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Annual leave

What annual leave is

Annual leave is paid leave from work that is to be taken during a one-year period. The entitlement to annual leave is outlined in the Organisation of Working Time Act, and Circular 08/2023.


All full-time staff recruited on or after 14 December 2011 are subject to a maximum annual leave entitlement of 30 days, subject to the terms and conditions of the relevant recruitment competition. Annual Leave entitlements vary by grade, length of service, and workshare pattern, and are affected by unpaid leave such as shorter working year.

The Organisation of Working Time Act (1997) gives all full-time employees a statutory minimum of four working weeks’ annual leave (pro-rata for worksharers). You must take your annual leave as provided for in the OWTA during the year in which it is accrued or, in certain cases, within 6 months of the start of the next leave year.

If your manager approves your request for annual leave, the annual leave will be updated automatically. Your time and attendance system will be updated as per arrangements made between HR Services and your department/office.

How to apply

To submit an application, you can log into HR self-service.

  • Enter your self-service user ID and password
  • Select ‘annual leave’
  • Complete the e-form and click ‘submit’
  • Your line manager will approve the e-form and you will get an email confirming your case ID

If you have any questions about the process of submitting an application, read this how-to guide for employees.

What to do if you’re an employee

You can submit requests for annual leave online using the HR self-service. This automatically routes requests to your manager. When your manager approves the request, your leave will be automatically updated in employee self-service.

What to do if you’re a manager

As a manager, you can approve requests for annual leave online using HR self-service. All requests for annual leave that your staff make will be emailed to you. If you approve an annual leave request, your staff member’s record will be automatically updated on their HR record and may be updated on the local time and attendance system, depending on arrangements between NSSO and your department or office.

Cancelling or changing leave

You can cancel future annual leave yourself if none of the dates of the leave have passed. If you need to cancel annual leave that occurred in the past, your manager should raise a case to instruct the NSSO to cancel the leave.

If your manager approved a half day of leave and you now wish to take the full day, the system will not allow you to apply for a second half day on the same date. If the day is in the future, you can cancel the half day and apply for a full day. If the day is in the past, your manager must raise a case instructing the NSSO to cancel the half day and replace it with a full day.

Leave in excess of statutory minimum

Some civil servants are provided an annual leave allowance higher than their statutory minimum. The days provided on top of statutory minimum are called annual leave in excess of statutory minimum or non-statutory annual leave.

  • Sequence in which leave is taken
  • Statutory annual leave carried in
  • Statutory annual leave accrued during the leave year
  • Non-Statutory annual leave accrued during the leave year
  • Non-Statutory annual leave carried in.

Long-service additional leave

Employees are entitled to extra annual leave based on their service or grade history. Read more on long-service additional leave here.

Certain cases

To read more about annual leave and certain cases, go to this page.