More Annual Leave Granted to Federal Employees for 2021

The updated copy of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes a provision that will permit federal employees to carry over an additional 25% of their annual leave into 2021. 

This is good news for federal employees who postponed travel plans or lacked the ability to take time off throughout this tumultuous year. Under current statute, most federal employees can carry up to 30 days of annual leave to the following year and any accrued leave that exceeds that limit is typically lost.  

This new provision will allow them to access their unused annual leave in 2021. 

Congress has agreed upon the 2021 NDAA, last Thursday evening. It is widely considered to be a must-pass, essential piece of legislation. 

The extra leave that isn’t used won’t count for the purposes of calculating an employee’s lump-sum payout upon retirement or separation. 

While the new annual leave policy applies to the majority of federal employees in the executive branch, it does not for members of the Senior Executive Service. 

The provision seems to have a wider scope for federal employees than members of Congress or the Trump administration had previously suggested. 

The NDAA still has some work to do before federal employees can begin recalculating their leave balances. 

Naturally, both the House and Senate must still pass the bill, and President Donald Trump must also sign it. Trump has threatened to veto the bill because it doesn’t change a law designed to protect the liability of social media companies. 

If the bill is signed into law, the Office of Personnel Management must issue new guidance describing the details of the new annual leave carryover policy for 2021. 

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