The Office of Human Resources recently expanded the leave-sharing benefit known as the Voluntary Leave Bank Program. The leave bank is similar to the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP). Donations are placed in a “bank” instead of given directly to a recipient and made available to members who experience a personal or family medical emergency that puts them in a non-pay status.
Beneficiaries of the leave bank are limited to members. For calendar year 2011, membership is offered to federal employees in NCI, NIAID and NHGRI. To become a member, eligible employees must donate one pay period of annual
leave accrual (i.e., 4, 6 or 8 hours). This membership donation gives members
protection for the entire calendar year. Additional contributions can also be made. OHR hopes to expand the leave bank to all NIH federal employees in 2012, contingent on budget allocations.
Applications to become a leave recipient will be accepted beginning Jan. 4, 2011. To become a recipient you must be a leave bank member; have a qualifying medical
emergency (verified through a confidential medical review process); expect to be in non-pay status for at least 24 hours; and submit the application in a timely manner. Approved recipients can receive up to 960 hours for a personal medical emergency, up to 480 hours to care for a family member or a combined total of 1,040 hours. Information about the Leave Bank Program can be found at www.hr.od.nih.gov/benefits/leave/vlbp.
Both the VLTP and the leave bank depend on the generosity of federal employees
who contribute leave to support others. Every year there are approximately
100,000 “use or lose” annual leave hours forfeited at NIH. Employees with excess annual leave at the conclusion of the year are encouraged to “use it—but don’t lose it”; in other words, support our NIH family and donate to others.
Donations are submitted through the Integrated Time and Attendance System: https://itas.nih.gov. Go to the “Donate Leave” button on the left side to make your donation. This will link you to “A Leave Bank” for donations to the leave bank, or an alphabetical list of all approved VLTP recipients. All federal employees
are eligible to donate leave to either program.