Social Security Administration

Optional Unpaid Leave (OUL)

Federal agencies should allow employees to take a limited amount of unpaid leave each year. This would save the federal government money and provide employees with the option of additional leave each year. This gives employees the option of taking additional leave while allowing them to carry over annual leave into the next year. Many employees prefer to keep a bank of leave for emergencies but still desire extra time off. If necessary, you could establish a policy that only allows the use of unpaid leave during times of the year when workloads may be lower or simply leave it up to management discretion. Some employees may value a little extra time off more than money. For example, an employee may have a spouse who has a high paying job and would prefer some extra time off. Or you may have employees who prefers a little extra time off during the summer when kids are out of school to spend time with family. The reality is that there will always be demand for additional time off work even if it is unpaid.

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Idea No. 502