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SMG 3111.4

FDA STAFF MANUAL GUIDES, VOLUME III - GENERAL ADMINISTRATION

PERSONNEL

GENERAL PERSONNEL PROVISIONS

VOLUNTARY LEAVE TRANSFER PROGRAM

Transmittal Number 96-82 -- Date: 08/02/1996

[PDF Version]

  1. Purpose
  2. References
  3. Coverage
  4. Definitions
  5. Policy
  6. Documenting Transferred Leave
  7. Reporting Requirements
 

Attachment I - FDA application for becoming a leave recipient - Word
Attachment II - FDA donor request to transfer annual leave - Word
Attachment III - USOPM Form 630-B, Request to donate annual leave to leave recipient (Outside Agency) - PDF
Attachment IV - Sample Manual Log (for transferred leave usage)
Attachment V - USOPM Form 1 596, Voluntary Leave Transfer Program - Activity Report
Attachment VI - Transfer of Leave Records for Leave Recipient Covered by the VLTP - PDF
Attachment VII - Sample 40 hour set-aside log

1. PURPOSE 

This Guide provides FDA policy and procedures for the voluntary leave transfer program. Under this program, unused accrued annual leave may be transferred from one Federal employee to another Federal employee who needs it because of a medical or family medical emergency.

2. REFERENCES 

Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 630, Subpart I.

Office of Personnel Management Final rule, December 29, 1994.

HHS Circular 630-14, Voluntary Leave Transfer Program. May 2, 1990.

3. COVERAGE 

Employees under the Senior Executive Service, General Schedule(including GM), and Federal Wage System who are subject to the leave provisions under subchapter 1, Chapter 63 of title 5 United States Code (U.S.C.) are covered by this program.

4. DEFINITIONS 

A. Medical emergency means a medical condition of an employee or a family member of such employee that is likely to require an employee's absence from duty for a prolonged period of time and to result in a substantial loss of income to the employee because of the unavailability of paid leave.

B. Family member means the following relatives of the employee: (a) spouse, and parents thereof; (b) children, including adopted children and spouses thereof; (c) parents; (d) brothers and sisters, and spouses thereof; and (e) any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.

C. Leave recipient means a current employee for whom the employing agency has approved an application to receive annual leave from the annual leave accounts of one or more leave donors.

D. Leave donor means an employee whose voluntary written request for transfer of annual leave to the annual leave account of a leave recipient is approved by his or her employing agency.

E. Personal representation means an employee or family member acting on behalf of another employee in the process of obtaining approval for leave transfer status.

F. Substantial loss of income means absence, or anticipated absence, from duty without available paid leave for at least 24 hours.

5. POLICY 

LEAVE TRANSFER RECIPIENTS

An FDA employee who has been affected by a medical or family medical emergency may make written application to become a leave recipient. In the event that an employee is not capable of making application on his or her own behalf, some other employee in FDA or a family member may make the application. This application should be submitted to the affected employee's immediate supervisor who reviews and recommends that it be approved or disapproved. The Office/Center Executive Officer has final approval/disapproval authority, which may be redelegated, but not lower than the second line supervisor. The approval/disapproval of an application will be based on the determination that the potential leave recipient's absence from duty without available paid leave because of the medical emergency is, or is expected to be, at least 24 hours. The absence can be 24 consecutive or intermittent hours.

An employee does not have to actually experience 24 hours of LWOP before being eligible to be a leave transfer recipient. The official with approval authority needs only to determine that the emergency will cause the employee to experience 24 hours of LWOP. (In the case of a part-time employee or an employee with an uncommon tour of duty, at least 30% of the average number of hours of work in the employee's biweekly scheduled tour of duty is expected to result in LWOP). In making a determination as to whether a medical or family medical emergency is likely to result in a substantial loss of income, designated agency official shall not consider factors other than whether the absence from duty without available paid leave is or is expected to be at least 24 hours. (Or in the case of a part-time employee or an employee with an uncommon tour of duty, at least 30% of the average number of hours of work in the employee's biweekly scheduled tour of duty).

To be eligible to retroactively substitute transferred annual leave, an approved recipient must apply for transferred leave within 30 workdays after the end of the medical emergency to be eligible for retroactive coverage to the beginning of the medical emergency. The leave recipient must provide a doctor's statement certifying the beginning and the duration of the medical or family medical emergency.

Transferred annual leave may be substituted retroactively for periods of leave without pay (LWOP) or to liquidate advanced annual or sick leave granted to an approved recipient to cover absences during a medical or family medical emergency. It is up to the leave recipient to decide how transferred leave is used.

