Fedweek

There still has been no word from the White House regarding potential extra time off for federal employees for the Christmas Day federal holiday. While past practice indicates that it’s not too late for such an order to be issued, it also indicates that there may be no such grant of time off this year.

In years such as this one when Christmas Day falls on Saturday and the federal holiday is observed on Friday the 24th, the most recent practice—under Presidents Bush and Obama—was that employees received no additional time off on Thursday the 23rd.

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However, precedent is only informal and providing any additional excused absence (formally, administrative leave) is at a President’s discretion—as is the amount, either a half-day or a full day, when it is granted.

Timing of such announcements also varies. In the years President Bush provided for extra time off, the orders were issued on dates ranging from December 5 to 19; under Obama, from the 5th to the 21st; and under Trump, from the 11th to the 18th .

In years when there is no grant of time off—which also typically is the case when the 25th falls on a Sunday or a Monday and the holiday is observed on Monday—there is no announcement to that effect; simply, no order is issued.

Even where there is no grant of additional time off, though, some offices may allow it under informal practices.

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