Annual Leave


Determining The Accrual Rate

In general, all periods of salaried state service count in setting the accrual rate. Counted service includes all:

  • salaried state service in positions covered and not covered by the Virginia Personnel Act, and

  • full or part-time salaried positions, and

  • salaried state service that is broken or consecutive.

Upon rehire into a classified position, the employee’s annual leave accrual rate calculation includes all cumulative periods of salaried state service. Periods of Leave Without Pay of more than 14 consecutive calendar days normally do NOT count as service. Adjustment of the leave anniversary date is required to record such LWOP periods.

EXCEPTIONS: The following types of Leave Without Pay do not require adjustment of an employee’s leave anniversary date:

  • Military Leave Without Pay

  • LWOP-Layoff if the employee returns to state service and

  • LWOP under Temporary Work Force Reduction.


The accrual rate for annual leave, the maximum amount of accrued annual leave that an employee may carry over from one leave year to the next, and the maximum amount of annual leave payable upon separation from state service are determined as shown in the following chart (full-time employees).

Years of Service Annual Accrual Rate Maximum Carryover Rate Maximum Payment
under 5 years 96 hours 192 hours (24 days) 192 hours (24 days)
5-9 years 120 hours 240 hours (30 days) 240 hours (30 days)
10-14 years 144 hours 288 hours (36 days) 288 hours (36 days)
15-19 years 168 hours 336 hours (42 days) 288 hours (36 days)
20-24 years 192 hours 384 hours (48 days) 336 hours (42 days)
25 years or more 216 hours 432 hours (54 days) 336 hours (42 days)

“Q” and “P” Status Employees

“Q” employees must work at least 30 hours (75% of a 40-hour per week schedule) and “P” employees must work at least 20 hours (50% of a 40 hour per week schedule) to earn annual leave, and will accrue annual leave at a rate proportionate to the number of hours worked.

Example: An employee with three years of service credit who works 24 hour per week (60% of full time) will accrue 2.4 hours of leave (4 hours x 0.6) for each semi-monthly period of service.

Payout and Carryover rates for employees in “Q” and “P” status are not reduced proportionately, but are based on total years of service

Employees on STD

STD is a paid leave status. Employees continue to accrue annual leave at the pre-disability rate for up to 90 consecutive calendar days.

NOTE: Employees who are working with restrictions or modifications while on STD continue to accrue their pre-disability rate of annual leave. If these employees subsequently stop working and return to non-working STD, annual leave will continue to accrue for 90 calendar days.

Employees on LTD-Working

Employees accrue annual leave during LTD–Working status. The rate of accrual is determined by the employee’s years of state service and percentage of hours worked.

Example: An employee with 12 years of service is working 32 hours per week (80% of a 40-hour schedule) on LTD–Working status. His leave accrual rate is 4.8 hours per pay period (6 hours x 0.8).

Accrual of Annual Leave

Timing and Rate of Accrual

Annual leave accrues at the end of the day, at the end of each pay period. It is credited to the employee and available for use on the first day of the next pay period. An employee must have worked or have been on paid leave for the entire pay period in order to accrue annual leave.

Note: New or rehired employees who start work on the first available work day after the start of a new pay period will be designated as having started work at the beginning of the pay period.

When Annual Leave Does Not Accrue

Annual Leave does NOT accrue in the following situations:

  • during any semi-monthly pay period when (a) the employee is on leave without pay (including leave sharing), or (b) no work is performed by the employee (e.g., 9-10-11 month employees in their non-working times);

  • after 90 consecutive calendar days of leave with pay, regardless of the type of leave to which the absence is charged, including short-term disability (STD) under the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP, Policy ). A return to work for a full pay period interrupts the count of 90 consecutive calendar days of leave with pay. If another period of Leave With Pay occurs, a new 90-day period begins and the employee continues or resumes leave accrual;

  • when an employee is suspended (LWOP) pending the results of an official investigation or of court action or placed on disciplinary suspension (see Standards of Conduct policy), except that:

    • if a suspension extends into a second pay period, accrual of annual leave shall resume in the second pay period unless the period of suspension exceeds 15 calendar days; and

    • if a suspension extends into a third pay period, accrual of annual leave shall resume in the third pay period;

  • when an employee is on Leave Without Pay-Layoff or Temporary Work Force Reduction non-working status.

  • when the employee is in non-working Long Term Disability (LTD) status through VSDP.

