fraction of a pay period by any one of the following circumstances:

  • Employee transfers to a position having different pay periods;
  • Employee is on leave without pay (LWOP) for part of the pay period while receiving disability compensation from the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP);
  • Employee is restored after service in the military or with a public international organization; or
  • Employee is restored to full-time after a period of intermittent service, or vice versa.
Accrual Rates for Fractional Pay Periods

Refer to the following table to determine how much annual leave will be accrued during fractional pay periods.


  4-Hour 6-Hour 8-Hour
1 1 1 1
2 1 1 2
3 1 2 2
4 2 2 3
5 2 3 4
6 2 4 5
7 3 4 6
8 3 5 6
9 3 5 7
If part-time employees change to full-time or intermittent status, any hours of work left to their credit which do not total enough to earn 1 hour of annual leave are dropped.
Part-time Employees
Updated 06/16

The following conditions apply to annual leave accrual for part-time employees:

  • A maximum of 80 hours in a pay period, including overtime, are counted in determining a part-time employee's leave accrual. Hours in excess of 80 are not considered for leave accrual purposes, and are not carried forward. (See 5 C.F.R. 630.202[b]).
  • Hours in pay status which total less than the number required for credit of 1 hour of annual leave are considered unapplied hours and will be carried over to the next pay period to accumulate toward future credit.
  • If a part-time employee is converted to full-time or intermittent work, any unapplied hours are dropped.
    If a mixed-tour employee is changed to an intermittent work schedule, and is also issued a lump sum payment, any part-time unapplied hours are forfeited because the change in work status is equivalent to a separation. If the mixed-tour employee does not receive a lump-sum payment at the time he/she is placed on an intermittent work schedule, the unapplied hours will be held in abeyance until he/she returns to part-time duty.

    The disposition of unapplied hours is different than for regular part-time employees because, as a condition of employment, a mixed-tour employee is required to return to a full-time or part-time work schedule after a period of intermittent employment.

  • Part-time employees in the 6-hour category do not earn additional hours in the last full pay period in the calendar year.
Completion of a Full Pay Period

Both full-time and part-time employees complete a full pay period when they are in a pay status, or any combination of pay and nonpay status, for all the work hours and workdays within their basic biweekly tour of duty. Employees complete a full pay period when:

  • Their appointment is effective at the beginning of the pay period and they enter on duty on the first workday after the beginning of a pay period, or on the second workday after the beginning of a pay period when a holiday falls on the first workday; or
  • They separate at the close of business on the last workday of a pay period, or at the close of business the day before the last day, when the last workday is a holiday.
Effect of Nonpay Status on Accrual

A full-time employee does not earn leave in any pay period during the leave year that the total hours in nonpay status equals 80 or a multiple of 80 hours. (Non-pay status may be leave without pay [LWOP], absence without leave [AWOL], or suspension). Hours of nonpay status are dropped at the end of the leave year. Although an employee in annual leave category 6 normally will earn 10 hours during the last full pay period in the calendar year, he/she will earn no leave if he/she reaches 80 hours of nonpay status during that same period.

Example: An employee who is in nonpay status for 40 hours during pay period 16, but has had no nonpay during previous pay periods, accrues leave. In pay period 17, the employee is again in nonpay status for 40 hours. The employee will accrue no leave for pay period 17 because he/she has now reached a multiple of 80 hours of nonpay status.

Changing Leave Earning Categories

After completing the required years of service, an employee moves into a higher leave-earning category at the beginning of the next pay period. However, if the required years of service are completed on the first day of the pay period, the employee moves into the higher category in that pay period.

Changes to an employee's leave-earning category appear on the biweekly leave and earnings statement in the pay period the change occurs.

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