OPM Plans to ‘Streamline the Leave Restoration Process’ for Coronavirus

June 19, 2020 11:30 AM
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The Office of Personnel Management said in a recent memo that it plans to issue regulations soon that would allow some federal employees the option to restore lost “use or lose” annual leave due to the coronavirus in certain situations.

OPM made the statement in a memo issued Thursday about how annual leave and other paid time off usage is impacted by the coronavirus. (Spoiler alert: there aren’t any changes to normal rules.)

But, OPM did say regulations are coming soon that would “streamline the leave restoration process for agencies” in certain situations. The applicable quote from the memo states:

…please know that OPM plans to issue regulations in the near future that will streamline the leave restoration process for agencies that have employees with “use or lose” annual leave who are unable to use this leave because of work-related requirements related to the COVID-19 national emergency. The regulations will deem the COVID-19 national emergency to be an exigency of the public business for the purpose of restoring forfeited annual leave. The regulations will provide that employees who would forfeit annual leave in excess of the maximum annual leave allowable carryover because of their essential work during the national emergency will have their excess annual leave deemed to have been scheduled in advance and subject to leave restoration. Agency heads will be required to identify any employees covered under this annual leave restoration authority and inform them in writing of this designation. This means that agencies and their employees will not be faced with the administrative burden of scheduling, canceling, and restoring such leave for these employees at a time when all available attention and energy should be focused on the national emergency.

A copy of the OPM memo is included below.

Annual Leave and Other Paid Time Off Guidance

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.

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