Note: The period of layoff (up to 12 months) is credited as service for establishing the accrual rate when the employee returns to state service (see Layoff policy); and the period of Military Leave Without Pay is credited as service for establishing the accrual rate when the employee returns to state service.

Carryover and Payment Limits

Unused accrued annual leave may be paid to the employee when he or she separates from state service and in cases of certain changes in status as outlined in this policy. The chart above shows the maximum amounts of accrued annual leave that may be paid.

Unused accrued annual leave may be carried forward from one year to the next (on January 10) only up to the maximum amounts stated above.

EXCEPTION: Agency heads may grant an exception to the limit of accrued annual leave that may be carried over into the next year when employees have not been allowed to use their leave because of University work demands over a substantial period of time. Such exceptions should be given in writing and should indicate the timeframe during which the employee must use the additional leave time.

Extended Carryover for Members of Military Forces

At the end of the leave year, a full-time employee who is a member of the organized reserve forces of any of the armed services of the United States or of the Virginia National Guard may carry forward accrued annual leave hours without limitation. These hours above the normal carryover limits will be designated as Military Bank leave and held for use only during periods of active military duty as provided by the Code of Virginia, § 2.2-2903.1. (See Military Leave policy.)

Military Bank hours shall transfer with the employee from one full-time state position to another. Upon termination of state employment, any remaining Military Bank leave is forfeited. Military Bank leave is not paid out, and it may not be converted to Annual Leave or any other leave type.

To qualify to accrue Military Bank leave, the employee must

  • be designated as MR (military reserve) or NG (National Guard) in his or her official IHRMS record, and

  • submit a completed Application for Military Leave Bank certifying eligibility to accrue Military Bank leave

Requesting and Using Leave

Employees cannot use annual leave until it is accrued. Hours accrued in one pay period are available for use the following pay period.

EXCEPTION: Annual leave may be provided to employees in advance as an Exceptional Recruitment and Retention Incentive Option. See Hiring policy, Compensation policy, and section on Leave as an Incentive Option, below.

University Approval

Employees must request and receive approval from their supervisors to take annual leave. Employees should make their requests for leave as far in advance as possible. When practical, and for as long as the University’s operations are not affected adversely, the University should attempt to approve an employee’s request for annual leave. However, supervisors may deny the use of annual leave because of University business requirements. Approval of leave may be rescinded if the needs of the University change.

Written (including e-mailed) requests and approvals for annual leave are recommended to provide documentation.

If an employee could not have anticipated the need for a leave of absence, the employee should request approval for the leave as soon as possible after leave begins. In reviewing the request for approval, the management should consider all relevant matters, including

  • the circumstances necessitating leave,

  • whether the employee should have anticipated the need, and

  • the promptness with which the employee contacted the University.

The University may establish additional procedures consistent with this policy. Employees should request leave in compliance with the University’s procedures. Leave not requested in accordance with University procedures may be denied.

Schedule Adjusting

An employee taking approved annual leave may be asked to work additional hours on his or her day off. With the approval of the employee, the University can substitute the additional hours worked for the annual leave hours, thus reducing or eliminating the need to use the employee’s annual leave.

The intent of this provision is to give mutually beneficial flexibility to employee and the University. It is not intended that employees be prevented from appropriate use of annual leave.

Unapproved Leave

When an employee takes leave time that was requested but not approved, the employee will be subject to the following University actions:

  • the absence will be designated as unauthorized;

  • the employee will not be paid for the time missed;

  • because the employee has experienced Leave Without Pay, he or she will not accrue annual or traditional sick leave for the pay period(s) when the absence occurred; and

  • the University may also take disciplinary action under Standards of Conduct policy.

Suspension Pending Investigation or Outcome of Court

Although employees are on LWOP during suspension pending investigation or outcome of court proceedings, employees may use annual leave to continue receiving pay.

Leave on Final Workday

Employees may request and, if approved, use annual leave on their last scheduled workday before separation from state service, including retirement. Annual leave balances remaining after separation will be paid up to the maximum as provided in this policy.

Using Annual Leave While Receiving VSDP Benefits

Annual leave may be used to receive full pay during periods of STD or LTD-Working disability benefit of less than 100% (hour for hour). (See Virginia Sickness and Disability Program policy.)

Leave Sharing

Employees may donate from their accrued annual leave balance to other employees who are eligible to receive the donation according to the criteria and procedures in the Leave Sharing policy. Donations are typically in 8 hour increments.

