Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP)

One of the many work/life services available to NIH employees is the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP). This program gives employees additional flexibility for balancing work and family needs through greater accessibility to leave. It allows federal employees to share their unused accrued ANNUAL leave with other employees facing economic hardship because of insufficient leave to cover a medical or family medical emergency.


At the NIH, a "medical emergency" is defined as a medical condition (including pregnancy or childbirth) of an employee or a family member that is likely to require that employee's absence from work for a prolonged period of time and would result in a substantial loss of income because paid leave is not available. For full-time NIH employees, substantial loss of income is interpreted as an absence from work of at least 24 hours when this absence is not covered by available paid leave.

"Family member" includes the following relatives:

  • parents;
  • spouse and the spouse's parents;
  • children (including those that are adopted) and the children's spouses;
  • brothers and sisters and their spouses; and
  • any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.

Apply for leave

Current NIH employees who would like to utilize the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program may do so by applying in writing.  If the employee is not able to complete the application him/herself, another employee of NIH, an employee representative, or a family member may make the application.  The application should be submitted to the immediate supervisor for consideration.  The Application for Transfer of Leave must include:

  • the employee's name, position title, and grade or pay level;
  • a brief description of the nature, severity, and anticipated duration of the medical or family medical emergency; and
  • a statement from the employee's physician or other appropriate expert or any additional information that shows the nature, severity, and duration of the condition.

Additional information on applying for leave donations can be obtained from your administrative officer, your immediate supervisor, or from HHS Personnel Instruction 630-1, Section 60.

Make a donation

For federal employees interested in donating leave, accrued annual leave can be given voluntarily to any employee (in HHS or another Federal agency) with a qualified medical or family medical emergency.  At the NIH, donations can also be accepted from employees in other Federal agencies.  Leave donors may contribute any amount up to one-half the amount of annual leave he or she would be entitled to accrue during the leave year in which the donation is made.  Exceptions to this may be made through a waiver.  Employees cannot donate leave to their immediate supervisors.  Leave must be donated in increments of one hour, and the leave must have already been accrued.

You may donate leave to an existing recipient via the Integrated Time and Attendance System (ITAS). Select the “Donate to VLTP” option to do so. Please ensure that you consult with your IC VLTP Coordinator whenever donating leave to a recipient outside of NIH. Additional action may be required, including completion of the Request to Donate Annual Leave form.

Typically once the forms are completed, the timekeeper must verify that you have leave available, and it must be approved by your leave-approving official.  It will then be given to the timekeeper or other contact person designated to handle this for the employee requesting leave.  For other information about a specific donation, contact your IC representative.  He or she will direct the donating employee through the process.

Additional guidance

Please direct any questions to your IC Representatives for the NIH Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP).