Fedweek

The leave authority now covers accompanying children aged between 6 months and five years. Image: Maria Sbytova/Shutterstock.com

OPM has expanded the administrative leave entitlement—paid time off work without charge to any other form of leave—for federal employees accompanying family members to Coronavirus vaccinations, saying the authority now covers accompanying children aged between 6 months and five years, a category recently approved for vaccination.

“OPM encourages agencies to make sure employees are aware of this policy through outreach to their workforce,” a memo says.

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Under the policy, agencies must grant leave-eligible employees up to four hours of administrative leave per dose for each family member the employee accompanies to a vaccination. Employees are to receive supervisory approval in advance and may not be credited with administrative leave or overtime work for time spent outside their tour of duty helping a family member get vaccinated.

An eligible child is defined as a biological, adopted, step or foster child of the employee; a legal ward of the employee; a person for whom the employee stands in loco parentis; or a child of the employee’s spouse or domestic partner under any of those definitions.

OPM noted that the general entitlement applies not only in connection with accompanying family members to obtain a primary vaccine shot but also to obtain a booster shot for those who are eligible to receive one or an additional dose for immunocompromised individuals.

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