Saved Leave Scheme

The Saved Leave Scheme (SLS) comprises two components:

  • the short-term saved leave scheme (STSLS), which entered into force on 1 January 2008 and whose main purpose is to allow Staff Members to benefit from short-term flexibility in their working time;

  • the long-term saved leave scheme (LTSLS), which entered into force on 1 January 2012 and whose purpose is to allow Staff Members to accumulate up to 440 days of leave to be taken normally before the end of their employment contract.

It is possible to opt for one or both of the two components, in accordance with the conditions set out below.

N.B.: days of saved leave accrued under the old saved leave scheme - which terminated on 31.12.2007 - will remain on a separate saved leave account and may continue to be taken according to the rules applying to that scheme.

1. Principles of the scheme

The scheme consists in acquiring additional days of leave in exchange for a monthly financial contribution deducted from the Staff Member's salary.

2. Eligibility

All Staff Members are eligible to join the Saved Leave Scheme, except those who:

  • are a member of a pre-retirement programme (PRP or part-time work as a pre-retirement measure), or ou

  • are on special unpaid leave, or

  • are on long-term sick leave where remuneration has been reduced to zero, or

  • are on special paid leave under the provisions of Administrative Circulars 22A or 22B (former shift workers).

3. Cost of participation

Leave days are purchased in the form of “slices”. One slice corresponds to 5.5 days of saved leave per 12 months of financial contributions.

For staff members employed on a part-time basis, days of saved leave shall be calculated in proportion to the length of the contractual working week, applying on the date of the operation concerned.

A Staff Member may purchase a maximum combined total of four slices for the two components.

The financial conditions are summarised in the following table:

Number of slices Cost Gives entitlement to
1 slice 1% of basic salary 5.5 days of saved leave per 12 months
2 slices 3% of basic salary 11 days of saved leave per 12 months
3 slices 5.5% of basic salary 16.5 days of saved leave per 12 months
4 slices 8% of basic salary 22 days of saved leave per 12 months

The financial contribution has no impact on other financial benefits, such as the various allowances, indemnities, reimbursements and contributions to the Health Insurance Scheme and the Pension Fund.

The monthly financial contribution is shown on the Staff Member’s pay slip.

4. How the scheme works

Every month the Staff Member is credited with leave corresponding to 1/12 of the saved leave days he has purchased. This leave, whether STSLS or LTSLS, is credited to the same saved leave account.

Each year on 30 September, the number of days on the LTSLS account is divided by an annual correction factor of 1.008 designed to take account of the cost of participants' career evolution. A maximum of 440 leave days may be accrued on the LTSLS account. Any leave exceeding this ceiling is lost.

Each year on 1 October, following the book-closing exercise for the previous leave year, any leave on the STSLS account in excess of 22 days is automatically transferred to the LTSLS account (the number of 22 days is reduced proportionally for part-time workers).

The balance of the different leave accounts and details of the leave credited to them can be consulted in the EDH document Décompte des absences / Absence Transactions​​.


Staff Members must specify how they intend to take their short-term saved leave (by submitting a proposed “leave schedule”) if they wish to apply for more than one slice. Staff Members applying for only one slice of short-term saved leave do not need to specify a leave schedule but may do so if they so wish.

From the technical point of view, Staff Members may take saved leave:

  • on a regular weekly or monthly basis, e.g. every Wednesday afternoon, every other Monday, etc. In such cases, the Secretariat must enter a personal schedule of working hours in EDH;

  • at specific periods during the year, in which case leave requests are submitted as and when appropriate. Such leave requests will be: 
    - approved if they fall within the agreed leave schedule (e.g. "last week of May each year" is specified at the time of application); 
    - in all other cases, approved or refused, depending on the operational requirements of the service concerned (this applies, for example, in the case of one slice per year where no leave schedule is submitted).

Staff Members may make use of both the above-mentioned possibilities.


Long-term saved leave may be taken either to care for a close relative suffering from a serious illness, or for professional development, or at the end of the employment contract.

5. Time limits and notice periods

Staff Members join the scheme for a undetermined period of time, comprising complete calendar months.

Participation always starts on the first day of the month and ends on the last day of the month.

Applications to join the scheme must be submitted during the month preceeding the desired starting date.

Existing participation may be terminated or modified at any date for the first day of the next month, without notice period, subject to approval by the hierarchy.

Applications to join the scheme or requests to modify or terminate participation cannot be backdated.

The date on which participation, modification or termination becomes effective may under no circumstances precede the final approval of the application. If necessary, the effective date proposed in the application can be adjusted.

6. Special cases

Participation in the Saved Leave Scheme is automatically suspended during any unpaid leave or during long-term sick leave where remuneration is reduced to zero.

Participation in the Saved Leave Scheme is automatically cancelled if the Staff Member concerned joins the PRP or the scheme of part-time work as a pre-retirement measure.

7. End of participation

The leave days that have been accumulated on the STSLS and LTSLS accounts remain on the respective accounts; the leave days on the LTSLS account continue to be subject to the annual correction factor (i.e. divided by 1.008).  

Procedure updated on: