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Key developments in the world of federal employee benefits: health, pay, and much more.

Planning annual leave

Starbucks is already serving coffee in festive holiday cups. You know what that means--It's time to start planning your annual leave schedule for 2002. Many readers are relying on our 2001 Federal Leave Chart to plan and track their leave usage this year. By popular demand, we're publishing the 2002 Federal Leave Chart today. The 2002 Federal Leave Chart is permanently located in the Pay and Benefits section of To view it, click here: You can print out the Federal Leave Chart and keep track of your vacation days on paper, or you can save one of the Excel or Word versions of the chart onto your computer. Then you can track your leave electronically and not worry about using your eraser. You can also download the Leave Calculator, which is an Excel spreadsheet that will automatically calculate your leave balance for the year. The Leave Calculator assumes that you earn 8 hours of annual leave and 4 hours of sick leave per year. If you accrue less than that, simply change the assumption in the first pay period to the amount you accrue and hit enter. The assumptions in the remaining pay periods will automatically change too. For most employees, the leave year begins on Jan. 13, 2002 and ends on Jan. 11, 2003. There are 10 holidays in the leave year:
Date Holiday
Monday, Jan. 21, 2002 Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Monday, Feb. 18 Washington's Birthday
Monday, May 27 Memorial Day
Thursday, July 4 Independence Day
Monday, Sept. 2 Labor Day
Monday, Oct. 14 Columbus Day
Monday, Nov. 11 Veterans Day
Thursday, Nov. 28 Thanksgiving Day
Wednesday, Dec. 25 Christmas Day
Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2003 New Years Day
Many federal workers have had to postpone their leave because of the government's response to the Sept. 11 attacks. The Office of Personnel Management has relaxed its "use-it-or-lose-it" annual leave policy for people affected by the attacks. A memorandum about the policy is online at

Brian Friel is founder of One Nation Analytics, an independent research, analytics and consulting firm for the federal market.

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