Annual Leave FAQs
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Sam Wilkins, Director
South Carolina Office
of Human Resources
8301 Parklane Road
Suite A220
Columbia, SC 29223
Phone: (803) 896-5300

INSPECTOR GENERAL'S
FRAUD HOTLINE

(State Agency fraud only)

1-855-SCFRAUD
or
1-855-723-7283

References
  • State HR Regulations Section 19-709 Adobe Acrobat
  • SC Code of Laws 8-11-45 ; 8-11-145; 8-11-610-680


  • Eligibility

    Q: Who is eligible to earn annual leave?

    A: Employees in full-time equivalent (FTE) positions who are scheduled to work at least one-half of the workweek on a 12-month basis or the equivalent of one-half of the workweek during the full school or academic year of nine months or more are eligible to earn annual leave. Teaching personnel and officials of academic rank at institutions of higher learning do not earn annual leave under these regulations.

    Q: Is a part-time employee eligible to earn annual leave?

    A: If the part-time employee is scheduled to work as least one-half of the workweek of the agency, the employee is eligible to earn annual leave on a pro-rata basis.

    Q: How is an employee's leave accrual date established?

    A: An employee's leave accrual date reflects the following: 1) all State service in an FTE position, including part-time service, adjusted to reflect periods of leave without pay of over 30 consecutive workdays and any break in service; 2) all service as a certified employee in a permanent position of a school district of this State; and 3) all service in any temporary capacity counted toward the employee's probationary period.

    Q: Can service as an employee of the legislative or judicial branches of SC State Government be considered when establishing an employee's leave accrual date?

    A: Service as an employee of the legislative or judicial branches of SC State Government may be reflected in the leave accrual date.

    Q: Can the prior service of a retiree be considered when establishing an employee's leave accrual date?

    A: Yes, the employee should receive credit for all State service in a FTE and for any time as a certified employee in a permanent position of a school district of this State for purposes of earning annual leavel.

    Q: Can service as an employee of a quasi-state agency be considered when establishing an employee's leave accrual date?

    A: Service as an employee of a quasi-state agency may be considered when establishing an employee's leave accrual date. Some quasi-state agencies are: State Ports Authority, Santee Cooper, Public Service Authority, Savannah Valley Authority, Carolina Capital Investment Corporation (CCIC), SC Education Lottery, and Medical University Hospital Association.

    Leave Accrual Rates

    Q: How much annual leave is earned each month by a full-time employee who has less than 10 years of State service?

    A: An employee with service time of less than 10 years earns annual leave at the rate of 1 workdays per month.

    Q: How is the annual leave accrual rate determined for an employee in a part-time FTE position?

    A: A part-time employee in an FTE position earns annual leave based on the employee's average workday. The average workday is determined by dividing the total number of hours the employee is regularly scheduled to work during a week by five.

    Example: An employee works 30 hours per week in an agency than has a 37.5-hour workweek. To determine the leave accrual rate for this employee, first determine the average workday by dividing the 30-hour workweek by 5. The employee has an average workday of 6 hours. Second, determine the monthly leave accrual rate by multiplying the number of annual leave days the employee earns per month by the employee's average workday. This employee earns 1.25 annual leave days per month, which is multiplied by the 6-hour average workday. This employee would earn 7.5 hours of annual leave per month.

    Q: How is the annual leave accrual rate determined for an employee who works
    less than 12 months a year?


    A: An employee who works less than 12 months a year accrues annual leave at the same rate as other employees in FTE positions, but only for the months the employee is in pay status.

    Bonus Annual Leave

    Q: What is bonus annual leave?

    A: An employee with State service time of more than 10 years earns a bonus of 1 workdays of annual leave per year for each year of service over 10 years.

    Q: When does an employee begin earning bonus annual leave?

    A: An employee shall begin earning bonus annual leave on a calendar month basis beginning the month after his leave accrual date.

    Annual Leave Maximum Usage

    Q: What is the maximum number of annual leave days that may be used by an employee in any one calendar year?

    A: Generally, an employee may not use more than 30 workdays of annual leave in any one calendar year.

    Q: What is the maximum number of annual leave days an employee in a part-time FTE position can use during the calendar year?

    A: A part-time employee may not use more than 30 average workdays of
    annual leave in any one calendar year.

    Q: Under what circumstances can an employee exceed the 30-day maximum annual leave usage?

    A: For Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) qualifying reasons, an agency may allow an employee who has used all eligible sick leave and 30 days of annual leave to use any remaining annual leave for emergencies or serious health conditions of the employee and emergencies or serious health conditions of the employee's immediate family.

    Maximum Annual Leave Carryover

    Q: How much annual leave can an employee carryover from one calendar year to the next?

    A: Generally, an employee may carryover 45 workdays of annual leave from one calendar year to the next.

    Q: What is the maximum number of annual leave days an employee in a part-time FTE position may carry over from one calendar year to the next?

