Expert's View

Two of the less common but still important types of leave for certain employees are home leave and shore leave. Let’s take a look:

Home leave


If you are serving abroad and have completed a basic period of 24 months of continuous service, you’ll earn home leave in addition to your annual leave. While working abroad you can accrue from 5 to 15 days of home leave for every 12 months of overseas service. However – and it’s a big however – the granting of home leave is at the discretion of your agency. If you are granted home leave, it may only be used in the U.S., Puerto Rico, or a territory or possession of the United States.

Assuming that you’ve been granted home leave, it may only be taken under the following circumstances. First, while your official duty station is overseas. Second, within a reasonable period of time after you’ve returned from service abroad but are expected to return immediately or on completion of an assignment to the U.S.

Note: You are entitled to have your home leave balance transferred or re-credited to your account if you move between agencies or are re-employed without a break in service of more than 90 days.

Shore leave

Employees are occasionally assigned duties aboard an oceangoing vessel which, by definition, means one that is used on the high seas (or the Great Lakes) and which sails from one port and returns either to that port or to the final destination. If you are regularly assigned duties aboard such a vessel for a voyage of not less than seven consecutive days, you will earn shore leave.

Shore leave is earned at a rate of one day for each 15 calendar days of absence on one or more extended voyages. That leave is in addition to any annual leave and may be accumulated without limit and used at your discretion, subject to agency approval of the scheduling.