Any applicant applying to be a leave transfer recipient shall be notified as to the approval or disapproval of their application within 10 work days (excluding Saturday, Sunday and legal holidays) from the date the application was received by the immediate supervisor. In the case of approvals, the recipient shall also be advised that other employees in FDA may now request the transfer of donated annual leave to the recipient's leave account. If an application is disapproved, the applicant shall be advised of the reasons for the disapproval and that he or she may have the disapproval reviewed through Department or negotiated grievance or EEO complaint procedures. Further information on the grievance process can be obtained by contacting the Division of Employee Relations of the Office of Human Resources and Management Services on 443-4200.

Once an employee is approved to be a leave transfer recipient, donations of annual leave may begin. However, an approved recipient may not use donated leave until he/she has exhausted his/her own annual (and sick, if appropriate) leave.

In the event there are no identified donors (or the amount of leave donated is not sufficient to cover a recipients absence), the existence of an emergency of an approved recipient may be announced to solicit leave donations. Approved recipients who request assistance from management to secure leave donors will be encouraged to allow the revelation of information about their medical emergencies in sufficient detail so that the general nature, severity, and duration of the emergency is made known. Such information will be released, however, only with the recipient's authorization; otherwise, an announcement will contain only the recipient's name, grade (or pay), organization, and a statement that an appropriate official has determined that the recipient has a medical emergency that will cause an absence from work for at least 3 days without available paid leave.

LEAVE DONATIONS FROM OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES

FDA accepts the transfer of annual leave from donors employed in other Federal agencies when:

1. A family member works in another Federal agency and requests the transfer of annual leave to the leave recipient;

2. A sufficient number of annual leave hours is not available or forthcoming from FDA employees.

When an employee from another agency donates leave to an FDA employee, the donor's agency will verify availability and amount and notify the designated FDA official in writing of the amount of donated annual leave.

ACCRUAL OF ANNUAL AND SICK LEAVE

Once an employee is using transferred leave, he/she continues to accrue annual and sick leave up to a maximum of 40 hours in each category (or, in the case of a part-time employee or an employee with an uncommon tour of duty, the average number of hours of work in the employee's weekly scheduled tour of duty), regardless of whether it is a family medical or personal medical emergency. Once 40 hours are accumulated, the accumulation stops, even if the medical emergency still exists.

This 40 hours of annual and sick leave accrued by the employee while in transferred leave status shall be kept in a separate leave account and shall not be available for the employee's use until the first applicable pay period beginning after the end of the employee's medical emergency. (See information under "Documenting Transferred Leave" below for instructions on how to maintain separate records.)

An employee's entitlement to use sick leave to care for a family member under the Federal Employee Family Friendly Leave Act, shall be considered as available paid leave in addition to any annual leave, for the purpose of determining an employee's eligibility to become a leave recipient under the VLTP. This means that before an employee can qualify for the VLTP to care for a family member's medical emergency, at least 40 hours (if accumulated) and up to 104 hours, per year of sick leave previously accumulated under the regular leave provisions has to be used before the donated leave is available to the employee. However, once the employee is in a leave transfer status, any accrued sick leave goes into the separate account and is subject to the 40 hour maximum limitation.

In the case of an employee already in a shared leave status on December 2, 1994, any sick leave now available to care for a family member shall be used, before continuing to use transferred leave.

When applying to become a leave transfer recipient remember, if it is a personal medical emergency, it must be expected that the potential recipient will be absent from duty without available paid leave for at least 24 hours. For a family medical emergency, the potential recipient must have used all available paid leave as stated above.

Any leave recipient who returns to work on a part-time basis while still in a medical emergency situation will earn regular annual and sick leave on a prorated basis. This accrued regular leave must be used before donated leave.

If an employee who is in a leave transfer status terminates his/her Federal service, the separate, 40 hour annual and sick leave accruals may not be credited to the employee for lump sum leave purposes.

Upon termination of a medical or family medical emergency, unused annual leave shall be restored to the donor. If the donor retires, dies, or otherwise separates from Federal Service before the date in which the transferred leave can be restored, it shall not be restored.

LEAVE DONORS

FDA employees who wish to become leave donors may voluntarily submit a written request that a specified number of hours of their accrued annual leave be transferred to the annual leave account of a specified leave recipient. Donors may donate their accrued annual leave only and may not donate leave in increments of less than one hour. In addition, the following provisions apply:

1. Leave donors may not request the transfer of annual leave to their immediate supervisor.

2. A leave donor may not donate leave that has not been earned and is not already in his or her accrued leave account.

3. Without a waiver, a leave donor may not donate more than one-half of the amount of annual leave he or she would be entitled to accrue during the leave year in which the donation is made. This one-half limit applied whether the leave is donated all at one time or in increments at various times during the leave year.

