Leave Sharing Comparisons

There are two types of leave sharing programs:

  • NIH Leave Bank
  • Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP)

Using Both Programs Concurrently

You may participate in VLTP and the NIH Leave Bank simultaneously. Please note:

  • If VLTP donations are made prior to leave bank recipient approval, the leave will be considered paid leave available.
  • If VLTP donations are made after the leave bank approval, the NIH Leave Bank leave will be used first.

Program Similarities

  • Donations consist of annual or restored annual leave
  • Covers personal and family medical emergency
  • Donations are made through ITAS 
  • Medical emergency must result in at least 24 hours of non-pay status
  • Federal employees covered under the leave provisions are eligible to donate
  • Program is dependent on leave donations

Program Differences

NIH Leave Bank VLTP
Donations Donations are made to the Leave Bank. Donors may designate the recipient Donations are made to the leave recipient.
Confidentiality   Medical information is confidential Medical information requires voluntary disclosure.
Membership Requirements Annual enrollment and membership contribution None
Receiving Leave Will receive leave upon approval of application Must wait for voluntary donations from friends and coworkers
Leave Distribution Leave bank board will distribute leave Must wait for voluntary donations from friends and coworkers
Donation limitations Limited by nature of medical emergency, balance in bank, and *yearly leave cap Receipt of leave is limited by the nature of the medical emergency and amount of leave donations
Documentation Authorization for medical disclosure; primary medical documentations required Medical documentation required
Unused donated leave Returned to the bank Returned to the donor(s)
Approving Authority Leave Bank Board IC Executive Officer

* Note that medical emergency caps may be modified at any time in order to maintain an adequate amount of leave in the Leave Bank.

Example Situations

Scenario 1: VLTP Only

Jane does not join the Leave Bank and in July experiences a prolonged medical emergency that uses up her accrued sick and annual leave.

  • She contacts the VLTP Office and has to voluntarily disclose her medical emergency to be approved to receive leave.
  • Once approved, Jane has to wait for her co-workers to donate leave directly to her. She is new to the organization and doesn’t know many people.
  • Jane does not receive all the leave donations needed to cover her time-off and therefore, loses three paychecks worth of income during her illness.

Scenario 2: Leave Bank Only

Dan enrolls in the Leave Bank by donating one pay period’s worth of annual leave. In July he also experiences a lengthy medical emergency which exhausts his sick and annual leave.

  • Dan contacts the Leave Bank office to apply to become a leave recipient. As a recipient, his medical condition is kept confidential.
  • He is approved to receive leave from the pooled bank of leave hours, up to a set yearly cap, which he does not need to exceed to cover his entire time-off.
  • Consequently, Dan misses no paychecks.

Scenario 3: Both Leave Bank and VLTP  

Lisa enrolls in the Leave Bank and experiences a prolonged medical emergency that exhausts her sick and annual leave.

  • Lisa has the same experience as Dan and receives leave from the leave bank. However, the time-off she needs exceeds the leave bank’s annual cap.
  • To make up for the difference, Lisa contacts the VLTP office and applies to ALSO receive direct donations from her fellow Federal employees. She is approved.
  • Between the Leave Bank and VLTP, Lisa is able to cover all the time-off she needs for her illness and misses no paychecks.

For more information, email LeaveBank@od.nih.gov or call 301-443-8393.