New annual leave carryover policy now in effect for federal employees, OPM says

Federal employees who forfeited vacation time in excess of the usual annual leave carryover limit at the end of 2020 may be able to get some of those days back for use later this year, thanks to a policy in the new annual defense authorization law.

The Office of Personnel Management on Tuesday issued detailed guidance covering the new annual leave policy and instructed agencies to implement it.

It applies to most executive branch employees, including workers at the U.S. Postal Service, Postal Regulatory Commission, Transportation Security Administration and Federal Aviation Administration, as well as healthcare professionals at the Veterans Health Administration, according to the OPM guidance.

Postal employees, for example, have a leave and personnel system separate from the one the vast majority of federal employees use, but Tuesday’s memo requires USPS to establish a comparable leave carryover policy reflecting the changes described in the 2021 NDAA.


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