The Trump administration’s proposal to merge annual leave and sick leave into one form of leave would result in a reduction in the amount of leave federal employees receive, OPM has said.
“By combining federal vacation and sick leave into a paid time off plan, similar to that offered by some large, private sector employers, federal employees would gain flexibility in how total leave balances are spent. This proposal would reduce the total number of leave days accrued by an employee annually, while adding a short-term disability insurance policy to protect employees who experience a serious medical situation or other eligible short-term disability event,” said a document sent to Capitol Hill in support of the administration’s budget request for OPM.
The document goes into little further detail, however, beyond reciting the current accrual rates for both types of leave and promising—as had an earlier strategic plan—that before making a formal proposal, the administration would study the issue and consult with employee organizations, among other stakeholders. The latest document adds that it expects to complete that review during the present fiscal year and make a formal proposal during the fiscal year that begins October 1.
A 2016 report by the conservative Heritage Foundation, whose views have influence in the administration, suggested such a combination and said that following prevailing private sector practices would result in federal employees receiving 10 to 12 fewer total paid days off than they receive currently.
Neither that report nor the latest document from the administration address the differences between the two types of leave that would have to be resolved if they were combined.