While for most federal employees the 2018 leave year does not end until January 5, 2019, the last day to schedule “use or lose” annual leave is November 24.
What is “Use or Lose” Leave?
Federal employees may carry over to the next leave year a maximum amount of accrued annual leave (240 hours for most employees). “Use or lose” annual leave is the amount of accrued annual leave that is in excess of the employee’s maximum annual leave limitation for carry over into the next leave year.
Employees must “use” their excess annual leave by the end of a leave year or they will “lose” (forfeit) it. An agency may consider restoring 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.
Leave Year Beginning and Ending Dates
According to the Office of Personnel Management:
- A leave year begins on the first day of the first full biweekly pay period in a calendar year.
- A leave year ends on the day immediately before the first day of the first full biweekly pay period in the following calendar year.
Below is a table for the leave year beginning and ending dates for 2018, 2019 and 2020 for most federal employees. Some agency payroll systems use a different pay period schedule. Employees should contact their agencies to verify the beginning and ending dates of a particular leave year.