    A: Typically, an employee in a part-time FTE position may carry over 45 average workdays from one calendar year to the next. For example, an employee who works a 30-hour workweek may carry over 45 of the employee's average 6-hour days from one calendar year to the next.

    Changes in Work Schedules That Impact Annual Leave

    Q: How is an employee's annual leave balance affected when he transfers to another agency or is reassigned to another position that requires a different number of hours in the workweek?

    A: The employee's annual leave balance must be converted as follows: 1) Convert the employee's annual leave hourly balance earned in the previous position to days; and 2) Multiply the total number of days by the number of hours worked per day in the new position.

    For example, an employee transfers from an agency that has a 37.5-hour workweek to an agency that works 40 hours a week. The employee has 150 hours of unused annual leave prior to the transfer. The 150 hours divided by the 7.5-hour day (from the 37.5 hour workweek) converts to 20 days of annual leave to be transferred. The 20 days of annual leave should then be multiplied by the new 8-hour workday at the new agency, resulting in the employee's new hourly leave balance of 160 hours.

    Q: When an employee in an FTE position reduces his work hours from full-time to part-time, what happens to his annual leave balance?

    A: The employee's annual leave balance must be converted to the new average workday. To convert the leave balance, divide the total number of accrued annual leave hours by the number of hours in the new part-time average workday.

    Example: An employee worked a 7.5-hour workday as a full-time employee (37.5-hour workweek) and had an annual leave balance of 40 days (or 300 hours of leave). If this employee reduces his work hours to 30 hours a week, his new average workday is 6 hours. Divide the 300 hours of annual leave by the 6-hour average workday, and the employee's converted annual leave balance is 50 days (or 300 hours of leave).

    Note: If this change results in the employee having a maximum accumulation in excess of 45 average workdays in the new part-time status, as of the effective date of the change, the employee will not forfeit the excess. The employee will retain this excess leave which is the maximum amount the employee may carry over in future years. If the employee subsequently reduces the amount of such leave carried over, the reduced amount, if in excess of 45 average workdays, will become the employee's maximum carry over into future years or less. If the amount of leave carried over is less than 45 average workdays then 45 days will become the maximum amount of unused leave the employee may carry over thereafter.

    Transferring Annual Leave Balances

    Q: If an employee transfers to another State agency, which agency is responsible for funding the annual leave balance?

    A: Although the employee's annual leave balance transfers to the receiving agency, the funds associated with the balance do not transfer. The receiving agency accepts the liability for the employee's unused annual leave balance.

    Q: Can a legislative or judicial employee transfer annual leave when he is hired by a State agency in the executive branch of State Government?

    A: An employee from the legislative or judicial branch who is hired by a State agency may transfer his unused annual leave balance if the leave from the legislative or judicial branch was earned in accordance with the Annual Leave Act.

    Q: Can an employee of a quasi-state agency transfer annual leave when he is hired by a State agency?

    A: An employee from a quasi-state agency who is hired by a State agency may transfer his unused annual leave balance if the leave from the quasi-state agency was earned in accordance with the Annual Leave Act.

    Q: Can an employee of a school district transfer his annual leave balance when he is hired by a State agency?

    A: An employee of a school district may not transfer his unused annual leave when he is hired by a State agency.

    Q: How does an agency calculate an employee's annual leave accrual and balance when the employee transfers from a 40-hour per week full-time position to a 37.5-hour per workweek part-time position?

    A: An employee's annual leave accrual will be based on his average workday in the new position. An employee's annual leave balance must be converted to the new average workday before the balance is transferred to the new agency.

    Example: An employee working 8.0 hours per day at Agency A with 45 days of accrued annual leave, transfers to Agency B which has a 7.5 hour workday; therefore, the employee has 45-7.5 hours of accrued annual leave or 337.5 hours of annual leave. In transferring the annual leave, Agency A should transfer to Agency B 45 days or 337.5 hours of annual leave.

    Payment of Unused Annual Leave Upon Separation

    Q: When an employee separates from State service, how is his annual leave balance affected?

    A: Upon separation from employment, an employee will receive a lump-sum payment for unused annual leave not to exceed 45 days. Exceptions: (1) Retired members of the South Carolina Police Retirement System (PORS) who are hired by the State are not eligible for a lump-sum payment for unused leave regardless of initial retirement date. (2) Employees who begin participation in the TERI program after June 30, 2005, are not eligible for a lump-sum payment upon their entrance into the TERI program. They are eligible for a lump-sum payment when their TERI period ends or they otherwise separate from State service. (3) All other retirees who were hired by the State after June 30, 2005, are not eligible for a lump-sum payment for unused leave.

    Q: What should be included when calculating the annual leave payout for an employee?

    A: The annual leave payout should be calculated based on the employee's final rate of pay, including longevity, temporary salary adjustments, or any other pay that the employee is receiving at the time of separation.