Workers’ Compensation

An employee in the Traditional Sick Leave program may use annual leave or other appropriate leave to supplement Workers’ Compensation benefits in order to receive his or her full salary upon completion of receipt of 92 days of University supplement. (See Workers’ Compensation policy.)

Leave Accrued, Used, or Paid in Error

Each employee is accountable for knowing his or her correct leave balance and accrual rate. The failure of the University’s systems or errors by responsible employees does not remove that responsibility. If it is discovered that an employee has accrued or used annual leave in excess of the amount to which he or she was entitled, incorrect balances must be corrected, and the employee may be required to repay the University for leave taken in error. Repayment may be made by

  • deducting the excess hours from the employee’s current leave balance, if adequate;

  • deducting from future accruals until the amount of over-use is repaid;

  • deducting the equivalent value of the leave time from the employee’s pay over a time deemed reasonable by the agency head or designee; or

  • a combination of methods as deemed appropriate by the agency head or designee.

A written repayment agreement is required. If the employee does not complete repayment before separating from state service, the outstanding amount may be deducted from the final salary or leave payment.


Certain changes in employee status affect the accrual, use, retention, and/or payment of annual leave.

From Classified to Classified Position

An employee who is transferred, promoted, or demoted from one classified position to another classified position in the same or a different agency retains his or her accrued annual leave balance and accrual rate.

From Classified to Non-Classified Position

An employee who transfers from a classified position to a non-classified position must be paid in a lump sum from the original agency up to the allowable maximum for his or her annual leave balance. Exception: If the agency with the non-classified position agrees to accept the leave balance, it may be transferred. For specific guidelines for converting from Classified Staff, University Staff, or Salaried Research Assistant to an Administrative & Professional Faculty position please visit

An employee who moves from a classified position to an “at-will” position may elect to retain an annual leave balance up to the maximum carryover amount for his or her years of service. If the employee does not return to classified service, the retained annual leave will be paid out up to the maximum payment level for the employee’s years of service. The payment rate is based on the employee’s last salary in a classified position. Payment is made by the last agency where the employee had the classified service.

From Non-Classified to Classified

Leave balances accrued by salaried employees in non-classified state positions may be transferred when the employee moves to a classified position only if (1) the leave was accrued at the same (or lower) rate as classified employees accrue and (2) the receiving agency chooses to accept the accrued balance.

Reducing Work Hours

Current leave balances will be retained when an employee reduces work hours and continues in a classified status. An employee’s accrual rate will change in proportion to his or her reduced work hours.

Short-Term Disability

Short-term Disability (STD) is a paid status. Annual leave balances are retained and may be used according to VSDP guidelines to supplement salary.

Long-term Disability Working

Employees in LTD-working status retain their annual leave balances and may use them to supplement the disability benefit up to the employee’s pre-disability salary. Employees accrue annual leave proportionate to hours worked in a 40-hour workweek.

Long-term Disability

Employees who participate in the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program must be paid up to the maximum allowed for any annual leave hours remaining when beginning long-term disability (LTD) status. (See Virginia Sickness and Disability Program policy.

Leaving State Service

Employees will be paid for their accrued annual leave balance not to exceed the maximum payment amount when separating from state service by resignation (including resignation from layoff status), retirement, termination or death.

Payment at an employee’s death shall be made to the Administrator or Executor. If there is no Administrator or Executor of the employee’s estate, payment shall go to the surviving spouse, or if none, to the next of kin in accordance with §64.1-123 of the Code of Virginia.

Rescinding Resignation

The University may choose to accept an employee’s request to rescind his or her resignation within 30 calendar days of separation. If the University accepts the request to rescind the resignation the IHRMS transaction should be changed to reflect a leave without pay for the period of separation; thus the employee will not experience a break in service. Upon University approval an employee may use appropriate accrued leave to cover the absence.

If the employee received payment for annual leave, he or she may recover the accrued balance and any additional leave that was over the maximum payout amount by reimbursing the agency the amount of payment received at separation. Balances will not be restored until full payment has been made.

Return or Reinstatement

If an employee leaves classified state service and is paid for his annual leave balance, then returns to a classified position within 180 calendar days, he may buy back the annual leave by reimbursing the full amount he received to the agency that paid him. The amount of annual leave restored will not exceed the maximum payout amount. That is, if the employee had hours above that amount at separation, those hours are not restored at reinstatement.

Additionally, if:

  • an employee returns to a classified position within 180 calendar days of the beginning of Long-Term Disability, he can buy back the annual leave for which he was paid by reimbursing the full amount, or

  • if an employee returns from leave within 180 calendar days of receiving payment for his annual leave balance while on LWOP he can buy back the annual leave for which he was paid by reimbursing the full amount received.

