Annual Leave Sick Leave Administrative Leave Paid Holidays Health Care Coverage Other Benefits

DEP employees receive generous benefits carefully designed to offer comprehensive support. Whether it's medical care, training, recognition programs, or tuition waiver, employment benefits cover life's ups and downs.

Annual Leave
Full-time Career Service employees accrue annual leave for vacation purposes, based on years of employment, on a monthly basis as follows:

  • Up to 5 years (through 60 months) 8.667 hours
  • 5 to 10 years (61 through 120 months) 10.833 hours
  • Over 10 years (Over 120 months) 13.000 hours

Selected Exempt Service (SES) and Senior Management Service (SMS) employees receive 176 hours for vacation purposes upon appointment date and on each anniversary date.

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Sick Leave
Full-time Career Service employees accrue 8.667 hours of sick leave on a monthly base. Sick leave may be used for illness or medical appointments of the employee or immediate family members. Selected Exempt Service (SES) and Senior Management Service (SMS) employees receive 104 hours of sick leave upon appointment date and on each anniversary date.

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Administrative Leave
Employees may be granted leave with pay (not charged against the employee’s accumulated leave balance) for such purposes such as:

  • Jury Duty
  • Voting
  • Disaster Service Volunteers of the American Red Cross
  • School Participation/Child Care Visitation
  • Death of Immediate Family
  • Governor’s Mentoring Initiative
  • State Office Building Closure – Generally due to natural disasters

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Paid Holidays
Nine holidays are recognized and offices are closed. In addition, each employee has one day each fiscal year designated as a personal holiday.

  • New Year’s – January 1
  • Martin Luther King’s Jr. Birthday – third Monday in January
  • Memorial Day – last Monday in May
  • Independence Day – July 4
  • Labor Day – first Monday in September
  • Veterans’ Day – November 11
  • Thanksgiving Day – fourth Thursday in November
  • Friday after Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day – December 25

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Health Care Coverage
Health insurance is available for Career Service employees and their families at a very low cost. Employees may choose between a State Group Health Self-Insurance Plan and several Health Maintenance Organizations located throughout the state. Other health insurance options include enrolling in the Health Investor HMO or PPO, coupled with a Health Savings Account (HSA). These options enable individuals who are willing to take a greater responsibility for their medical care the opportunity to reduce their insurance premiums and save money for future health expenses.

Health insurance benefits are available at no cost to the employee for Selected Exempt Service (SES) and Senior Management Service (SMS) positions.

Dental insurance is available at low rates for employees and their dependents. Available plan options are pre-paid and indemnity/insured plans which offer many special features.

A wide variety of supplemental insurance such as accident, disability, cancer and intensive care/hospitalization are available at low rates for employees and their dependents.

The Flexible Spending Accounts Program (FSA) is available to state employees, allowing employees to set aside (pre-tax) a portion of their income to pay for un-reimbursed health and dependent care expenses.

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Other Benefits

Life Insurance
Term life insurance providing coverage equal to 1.5 times your Base Annual Salary is available at a very low cost.

Optional life insurance up to five times your Base Annual Salary is also available for Career Service, Selected Exempt Service and Senior Management Service employees. For Selected Exempt Service (SES) and Senior Management Service (SMS) positions term life insurance is provided at two times your base annual salary, at no cost to the employee.

World Class Training
DEP employees have access to premier classroom and online training, including Personal Enrichment Training, Supervisory Skills Training, Professional Skills Enhancement, Computer Skills Development and Health and Wellness. Educational courses are diverse and constantly changing to allow employees to maximize opportunities for professional growth and development.

State of Florida Retirement System
The State of Florida pays a percentage contribution based on the retirement plan under which the individual is employed. Employees become vested under regular retirement after six years (effective 7/1/2001) of service. Upon becoming vested, they may retire at age 62 with full benefits, or after 30 years of service, regardless of age. An Investment Plan Option is also available, which has a one year vesting.

Deferred Compensation Participation in the Deferred Compensation Plan allows employees to defer, or delay receiving a portion of their income until a later date. This plan allows employees to build a pool of money to supplement retirement income. This pool of money can be converted to income when employees retire or leave state employment and adds to the benefits employees expect to receive from the Florida Retirement System and the Social Security Administration (SSA). All employees, including OPS and contract employees may participate.

Tuition Waivers
Full-Time, Career Service, Selected Exempt Service and Senior Management Service employees may apply, on a space available basis, at a Florida state university or community college for up to six credit hours per term for which tuition will be waived. You must check with the university or community college regarding space and availability.

Employee Assistance Program
There are times when employees may encounter problems that overwhelm them and compromise their ability to focus on work. Horizon Heatlh, the DEP employee assistance provider, offers free short-term counseling for all employees and members of their households, and provides guidance and referrals for quality care for long-term problems.

Direct Deposit of Salary and Retirement Payments
As a condition of employment, a person appointed to a position in state government is required to participate in the direct deposit program. Rather than giving you a check, we will deposit your payment directly into your account at your financial institution. This will be accomplished by Electronic Funds Transfer. Banks, savings and loan associations, and credit unions are eligible to accept such deposits.

Adoption Benefits
Section 110.152, Florida Statutes, provides that any full-time or part-time employee of the state who is paid from regular salary appropriations and who adopted a child or a “special-needs” child whose permanent custody has been awarded to the Department of Children and Families or to a Florida-licensed child-placing agency may be eligible to receive a monetary benefit, pending the availability of funds.

Employee Telecommuting Program
Under s. 110.171, Florida Statutes, agencies may adopt a telecommuting program, whereby selected state employees are allowed to perform the normal duties and responsibilities of their positions through the use of computers or telecommunications, at home or another place apart from the employees' usual place of work.

Each employee may be granted up to one hour of administrative leave per week, not to exceed five hours per calendar month, to participate in the Mentoring Initiative including school or community voluntary activities.

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Fire technician Chuck McKenna uses a drip torch during a prescribed fire

Fire technician Chuck McKenna uses a drip torch during a prescribed fire. Prescribed burning mimics natural fire cycles, improving habitat for native plants and animals and reducing the harmful effects of wildfire. Certain endangered species not only benefit from fire, but will decline in its absence. Since the early 1970s, the Florida Park Service’s fire management program has utilized prescribed burns as one of the most successful tools to improve ecosystems and reduce wildfire danger.