Annual Leave Eligibility

Employees in full-time equivalent (FTE) positions who are scheduled to work at least one-half of the workdays of the month are eligible to earn annual leave. Eligible employees begin to accrue leave during their first month of employment. Teaching personnel and officials of academic rank at institutions of higher learning do not earn annual leave under these regulations.

An employee who works less than 12 months a year accrues annual leave at the same rate as other employees in FTE positions, but only for the months the employee is in a paid status.

A part-time employee scheduled to work at least one-half of the workdays of the month is eligible to earn annual leave on a pro-rata basis.

Annual Leave Accrual Rates

An employee's leave accrual date reflects the following: 1) all state service in an FTE position, including part-time service, adjusted to reflect any break in service; 2) all service as a certified employee in a permanent position of a school district of this state; and 3) all service in any temporary capacity counted toward the employee's probationary period.

Service as an employee of the legislative or judicial branches of South Carolina State Government may be reflected in the leave accrual date.

Service as an employee of a quasi-state agency may be considered when establishing an employee's leave accrual date. Some quasi-state agencies include, but are not limited to: State Ports Authority, Santee Cooper, Public Service Authority, Savannah Valley Authority, Carolina Capital Investment Corporation (CCIC), South Carolina Education Lottery, and the Medical University Hospital Association.

A part-time employee in an FTE position earns annual leave based on the employee's average workday. The average workday is determined by dividing the total number of hours the employee is regularly scheduled to work during a week by five.

Annual Leave Accrual Rates Chart

Bonus Annual Leave Accrual

An employee with state service time of more than 10 years earns a bonus of 1¼ workdays of annual leave per year for each year of service over 10 years.

After completing 10 years of service, an employee shall begin earning bonus annual leave on a calendar month basis beginning the month after his or her leave accrual date.

Annual Leave Maximum Usage

Generally, an employee may not use more than 30 workdays of annual leave in any one calendar year. A part-time employee may not use more than 30 average workdays of annual leave in any one calendar year.

For Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) qualifying reasons, an agency may allow an employee who has used all eligible sick leave and 30 days of annual leave to use any remaining annual leave for emergencies or serious health conditions of the employee and emergencies or serious health conditions of the employee's immediate family.

Maximum Annual Leave Carryover

Generally, an employee may carry forward 45 average workdays of annual leave from one calendar year to the next.

 Maximum Annual Leave Carryover Chart 

Change in Work Schedules That Impact Annual Leave

Transferring Annual Leave Balances

Payment of Unused Annual Leave Upon Separation

Upon separation from employment, an employee will receive a lump-sum payment for unused annual leave not to exceed 45 days. Exceptions: (1) retired members of the South Carolina Police Retirement System (PORS) who are hired by the state are not eligible for a lump-sum payment for unused leave regardless of initial retirement date. (2) All other retirees who were hired by the state after June 30, 2005, are not eligible for a lump-sum payment for unused leave.

The annual leave payout should be calculated based on the employee's final rate of pay, including longevity, temporary salary adjustments, special assignment pay or any other pay that the employee is receiving at the time of separation.