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Guidance given on use of bereavement leave

  • Published
  • 75th Air Force Base Public Affairs

The Office of Personnel Management has offered guidance on how government agencies should implement the benefit providing federal workers with up to two weeks of paid bereavement leave following the death of a child. The new leave was adopted as part of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act.

In an April memo to agency heads, OPM Director Kiran Ahuja wrote that although the Air Force and other federal agencies are responsible for their own implementation of the new benefit, the leave will be provided to employees across government “in an equitable and uniform way.”

The bereavement leave category is available to federal employees serving in permanent or term appointments of more than one year with at least one year of service. Employees with intermittent work schedules are not eligible, and seasonal employees cannot use leave during their off-season.

Employees become eligible for two weeks of paid bereavement leave if a child—including adopted, foster and stepchildren, as well as an adult child with “a mental or physical disability”—dies. Employees have one year in which they may elect to take a period of up to two weeks of paid leave.

If an employee endures the death of a second child during that 12-month period, they effectively have two overlapping periods where they are eligible for paid bereavement leave, but any time off taken during the overlap will count against the two-week cap for both periods.

Because bereavement leave is a stand-alone leave program for federal workers, the use of this leave does not affect accrual of other paid leave or paid time off. It also does not preclude employees from using other types of leave for bereavement purposes when appropriate.

For more information, contact Civilian Personnel at 801-775-3329.