2.2 Accrual and Use
Rate of accrual
Full-Time Staff – Eligible full-time staff receive annual leave credit at the rate of two and one half days for each full month of service, or six weeks per year.
Part-time Staff – Staff members in part-time employment (i.e. 50 per cent of the normal work week accrue 1.25 full days per month or 2.5 half days per month).
While on Sick Leave with Full Pay or Special Leave with Full Pay – When calculating annual leave, service time includes time spent on sick leave with full pay or special leave with full pay (SLWFP).
Maternity Leave or Special Leave with Full Pay following adoption or paternity leave. Except as indicated in the paragraph just below, annual leave is also accrued during periods of:
Non accrual of leave
Annual leave does not accrue during or with respect to the following:
- Periods of unauthorized absence;
- Periods of suspension from duty without pay unless this period is later reinstated;
- Periods of special leave with half pay or without pay for one month or longer;
- Periods of sick leave with half pay, unless full pay status is maintained by having each half day of sick leave combined with one half day of annual leave or one half day of work;
- Periods in which the staff member receives compensation equivalent to salary and allowances for a service-related injury or illness under Appendix D to the United Nations Staff Rules;
- Periods in which a fixed-term appointment is extended solely to enable a staff member to utilize an entitlement to:
- Sick leave;
- Maternity leave;
- SLWFP for adoption, i.e. adoption leave; or
- SLWFP for paternity purposes, i.e. paternity leave; and
Annual leave may be taken in units of days and half days.
In calculating the leave to be charged, any absence of more than two hours but less than four hours (excluding the lunch hour) is counted as half day leave; similarly, any absence of more than four hours (excluding the lunch hour) is counted as one day’s leave.
Annual leave is subject to exigencies of service and must be authorized in advance by the supervisor, except where a compelling circumstance makes this impossible.
2.3 Planning and Leave Requests
Advance planning of leave is essential to ensure that the office can operate efficiently at all times and allow as much notice as possible to staff members for the timely formulation of their own leave plans.
Whenever possible, home leave should be taken in conjunction with reassignment and other official travel.
How to charge annual leave
Annual leave is charged only in respect of working days, as defined at the staff member’s duty station.
- One day for each journey of less than 10 hours;
- Two days for each journey of 10 hours or longer but less than 16 hours; and
- Three days for each journey of 16 hours or more.
Additional details on this and other interactions between travel time and annual leave can be found in administrative instruction ST/AI/2006/4 and ST/AI/2006/4 Amend.1. Additionally, it is imperative to refer to the home leave and family leave policies for the specifics governing each.
2.4 Payment of Unused Annual Leave
Staff members with appointments governed by the UN Staff Regulations and Staff Rules who, upon separation from service, have accrued annual leave, will be paid for each day of unused annual leave, up to a maximum of 60 days.
- Staff members administered under the 300 series of the United Nations Staff Rules – unutilized leave at the time of separation is not commuted to cash.
Re-appointment following separation
For those staff who are re-appointed within 12 months of separation from a previous appointment, Staff Rule 104.3(a) stipulates that the separation for the second time will be adjusted in such a way that the total payments for the first and second separation do not exceed amounts which would have been paid had the service been continuous.
Therefore, any payment that the staff member may have received for accrued annual leave during the first separation in the United Nations Common System will be taken into account if the staff member was re-employed in the United Nations Common System within one year and then eventually separated.
Example: A staff member worked for the United Nations and upon separation from the United Nations was paid 32 days of accrued annual leave. If re-employed by UNDP within a period of 12 months, this staff member upon separation from UNDP may only receive payment of up to 28 days of accrued annual leave.
2.5 Authorized and Unauthorized Absence
Reasonable absences from work due to certain circumstances are not charged to annual leave. These include, but are not limited to:
Taking medical examinations required by UNDP;
Taking official tests or examinations given or required by UNDP;
Voting in a national election;
Court duty; and
Time off during the work day for nursing mothers to breast feed their infants (see relevant policy).
Office closure in severe weather
Upon closure of the office as a result of severe weather and disruption of transportation systems, UNDP applies the same arrangements as the United Nations regarding absence of staff. The arrangement may vary depending on the degree and duration of the situation, however the following general conditions apply:
Staff will not be charged annual leave during the period the office is formally closed;
Essential staff who are required to report to work when the office is closed will be granted compensatory time off for the hours worked;
Staff who were on sick leave, previously authorized annual leave or other leave status should continue to be charged against their leave entitlements;
Following re-opening of the office, staff who are unable to report to work because of the continuing transportation difficulties and ongoing state of emergency may not be charged annual leave for the first day the office re-opens. Compensatory leave is not payable to those who do report to work; and
Subsequent days will be treated as normal workdays in spite of the general difficulties that some staff continue to face. Absences on those days will be charged to annual leave, or other leave as appropriate.
No salary is paid to staff members during periods of unauthorized absence from work, such as absences due to strikes, demonstrations or other job actions. A staff member may be liable to disciplinary measures or separation for unauthorized absence.
