SICK LEAVE VS. ANNUAL LEAVE: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Sick leave is a paid absence from duty for any of the following:
- Personal Medical Needs
- Family Care
- Care of family members with a serious health condition
- Adoption-Related Purposes
Annual leave is approved paid time off for:
- Vacation/Rest and Relaxation
- Personal Business
HOW IS SICK LEAVE CALCULATED?
Only 240 hours (30 days) of sick leave may be advanced to an employee, and that requires management approval.
By default, full-time employees accrue four hours per pay period. Part-time employees will earn one hour per 20 hours in pay status.
Thus, it would take one year for a full-time federal worker to earn 13 days of sick leave. However, there is no limit on the amount of sick leave that full-time employees can accumulate over time.
Additionally, as of January 1st 2014, employees may credit 100% of their unused sick leave towards retirement.
HOW IS ANNUAL LEAVE CALCULATED?
Annual leave is based off of the years of service that you have.
Full-time employees earn four hours per pay period off of their first and second years of service. For 3-14 years of service, you earn six hours per pay period. After 15 years of service, you accrue eight hours per pay period.
Part-time employees receive one hour per 20 hours in pay status…no matter how long you’ve been employed by the federal government.
Due to the annual leave cap, you can’t roll over more than 30 days in the new year (whereas sick leave for full-time employees can stack with no limit). Use it, or lose it. You may be able to use annual leave for a sickness, but that’s going to be up to your agency's approval.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND SICK & ANNUAL LEAVE FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES?
We’ve all received that email asking us to donate leave – or we've seen our co-worker have an accident, get taken off work, and struggle.
You accrue sick leave and annual leave very slowly…but you can use it up very quickly.
It’s vital to know how much paid time off is available to you, so you don’t use up or give away too much. If you think you might not be earning enough leave, then you should look for additional insurance options that will supplement your income if you ever find yourself unable to work.
Whomever you choose, make sure you work with a partner who understands your current benefits as a federal employee – and who can hopefully provide a solution that is customizable to you.
If you were to have an accident, would you have enough paid leave?
United Benefits offers paycheck protection and a guarantee to issue short-term disability for any government employee that wants it. Pre-existing conditions are covered after 12 months.
Our solutions are specially negotiated for federal workers and can pay for accidents, maternity leave, or sickness on or off the job. It’s income in addition to your accrued leave that is tax-free, and paid to you directly.
United Benefits has assisted thousands of federal employees on several impactful topics. We can help you, too. Ask us anything!
Click here to request a consultation and talk one-on-one with a representative about the options available to you.