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Leave Program

Civilian Leave Program

The Air Force Leave and Absence Program is an important and significant benefit for all federal employees and managers must consider the needs of the Air Force and the welfare of the employees. Employees earn annual leave and sick leave based upon the type of their appointment and number of hours they work each week. Managers must administer leave and excused absences on a uniformed and equitable basis within the scope of applicable laws and regulations.  


The maximum amount of annual leave that an employee may carry forward from one year to another is 30 days (240 hours), or the amount accumulated under earlier statute, whichever is greater. Any leave to the employee’s credit at the end of the leave year that exceeds the maximum accumulations is ether forfeited or restored.

Full-time employee hour credit:

  • Category 1 (Employees with less than 3 years of service) - 4 hours

  • Category 2 (Employees with 3 but less than 15 years of service) - 6 hours

  • Category 3 (Employees with 15 or more years of service) - 8 hours


Sick Leave is a qualified right, not an absolute right, and is subject to approval.

  • 4 hours (regardless of length of service for full-time employee)

  • Proportionate rate (for employees on uncommon tours of duty, such as firefighters)

Advance of Sick Leave is a privilege which may be extended to employees. It is not considered a routine or standard procedure and will be granted only after all circumstances have been carefully weighed.

  • Advance Sick Leave – 30 days maximum amount

  • In cases of serious disability, illness, incapacitation

  • Leave and workplace flexibilities available to employees for childbirth, adoption, and foster care


Leave without pay (LWOP) is a temporary non-pay status and an authorized absence from duty, or when the employee has insufficient annual or sick leave, or compensatory time available to cover an approved absence.  An employee does not have to exhaust annual or sick leave before requesting LWOP.


  • LWOP Absence-Uniformed Service (mandated by law)

  • Disabled Veteran (Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA))

  • Reserved or National Guard (perform military training and/or active duty), (USERRA)

  • LWOP under Family and Medical Leave Act


Court leave is leave of absence from duty without loss of pay or charge to annual leave to perform jury duty in a federal, state, or municipal court or to serve as a witness for the Unites States, the District of Columbia, or State or local government.


Jury duty (part-time or full-time) no charge to annual leave.


Civilian Benefits and Entitlements