Payment may be by lump sum or according to a payment schedule set by the agency head. Such leave is not available for use until full reimbursement has been made.

Reinstatement After a Grievance

When an employee has been reinstated to state service as a result of a grievance determination, the employee may have his or her annual leave balance restored by repaying the amount the University paid him or her for annual leave.

  • Balances will not be restored until the full payment has been made.

  • If the employee is awarded reinstatement back to the date of termination or suspension, the employee will receive any annual leave accruals he or she would have received during that time period and the timeframe will not result in a break in service.


Suspensions Pending Investigation or Court Action:

  • If the investigation results in no disciplinary action, any Annual Leave applied to the period of suspension shall be reinstated and any accruals not received will be credited to the employee’s annual leave balance.

Disciplinary suspension:

  • Disciplinary suspensions under Standards of Conduct policy, are without pay. Employees may not use Annual Leave to avoid pay loss during a disciplinary suspension.

Military Leave

When an employee goes on Military Leave, all or part of annual leave balances may be:

  • applied to the period of absence due to military service to continue paid status;

  • paid up to the allowable payment amount at the time of placement on leave without pay; and/or

  • retained until reinstatement from military leave.

The University may approve requests for payment of annual leave from employees who originally chose to retain their balance but then request payment while on Military Leave. (See above for annual leave hours that have been retained as Military Bank leave). See Military Leave policy.

Workers’ Compensation

After the state-provided supplement ends, and employees have exhausted remaining leave balances, the employee should be placed on LWOP-Workers Compensation. and annual Leave accruals will cease if they have not already ended. See Workers’ Compensation policy for further information.

Other Leave Types With or Without Pay

Employees may choose to retain their maximum allowable accrued annual leave or to be paid in a lump sum when they begin:

  • educational leave with full or partial pay;

  • Leave Without Pay–Layoff; and

  • any other conditional or unconditional leave without pay for a period exceeding 3 calendar months.

Temporary Work Force Reduction

Annual leave is retained during periods of Temporary Work Force Reduction (TWFR) and may be used only for scheduled work times during a TWFR. Annual Leave may not be used to restore the employee’s salary to 100%.


When the University has identified positions that are critical to the University mission and for which the University has significant difficulty attracting or retaining qualified employees, the University may provide certain annual leave benefits as incentives for prospective employees new to state employment to accept state employment or for current employees to continue in their positions. The University must receive approval for these actions. See the Hiring policy and Compensation policy for a full explanation of how these options may be applied.

Additional Leave

The University may provide up to 30 days (240 hours) of annual leave during a leave year to a new employee as an incentive to accept employment or to a current employee as an inducement to continue with the Commonwealth.

Advanced Availability of Leave

The University may advance up to 30 days (240 hours) of annual leave against future accruals during a leave year to a new employee as an incentive to accept employment or to a current employee as an inducement to continue with the Commonwealth.

Treatment of Incentive Leave under this Policy

Leave provided for recruitment and retention purposes is not subject to the carryover limits of this policy but is subject to the payment limits and status change provisions outlined above.

Payment of Annual Leave as an Incentive

The University may negotiate to pay a specified amount of accrued annual leave as a retention incentive. Employees should be encouraged to retain a balance of leave time for future use. The written agreement with the employee should include details of the payment agreement and any obligations incurred by the employee.

Formal Agreement

When the University implements one of these annual leave incentives, a formal written agreement must be executed with the employee. This agreement must include, at a minimum:

  • a requirement for satisfactory performance;

  • the required length of employment;

  • an outline of repayment terms if the time and/or performance requirements are not met.

OAG Approval of Agreement

The University may include other conditions or requirements as appropriate (see Hiring policy and Compensation policy). The Office of the Attorney General should review and approve a prototype of the agreement before it is offered to prospective or current employees.


Leave as Financial Obligation of the State

Payment for leave of absence is an expenditure of Commonwealth funds. Therefore, records related to employee leaves of absence are subject to audit by the Auditor of Public Accounts, the State Internal Auditor, and the University’s internal auditor.

Annual Leave Records

The University must maintain accurate and up-to-date leave records in sufficient detail that can be evaluated during an audit by appropriate officials.

Reporting Absences

The University should record in IHRMS paid leave absences, as well as unpaid leaves of absence, that are greater than 14 calendar days