The Public Service today has found it increasingly important to grant leave concessions to its employees. LEAVE is a vaction granted to the employees by the employer. It may be enjoyed overseas or ‘locally’ within the territory of the Federal Republic of Nigera. The Federal Government public service rules defines the nature and characteristics of leaves granted to public servant, based on their levels, categories and circumstance. It identifies different types of leaves granted to public officers within their employment.
Types Of Leave In The Public Service
1. Authorised Leave
According to chapter thirteen, Section I (13101) of the Public Service Rules, An ‘Authorised Leave’ is the vacation leave actually granted on any particular occassion, together with any authorized extension.
2. Annual Leave
It is a vaction granted to all officers in the Public service within the calendar year, in which such leave is due. It is compulsory and granted to those on permanent employment. It must be exhausted before th 31st of December, of that year. Where, for any reason it exceed the aformentioned date, the leave entitlement must be exhausted before the 1st of February of the following year. It usually attracts annual leave allowance. The leave entitlements are based on the graded levels in the public service.
3. Study Leave/In-Service Training And Development
This is a vacation granted to a public officer for the purpose of undertaking a course of study. It may be granted on short term (twelve months) or long term duration (Exceeding twelve months). The conditions for granting short or long term study leave depend on the duration of engagement on permanent employment. The study leave is usually subject to certain conditions specified at the time it is granted. The study for which the officer wishes to undertake, must be considered likely materially to enhance his/her performance in the public service.
Also, an officer may be granted a study leave to enable him attend a purse of instruction to which special conditions are applied. The leave entitlement and extensions are specified in the conditions attached to the granting of the study. However, if the study is granted by the government for a relevant course of study, the recipient is personally granted scholarship, a bursary, training course, etc. The leave granted would be treated and calculated with the purpose of retiring benefits, as having been granted on the grounds of Public Policy.
4. Casual Leave
This is an occasional permission to be absent from duty for a few working days, without any loss of salary. It is usually granted, and not to exceed seven days in a calendar year. The officer granted such leave. Leaves at his own expense. It is usually granted at the discretion of the Head of departments and Permanent Secretaries. Any application for casual leave which exceeds the mandated seven days, must receive the specific approval of the permanent secretary to the office of Establishment and Management Services.
5. Examination Leave
It is granted for the purpose of enabling an officer to undertake an examination at private expense. The leave is granted with full pay, and on the condition that the whole period would be deducted from the subsequent vacation leave. It is granted to every officer on request.
The rule allows for special leave with full pay and transport facilities to enable him undertake an examination, which is required by the conditions of his appointment. The permanent secretary is expected to certify that the examination would enhance his performance in the service. It is also granted to those whose applications for scholarship are granted.
6. Maternity Leave
This is usually granted to pregnant female officers in the public service. It is granted for a period of twelve weeks, which is divided between six weeks pre-delivery and six weeks post delivery period. It attracts full salary within the duration of the maternity leave. It is presumed on the condition of status of employment. Those on temporary appointment must have stayed up to six months in the service before it is granted to them.
7. Sporting Contest Leave
The sporting and cultural contest leave is granted to enable an officer in the public service to participate in any cultural or sporting event. The duration of the leave is determined by the number of days required for the actual activity and on the traveling arrangements. The leave does not entitle one to transport facilities nor allowances, except otherwise reviewed in the interest of the state.
8. Leave To Attend Important Union Meetings, Conferences And Business
This is granted to officials of a registered trade union to enable them attend important trade union meetings, matters and conferences. It is a casual leave granted under Rule 13121 of the public service rules. The period of the leave is normally stated in the approval letter. Where necessary special extension is requested by the union officials. Permission must be viewed on the fact that the leave will not interfere with the service of official(s) in the ministry or department.
9. Leave On Permanent Invalidation And Retirement
This concerns officers who are permanently invalidated and on the recommendation of the medical Board, may proceed on vacation leave prior to retirement. The commencement and duration of the leave is determined by the report of the medical board. The retirement of the officer involved commences on the expiration of the vacation leave. The leave is guided on Rule 13207, with consideration on any deferred leave.
Also an officer who is eligible for retirement on any circumstances, but has not completed his full leave within the year, may be granted vacation leave prior to retirement. This is in proportion to his status and retirement benefits.
