Management officials may restore annual leave that was forfeited because it was in excess of the maximum amount of hours (i.e., 240 hrs, 360 hrs, etc.) that could be carried over into the next leave year. The following three reasons are the "only" reasons that forfeited leave hours can be restored by management: (1) administrative error when the error caused the lost of annual leave hours; (2) exigencies of the public business when the annual leave was scheduled in advance; (3) or sickness of an employee when the annual leave was scheduled in advance. Scheduling leave in advance means it must have been scheduled in writing before the start of the third biweekly pay period prior to the end of the leave year.
Exigency of the Public Business
An exigency of the public business for leave restoration is normally referred to a situation or matter of such importance and urgency, that an employee must be at work, and precludes the use of annual leave. The authority to determine exigencies is delegated by the ASA (M&RA) to commanders of Army Commands (ACOMs); Army Service Component Commands (ASCCs); Direct Reporting Units (DRUs); and the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army (AASA). This authority may be further delegated in writing to other Army officials as appropriate. Exigencies that result in the forfeiture of annual leave should have a fixed termination date.
How to Request Leave Restoration
Shortly after the new leave year begins, employees seeking to have forfeited leave restored must submit a request to the appropriate management official for approval. The request should include the following:
- Written statement explaining the circumstances for the forfeited leave and how many hours should be restored
- Copies of the leave and earnings statements that indicate the leave hours forfeited
- Copies of all written requests for leave relevant to the forfeited leave
- Document(s) disapproving the leave requests
- If the request is based on an administrative error provide documents regarding the error
Time Limit for Use of Restored Annual Leave
In general, employees must schedule and use their restored leave not later than the end of the leave year ending two years after:
- the date of restoration of the annual leave forfeited because of administrative error;
- the date the employee is determined to be recovered and able to return to duty if the leave was forfeited because of employee illness; or
- the date determined by the management official, with appropriate delegated authority, as the termination date of the exigency of the public business that resulted in forfeiture of the annual leave.
[Note: The two year limitation could be extended due to an extended exigency as defined in 5 CFR, Section 630.309.]
National Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist AttackIn 2002, OPM issued final regulations that permit "use or lose" annual leave to be restored to employees whose services are determined to be necessary for the current national emergency. This means employees are entitled to have their excess annual leave restored without the administrative burden of scheduling and canceling such leave during the national emergency. Additionally, the time limitations for using restored annual leave are suspended for the entire period during which employees' services are determined to be essential for activities associated with the national emergency. At the end of the national emergency, or when the services of the employee no longer are determined to be necessary, a new time limit is to be established for using all restored leave available to the employee.