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Annual leave is designed to give employees vacation periods for rest and relaxation and to provide time off for personal business or family needs. Generally, the use of annual leave must be scheduled and approved in advance. The scheduling of leave is initiated by employees when they submit a leave request in the time and attendance system (webTA). For employees exempt from the use of webTA, scheduling of leave is initiated by completing an OPM Form 71, Application for Leave. However, in emergency situations, provisions are established to handle emergency notifications/requests for leave. These requirements are typically set forth in collective bargaining agreements (negotiated contracts between management and union representative), if applicable, and in local Instructions or leave reference guides. Employees should check with their supervisors to determine the appropriate requirements for requesting emergency leave. Such provisions generally allow for employees to call their supervisors, usually within two hours of the start of their normal workday, to explain their need for emergency leave.
Less than 3 years of service
3 years but less than 15 years of service
15 or more years of service
1/2 day (4 hours) for each pay period
3/4 day (6 hours) for each pay period, except 1¼ day (10 hours) in last pay period
1 day (8 hours) for each pay period
1 hour of annual leave for each 20 hours in a pay status
1 hour of annual leave for each 13 hours in a pay status
1 hour of annual leave 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 OPM.
8 hours for each pay period, regardless of years of service (see link under References).
Years of Service
First 25 Pay Periods
Last Pay Period of Calendar Year
Less than 3
3 to less than 15
15 and over
Advancing Annual Leave
Maximum Annual Leave That May Be Carried Over into the New Leave Year
Federal Employees Stationed within the United States
30 days (240 hours)
Federal Employees Stationed Overseas
45 days (360 hours)
Members of the Senior Executive Service, Senior-Level and Scientific and Professional Employees
90 days (720 hours)
Unused Annual Leave