Types of Leave in Public Service in Nigeria

In Nigeria, public officers are entitled to be granted authorised permission to be absent from duty for several reasons. In this article, we’ll be addressing the various types of leave that public officers in the public service in Nigeria are eligible to enjoy. Keep on reading to find out what each type of leave entails. 

The types of leave in public service in Nigeria would be discussed below: 

Annual leave is a type of leave that permits public officers in the public service to be absent from duty for a specific duration according to their grade level. Public officers from grade level 07 and above are granted 30 days of annual leave, while officers on grade level 04 to 06 are granted 21 days of absence from duty. Public officers on grade level 03 and below enjoy 14 days of annual leave. Annual leave is typically authorized by a superior officer. 

At any time during a leave year, a public officer can take his/her annual leave. Generally, the duration of annual leave is expected to be taken at a stretch, but the officer may choose to take it in two installments. Public officers who don’t make use of their annual leave within the calendar year concerned will have to forfeit it as it can’t be carried on to another leave year. 

  • Proportionate Leave (Pro-rata Leave)

Proportionate leave entails a vacation granted to a new or retiring public officer in proportionate to the number of days such an officer has put into the service. Officers with less than 30 days in service are not eligible for this type of leave.

  • Deferred Leave 

Normally, a public officer cannot carry forward his/her leave to the next year, but on certain circumstances such as due to the exigency of duty, the Permanent Secretary or Head of Extra-Ministerial Office can grant such leave in the form of Deferred Leave. In situations where a public officer is made to retire prematurely or cannot spend all his/her deferred leave before retiring, the deferred leave may be commuted to cash. 

  • Casual Leave 

Casual leave when authorized by a superior officer permits a public officer to be absent from duty for a short period within a leave year. Typically, the aggregate duration of casual leave is 7 calendar days within a leave year. This type of leave is only granted after a public officer has exhausted his/her annual leave. Casual leave is deductible in advance or arrears of earned leave. 

  • Sick Leave 

 A sick leave permits public officials to be absent from duty during ill health, however, this must be authorized by a healthcare provider. 

  • Maternity Leave 

Maternity leave is an authorised absence from duty granted to serving female public officers on account of pregnancy. This leave is usually authorised by a superior public officer and it covers the prenatal and postnatal periods of the pregnancy of the serving pregnant officer. A female public officer is entitled to 16 weeks of absence from duty at a stretch beginning from the eighth month of her pregnancy with full pay. 

However, if the female officer had taken her annual leave before the maternity leave is granted to her, the duration of the maternity leave equivalent to the annual leave would be without pay. Furthermore, after the female officer resumes duty from maternity leave, she’s granted two hours off-duty daily for a maximum of six months. 

  • Examination Leave 

Examination leave permits a public officer to be absent from duty for the sake of taking an examination, he/she is expected to pass by the condition of his/her appointment. 

Public officers can also enjoy examination leave with full pay to take an examination of which passing such examination isn’t a condition of his/her current appointment. The evidence of admission for the course and timetable for the course must be certified by the Permanent Secretary/Head of Extra Ministerial Office before authorization of the leave. 

  • Sabbatical Leave

This type of leave applies to public officers in grade level 15 and above. Sabbatical leave permits the officer to be absent from duty to engage in properly organized research/study that is relevant to national development either within or outside Nigeria. This type of leave can last anywhere from twelve months to five years. 

  • Study Leave 

A public officer can be granted study leave to enable him/her to undertake an approved course of study, whether in Nigeria or abroad. There are three types of study leave, which include in-service training, study leave without pay, and study leave with pay.

The Permanent Secretary is expected to certify the following before authorizing a study leave:

  • evidence of the letter of admission;
  • evidence of the duration of the course;
  • the prospect of the course in enhancing the performance of the officer and adding value to the service;
  • relevance of the course to the officer’s profession. 
  • Leave on Compassionate Ground 

Leave of compassionate ground is granted to an officer to permit him/her to bury a loved one or close relative. The duration is usually two weeks and the officer is entitled to his/her full pay. 

  • Pre-retirement Leave 

  • Leave of Absence 

Leave of absence permits a public officer to be absent from duty authorized on grounds of public policy. The Head of Civil Service of the Federation authorizes this leave upon the recommendation of the Permanent Secretary or Head of Ministerial Office. 

There are several types of Leave of Absence, they include: 

  • Leave of Absence to join spouse on the course of instruction of not less than 9 months duration abroad
  • Special Leave of Absence to join spouse on grounds of public policy 
  • Leave of Absence for Special/Personal Assistant on grounds of Public Policy
  • Leave of Absence on grounds of Public Policy for Technical Aid Programme
  • Leave of Absence for the spouse of President, Vice President, Governor, and Deputy Governor. 
  • Leave on Grounds of Urgent Private Matters

  • Leave for Cultural and Sporting Activities 

  • Leave to take Part in Trade Union Activities