Premium Pay

Premium Pay may include:

Availability, Callback and Standby Pay
Availability Pay: Availability pay applies to Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) who perform criminal investigative work and are required to work, or be available to work, substantial unscheduled overtime. For more details, please visit the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Availability Pay page.

Callback Pay: If a callback occurs on a holiday during the employee's regular schedule, a minimum of two hours of holiday Premium Pay is paid. However, the actual time worked is recorded for time and attendance purposes. If the employee works more than two hours, the actual number of hours worked are paid.
 Regularly Scheduled Standby Duty Pay: Employees in positions required to remain at, or within the confines of, the workplace or station during longer than ordinary work periods, can receive annual Premium Pay when a substantial part of the time is spent in standby status, rather than performing work. Irregular, unscheduled overtime duty in excess of the regular weekly schedule or tour is not eligible for annual Premium Pay. Premium Pay is limited to 25% of that part of an employee's rate of Basic Pay which does not exceed the minimum rate of Basic Pay for GS-10.  GS-10 Basic Pay rate.

Fire Protection Personnel
Firefighters' work schedules are generally six 12-hour work days for an average of 72 hours a week or three alternate 24-hour shifts during each administrative workweek. A 60-hour week consisting of five 12-hour days may be established when firefighters are scheduled only during daylight hours. The standby Premium Pay rate is determined by Human Resources and forwarded to the civilian payroll office on the Standard Form 50 (SF-50), Notification of Personnel Action.

Fire chiefs, assistant fire chiefs, fire prevention inspectors and similar fire protection personnel have basic 40-hour work week schedules, or tours of duty, unless duties require substantial standby time. The standby Premium Pay rate is determined by Human Resources and forwarded to the civilian payroll office on the SF-50.

Hazardous Duty and Environmental Differentials
Environmental Differential Pay (EDP) is paid for exposure to various degrees of hazards, physical hardships and working conditions. Eligibility is determined by your human resources office. EDP is included as part of a Federal Wage System (FWS) employee's Basic Pay rate for computation of overtime, holiday pay, Sunday premium and the amount of retirement, Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) and life insurance deductions. It is not part of Basic Pay for purposes of lump-sum leave payments and severance pay.

Hazardous Duty Pay (HDP) is additional pay to General Schedule employees for the performance of hazardous duty or duty involving physical hardship. For more details, visit OPM’s Hazardous Duty page.

HDP is paid for all hours in a pay status the day on which the exposure occurs. Payment of HDP is not subject to the limit placed on other Premium Pay. HDP may not be more than 25 percent of the employee's rate of Basic Pay. HDP is not included as part of the employee's basic rate of pay for the computation of overtime, holiday pay, Sunday premium or the amount of retirement, TSP and life insurance deductions.

The amount of HDP is determined by multiplying the percentage rate authorized for the exposure by the employee's hourly rate of pay. That amount is then multiplied by the number of HDP hours to be paid.

Overtime is time worked in addition to the employee's normal work day. Each employing organization is responsible for controlling overtime. The civilian payroll office only pays overtime certified as approved on the Time and Attendance Report.

Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime (AUO): Premium Pay may be paid on an annual basis for exempt positions requiring substantial irregular, unscheduled overtime work. Regular overtime work and work at night, on Sundays and on holidays, along with non-exempt positions, are not eligible for AUO. The employee must generally recognize circumstances that requires them to remain on duty without supervision. AUO is only appropriate on an extremely limited basis. AUO is not appropriate for non-exempt employees. Annual Premium Pay for AUO is between 10 and 25 percent of the employee's Basic Pay rate, including any interim geographic adjustment, special pay rate or special pay adjustment for Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs). The human resources office (HRO) determines the rate and forwards it to the civilian payroll office on the Standard Form 50 (SF-50), Notification of Personnel Action.

Callback overtime is available if an employee is required to return to the place of employment for unscheduled overtime work or to work unscheduled overtime on a nonscheduled workday. A minimum of two hours is paid, including for holiday callbacks or callbacks during the employee's regular work schedule.

Irregular or occasional overtime work is overtime work that is not part of an employee's regularly scheduled administrative workweek.

Overtime limitations include those for National Guard technicians and employees in exempt positions (as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act) who earn compensatory time instead of overtime. For more information about overtime and its limitations, please visit the Office of Personnel Management’s Title 5 Overtime Pay page.

Regularly scheduled overtime is overtime work scheduled prior to the beginning of a regularly scheduled administrative work week. For GS employees whose Basic Pay rate is less than the minimum rate for a GS-10, the overtime hourly rate is 1.5 times the employee’s hourly pay rate. For GS employees whose Basic Pay rate exceeds the minimum rate for GS-10, the hourly overtime rate is the greater of 1.5 times the hourly GS-10 minimum Basic Pay rate or the employee's own actual hourly Basic Pay rate.

Compensatory Time
Compensatory Time off from regular scheduled work hours, or tours of duty, is available to eligible employees. Compensatory time is accrued instead of payment for an equal amount of time spent in irregular or occasional overtime work. Compensatory time worked must be approved in advance and cannot be earned when payment of the extra hours at overtime rates would be improper. Compensatory time cannot be used before it is earned. It also cannot be earned by an employee whose Basic Pay rate exceeds the maximum for a GS-15. Complete details about Compensatory Time are on the Office of Personnel Management’s Compensatory Time page and Compensatory Time Off for Travel page.

Time Off for Religious Reasons is recorded in a special leave account and may be worked either before or after the time off period. Advance time off should be repaid within a reasonable amount of time. Any time off balance will not transfer. When an employee separates, dies or transfers to another Department of Defense organization, any unused time off balance will be paid by the losing organization, at the basic hourly rate in effect when the time was worked. A debt will be created if the employee has not repaid the advance time off balance at the time of separation, death or transfer. Employees may also use compensatory time off for religious reasons and when used in this manner, it is exempt from maximum pay limitations.

Work Schedules
Alternative Work Schedules (AWS): Agencies may implement alternative work schedules to allow their employees flexibility in balancing their work, personal and family responsibilities. AWS may include Flexible Work Schedules and Compressed Work Schedules.

Holiday Premium Pay: An employee who performs work on a designated federal holiday is entitled to Premium Pay. For a list of current federal holidays and details about holiday pay, visit OPM’s Federal Holidays page.

Night and Shift Differential Pay
GS Employees and FWS employees may earn night and shift differential pay. The OPM provides full details on its Night Pay for General Schedule Employees page and its Night Shift Differential for Federal Work System employees page.

Army and National Guard technicians earn compensatory time instead of overtime.

Part-time GS employees who work between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. are eligible for night differential, if the hours are not part of their regularly scheduled hours. The night differential is 10 percent of the hourly basic rate. Night differential is also payable for regularly scheduled overtime when worked between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Sunday Premium Pay
You are entitled to Sunday premium pay equal to 25 percent of your basic pay rate for each hour of Sunday work. Sunday work consists of non-overtime work during your regularly scheduled basic work schedule or tour of duty (not to exceed 8 hours) that begins or ends on a Sunday. If you are on a compressed work schedule, all non-overtime hours of your regularly scheduled work that begin or end on a Sunday are considered Sunday work. Please visit the OPM’s Sunday Premium Pay page for complete details

For Civilian Pay questions, please contact your Customer Service Representative (CSR). Contact your immediate supervisor for more details.

Page updated December 28, 2017.