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    Frequently Asked Questions::Why does the Office of Personnel Management prohibit converting time-off awards to cash?

    Why does the Office of Personnel Management prohibit converting time-off awards to cash?

    The "currency" of a time-off award is time, not money. Agencies have the authority to grant cash awards when they feel that is the appropriate form of recognition or incentive. In addition, a method for conversion would have to be developed. The obvious, apparently straightforward, method is to convert time to cash using an hourly rate of pay. However, this eliminates any benefit derived from perceived equity and lower-graded employees may well find such salary-based conversion unfair. For example, a fairly common practice is for an agency to grant a mixed-grade group of employees equal time-off awards. In such circumstances, the awards would convert to cash very unequally. In addition, agencies would face several administrative issues. For instance, they could face administrative problems associated with "withdrawing" a reported time-off award and "substituting" a cash award which would impact the integrity of agency and Office of Personnel Management reports on award use.

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