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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Work/Life Balance

Annual and Sick Leave

Annual Leave. Full-time employees accrue annual leave based on the length of their tenure with the government. Employees accrue 4 hours per pay period in their first 3 years, 6 hours per pay period in years 3 through 15, and 8 hours per pay period after their 15th year. Prior military or volunteer service may count toward accrual.

Employees are allowed to carry over 240 hours (30 days) each leave year; any hours over 240 at the end of the payroll year will be forfeited.

Annual leave is paid as a lump sum if you leave the government; you may be required to pay back some or all of this if you return  to federal service within certain time frames.

Sick Leave accrues at a rate of four hours per pay period for full time employees, or 13 workdays per year.  Sick leave doesn't expire and continues to accrue through your career.  If you leave
mom greeting her daughter at work

the government and return to federal service later, your previous sick leave balance can be restored to your account.

Sick leave can be used for personal illness, care of sick family members, adoption, and medical appointments.

Emergency Leave Transfer Program

An ASPR employee who is adversely affected, or has family members who are adversely affected, by a major disaster or emergency as declared by the President may apply for donated annual leave through the Emergency Leave Transfer Program (ELTP). Those approved for program funding may receive a maximum of 240 hours of donated annual leave at any one time for each disaster or emergency.

Paid Holidays

The 10 paid holidays that federal employees enjoy each year include the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., Columbus Day, and Veteran's Day.

Flexible Work Schedules

Advances in telecommunications, the rising costs of office space, growing air pollution, traffic congestion and changing social needs have increased the need for telecommuting arrangements. Telework may be granted to an employee if both supervisor and employee agree, and if it meets the needs of the organization.

An employee may be able to enjoy an alternative work schedule (AWS), at the supervisor's discretion, provided it does not affect productivity. AWS includes the Compressed Work Schedule, in which an employee works eighty hours in a two-week pay period in less than 10 days.

Health and Wellness Program

FedStrive is an integrated health, wellness, and work/life program available to employees working in the ASPR headquarters in Washington, DC. It is designed to:

  • Help employees improve their workplace practices, be more fit, and obtain health information and
  • Provide free access to innovative and customized onsite tools and programs, such as health clinics, a fitness center, and a registered dietician.

Employee Assistance Program

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers confidential assessments, referral, and short-term consultative services for any personal problems that may have negative effects on your work performance. The program also offers short-term, in-person counseling to help employees handle challenging situations, including troubled relationships, emotional reactions, stress, anxiety, depression, grief, alcohol and drug abuse, and family concerns.

Legal and financial services by local attorneys are also available either over the phone or in person for will preparation, identity theft solutions, budgeting, financial planning, saving and investment strategies, and debt reduction.

  • This page last reviewed: April 05, 2018