10. Deferred Leave
This is vacation leave thst is permitted to be carried forward year. However, this privilege of deferment of leave is granted to certain officers due to the exergencies of the service. They include the Home Service Officers on foreign assignments, officers on National assignments e.g. tribunals, conferences etc, and officers who were made to accumulate their leave by their Heads of Department or permanent secretaries.
The public service rule also stipulates that all deferred leave must be spent before the officer’s retirement. Also, there is indication that an authorized deferred leave can also be commuted to cash, where an officer is made to retire prematurely and cannot exhaust the deferred leave before retirement.
11. Exceptional Leave
According to the stipulations in Rule 13117 of the public service rule, it is granted to an officer in an exceptional circumstances. It may be in the form of extension of vacation leave to enable the officer to attend to an urgent private affair. The officer is entitled to full salary up to the expiration of the deferred leave.
12. Sabbatical Leave
This type of leave is peculiar to the academic institutions. It is granted to academics who have put it up to five years of continuous service in a higher academic institution. The leave is granted to encourage special training, research and exchange of academic experiences amongst academic institutions in the world. The duration of the leave is usually one academice year, with full salary. It is obtained after five years of continuous service in the institution. It is only enjoyed on attainment of category of higer grade in academics or lecturership.
13. Rules On Vacation Leave
The enjoyment of vacation leave by any officer in the public service is guided by certain rules. Every vacation leave must be authorized and the conditions clearly stipulated.
It is compulsory and every officer entitled to a vacation leave, must indicate where he/she would be spending his/her leave. This is to enable the establishment to get in contact with the officer in case of any exigency, demand or emergencies, that might require the immediate attention of the officer concerned.
The vacation leave must be between the period of 1st January and the 31st of December, of the same year. Where it is not possible to exhaust the vacation leave before 31st of December, he/she is entitles to exhaust same before the 1st of February of the following calendar year. The rule also indicate that any vacation leave not exhausted in accordance with Rule 13102 as indicated above, shall be deemed to have been forfeited.
Furthermore, the rule reveals that no authorized leave would be commuted to cash. The exception to this rule is only in the case where the officer on premature retirement cannot spend all his/her deferred leave before retirement. Vacation leave is based on working days, and any other leave such as maternity leave, casual leave and sick leave shall have be inclusive of Saturday, Sundays and Public Holidays occuring therein. Also any officer whose duty is required in the course of his vacation leave, shall have the period of the duty, not reckoned against his leave entitlement.
No officer is allowed to accumulate his/her leave vacation. However, where exceptional circumstances so require, a permission letter to this effect must be granted by the Head of Department or Permanent Secretary. The deferred leave must be exhausted before the retirement of the officer affected. The rule further indicates that officers who have not served up to minimum period of six months in the public service, are not entitled to leave vacation. Rather, he/she is granted vacation leave on pro-rata, and which is carried over to the following year. If for exceptional circumstance, the officer is granted a leave, he/she is not entitled to leave transport grant.
Every officer who is entitled to leave vacation, is granted leave allowance on the 10% of Annual Basic Salary. On return from Annual Vacation leave, every officer must complete and submit a Resumption of Duty Certificate (Form L.10), to his Permanent Secratary or Head of Extra-Ministerial Department. This helps to confirm accuracy and endorse records in the office of Establishment and management services.
Pro-rata Leave Calculation
This is the proportion of the duration in which a public officer is entitled to leave vacation. It is calculated appropriately and reckoned in accordance with grades in the public service. No officer under the periof of service that is less than one month will be reckoned for proportionate leave.
However, the annual leave financial entitlement is based on the rate applicable to the officers substantiv basic salary, as at 1st of January of the leave year concerned. This is guided by Rule 13203, 13204, 13205, 13210 and 13211 of public service rules.
Rates Of Vacation Leave
GL.08 AND ABOVE = 30 WORKING DAYS
GL.08-07 = 21 WORKING DAYS.
GL.01-03 = 14 WORKING DAYS
Any period of service which is under thirty (30) days is not reckoned in the calculation of public service leave vacation.
Leave is a vacation granted to every permanent employee of the public service. It holds different circumstances and granted on certain stipulated conditions. Annual leave is a compulsory entitlement of every officer in the public service. It is graded according to status and period of continuous service. It is one of essential incentives to encourage the employees in the public service.