At duty stations where the work week is five days, annual leave is charged in increments of days and half days, equal to the actual number of days taken.
At duty stations where the work week is more than five days, annual leave is charged for the actual number of days taken up to five days and a full week of annual leave is counted as five days only, as per the illustration below:
Amount of time taken
Amount of leave to be charged
1 to 5 days
Actual number of days
Full week (whether 5 days or more)
Official duty during leave
If a staff member is required to perform official duties while on annual leave, the periods during which the official duties are performed are not charged to annual leave. However, any official duties performed while on annual leave must be approved by the staff member’s head of office/unit, in consultation with the office where the duties are to be performed.
Monthly credit upon appointment/separation
Monthly credit for annual leave is affected by the staff member’s date of appointment and date of separation, as follows:
Date of appointment
AL credit accrued for calendar month in which staff member separates
First working day of the month
After the first working day but on or before the 16th day of the month
On the 17th day of the month or later
Date of separation
Annual leave credit accrued for calendar month in which staff member separates
On or before the 16th day of the month
From the 17th to the next to the last day of the month
On the last day of the month at close of business (c.o.b.)
Uncertified sick leave
Annual leave is charged once the number of uncertified sick leave days exceeds the limitations allowed without producing a certificate from a qualified medical practitioner. The limitations for uncertified sick leave are seven days within each calendar year, and after a maximum of three consecutive uncertified sick leave days.
Certified sick leave
Sick leave that is reported during a period of annual leave, home leave or family visit will be charged to annual leave unless such illness is certified by a qualified medical practitioner and a request for approval of sick leave together with a medical certificate is submitted immediately upon return to duty.
Home leave and family visit
Leave spent on home leave or family visit is charged to the staff member’s annual leave balance, except for allowable travel time.
Transfer of annual leave balance
A staff member who is transferred, seconded or loaned to another organization carries his/her accrued annual leave credit to the receiving organization. The annual leave entitlement of the staff member concerned is governed/administered as follows:
Transfer or secondment: governed and administered by the rules of the receiving organization; and
Loan: governed by the rules of the releasing organization, but subject to administrative control by the receiving organization.
If a staff member on transfer, secondment or loan to another organization is separated from service, any payment of unused annual leave is subject to the following:
A staff member who returns to the releasing organization brings with him/her any accrued annual leave credit as of the date of return.
Staff members are expected to perform their duties during the period of notice of resignations, except when the resignation takes effect upon the completion of the following:
SLWFP following adoption, i.e. adoption leave;
SLWFP for paternity leave purposes, i.e. paternity leave;
Sick leave; or
Annual leave may be approved during the period of notice of resignation only for brief periods and subject to the exigencies of service.
Government or military service
Staff members who are granted SLWOP for government or military service have their accrued annual leave retained as a credit towards the date of return to duty.
Daily Subsistence Allowance while on official assignment
A staff member who takes annual leave while travelling on official UNDP business may claim Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) for up to 1.5 days of annual leave for each completed month in travel status, provided the annual leave is not taken at the conclusion of active duty immediately prior to the staff member’s return to the official duty station.
Example: If a staff member completes two months on travel status, DSA may be claimed for three days of annual leave, provided the staff member returns to the travel status location following completion of the annual leave.
When an appointment is extended solely to enable a staff member to utilize her maternity leave entitlement, such extension does not give rise to any further entitlement to salary increment, annual leave or home leave.
When an appointment is extended solely to enable a staff member to exercise SLWFP for adoption purposes, such extension does not give rise to any further entitlement to salary increment, annual leave or home leave.
When an appointment is extended solely to enable a staff member to exercise SLWFP for paternity leave purposes, such extension does not give rise to any further entitlement to salary increment, annual leave or home leave.
Maximum accumulation of annual leave
The following limits to the accumulation of annual leave are strictly observed. Staff should monitor their leave balance, plan in advance and utilize their leave entitlement accordingly, in order to avoid forfeiting any excess balance beyond the annual cut-off date.
Cut-off date: 31 March
Staff members administered under the United Nations Staff Regulations and Staff Rules may carry over no more than 60 days of accumulated annual leave beyond 31 March of any given year. As of 1 April, any days of accumulated annual leave in excess of 60 days are forfeited.
Advance annual leave
By authorization of the resident representative/head of office, a staff member may, in exceptional circumstances, be granted advance annual leave up to a maximum of two weeks (10 working days) provided that his/her service is expected to continue for a sufficient period to accrue the leave so advanced. If the staff member takes more than the maximum two weeks (10 working days) that may be granted as advance leave, the entire period in excess of the accrued annual leave is to be considered as special leave without pay.
Travel time on home or family leave
For travel on an outward and return journey on home or family visit, staff members shall be granted a fixed amount of travel time not chargeable to annual leave, determined on the basis of the most direct flight available as follows:
* One day for each journey of less than 10 hours;
* Two days for each journey of 10 hours or longer but less than 16 hours; and
* Three days for each journey of 16 hours or more.