4. Without a waiver, a leave donor who is projected to have annual leave that otherwise would be subject to forfeiture at the end of the leave year may not donate more than the lesser of:

a. half the amount of annual leave he or she would be entitled to accrue during the leave year in which the donation is made, or

b. the number of work hours remaining in the leave year (as of the date of the transfer) for which he/she is scheduled to work and receive pay.

5. Each office/center executive officer has final approval/disapproval authority on waiver requests.

WAIVING DONATION LIMITATIONS

1. The leave donor must request a waiver of the donation limitations in writing, thereby allowing him/her to donate any amount of accrued annual leave. This waiver request may be submitted as part of the initial voluntary written request to transfer annual leave to a specified leave recipient, or at any point during the leave year when the donor wishes to exceed these restrictions.

2. The leave donor must describe any unusual circumstances which may warrant waiving the limitations on donating annual leave. Such circumstances may include but are not limited to:

a. The donor is a family member of the leave recipient.

b. The amount of leave donated is not sufficient to cover the emergency.

c. The nature of the recipient's medical emergency and desire for privacy support lifting restrictions to provide more hours from fewer donors, assuring minimal publicity.

3. The Office/Center Executive Officer can approve waiver requests with the initial voluntary donor request and throughout the leave year. The waiver approval or disapproval shall be in writing.

LEAVE DONATIONS TO OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES

When an FDA employee requests approval to donate leave to an employee of another agency, the following shall occur:

1. The immediate supervisor shall verify that the donor has available leave to donate.

2. The immediate supervisors shall determine that the amount of annual leave the donor wants to transfer does not exceed the limitations discussed above.

USOPM Option Form 630-B, Request to Donate Annual Leave to Leave Recipient (Outside Agency) Under the Leave Transfer Program, is used to complete this process. In addition to completing this request, the leave donor must submit a copy of the HHS-564 Administrative Time and Leave Record to substantiate that the donor has annual leave available to donate. The request will then be forwarded to OHRMS, where the leave recipient's agency will be notified in writing of the amount of donated leave to be credited to the recipient's annual leave account.

Once the requirements stated above have been satisfied, FDA will reduce the donor's annual leave account and notify the leave recipient's agency of the donation.

RESTORING TRANSFERRED ANNUAL LEAVE

Upon the termination of a medical or family medical emergency, unused annual leave donated to the recipient shall be restored to the donor(s) so long as those donors are currently employed by a Federal agency. The restoring process is as follows:

a. Divide the number of hours of unused annual leave by the total number of hours of annual leave donated to the recipient by all donors.

b. Multiply the ratio obtained in "a" by the number of hours of annual leave transferred by each leave donor eligible for restoration.

Example:

Hours donated 100
Hours used 80
Hours to be returned 20
Number of donors 6

Unused leave divided by hours donated, as in "a" above:

20 hours divided by 100 hours = .2

Multiply ratio from "a" by hours donated by each donor, as in "b" above:

Donor Hours donated Ratio Hours to be returned
A 25 x .2 = 5
B 25 x .2 = 5
C 20 x .2 = 4
D 10 x .2 = 2
E 10 x .2 = 2
F 10 x .2 = 2
      20

c. Round the result in "b" to the nearest increment of time established by the leave donor's employing agency to account for annual leave (in FDA the increment is 1/4).

d. If the total number of eligible leave donors exceeds the total number of hours of annual leave to be restored, none of the unused leave shall be restored. In no case shall the amount of annual leave restored to a donor exceed the amount that was donated by that donor.

The leave donor may elect to have unused donated annual leave restored to him/her by:

a. Crediting the restored leave to the donor's annual leave account for the current leave year;

b. Crediting the restored leave to the donor's annual leave account as of the first day of the first leave year beginning after the date of election; or

c. Donating the restored leave in whole or in part to another leave recipient.

If the leave donor elects to donate only part of the restored leave to another leave recipient, the remaining leave may be credited to the donor's annual leave account under a. or b. above.

Donated annual leave restored to the account of a leave donor under a. or b. above is subject to "use or lose" limitations at the end of the leave year in which the leave is restored.

6. DOCUMENTING TRANSFERRED LEAVE 

Transactions involving donated leave must be documented by SF-71s, HHS 402s, HHS 564s and locally developed forms and manual logs.

The SF-71, Application for Leave, is used as follows:

1. Leave donor completes items 1, 2, 3, 4c, 5, 6, 7 and 8

a. Item 4c: donor enters the number of hours he or she wishes to donate;

b. Item 5: donor marks annual leave block;

c. Item 6: donor remarks "annual leave donated to" (name and grade of recipient)

All other entries are self-explanatory.

2. The appropriate leave approving official in the donor's organization:

a. verifies that the requested donation is properly made, (e.g., that the recipient is not the donor's immediate supervisor);

b. approves the donation by signing the SF-71 and ensures that a copy of the approved SF-71 is sent to the recipient's organization as verification of the donated leave (the original SF-71 is retained by the donor's timekeeper);

c. advises the donor when there is a problem with the proposed donation and explains possible solutions if any, (e.g., informing the donor about the waiver needed to donate more than one-half of his/her accrued annual leave for the leave year).

3. The leave donor's timekeeper uses the SF-71 as the basis to deduct the donated annual leave from the account of the donor. The recording of that deduction is made on the timecard as covered below.

The HHS 402, Time and Attendance Report (i.e., the timecard) is used as follows:

1. To record donor's annual leave donation

a. The donor's timekeeper enters the annual leave amount donated in the "Total Hours Absent-Annual" block and enters in the remarks section, "Annual leave charged per donation to (enter name of leave recipient)."

b. If the donor uses annual leave during the same pay period that the deduction for the donated leave is to be made, the total of leave used plus the donated amount are entered in the "Total Hours Absent-Annual" block. The remark in this case is: "The annual leave charged includes (cite the number of hours) hours of annual leave donated to (enter name of recipient)."

c. If an employee uses and/or donates more than a total of 80 annual leave hours in a pay period, the amount of donated leave in excess of 80 hours must be charged on the timecard for the next pay period. The remarks on the timecards with respect to the donation amounts would be the same as cited above.

2. To record donated leave used by recipients

The number of hours of donated annual leave used by a recipient are included in the regular hours accounting block of the timecard. They are not entered in the leave block. The remarks section is annotated with the statement, "The regular hours to be paid include the use of (show number of donated hours used) hours of donated leave."

The recipient's timekeeper uses the HHS 564, Administrative Time and Leave Record, in the following ways:

1. The number of donated hours used each day is recorded in the day-by-day blocks, as is currently done, except that the entry should show the number of hours used followed by the annotation "da" (abbreviation for "donated annual"). Thus, the entry on a day donated leave is used would read, for example, "8da." The use of the HHS-564 in this manner assures a complete accounting of the recipient's status on a pay period-by-pay period basis.

2. Using a separate HHS 564, the annual and sick leave earned by the recipient during the pay period is recorded in compliance with the 5 day (40 hour) maximum accumulation while in a transferred leave status, as discussed above in Accrual of Annual and Sick Leave.

The manual log should be simple and developed locally. There is a sample included with this SMG (see attachment IV). It is used for the following purposes:

1. To record receipt of SF-71s showing recipient's name and the total number of hours of annual leave donated (SF-71s should be filed with the log for record keeping purposes).

2. To record the amount of donated annual leave used each pay period.

3. To record additions of donated leave received during the entire period the recipient is in leave transfer status.

4. To provide information on the recipient's donated leave balance to be restored to donors when the medical emergency has terminated.

A leave correction card is used to restore unused leave to donors as follows:

1. The official designated to monitor the recipient's medical or family medical emergency situation shall:

a. Ensure that the unused annual leave balance donated to the recipient is restored to donors whenever feasible, with the amounts to be calculated by the above restoration formula.

b. Ensure that a memorandum is sent to the leave approving official for each donor entitled to restoration of annual leave, informing that official of the name of the recipient and how much leave is to be restored to the donor(s).

2. The donor's timekeeper uses that memorandum as the basis for preparing a leave correction card (see section in HHS timekeepers manual on recording the restoration of donated annual leave) adjust the hours charged on the timecard originally reflecting the donation. The timekeeper enters a correct number of annual leave hours (i.e., the original donation less hours restored) and annotates the remarks section, "Unused donated annual leave restored to employee."

7. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS 

FDA is responsible for annually reporting to HHS on the agency activity under this voluntary annual leave transfer program. Attachment V of this SMG is the data collection and reporting form. Reports must be submitted by each organization's Leave Transfer Coordinator no later than October 15 of each year.

Employees should contact their Administrative Officers for more information about the program and to obtain an application to become a leave transfer recipient. Each Office/Center also has a designated Leave Transfer Coordinator who is available to provide information about the program.