I am now retired but I worked both in the public sector and the private sector and here is an observation on vacation carryover in each.
In the private sector, the companies I worked for either paid you for unused vacation at year end or allowed you to carry forward your vacation for one quarter at which time you were paid for unused vacation. Additionally, their health care plans would pay one week of salary in full for every year of service as disability pay. After that, person would receive a portion of their pay as long term disability for a period of time.
In the private sector, if vacation is allowed to be carried over, it is common for the vacation to accounted for as an accrued liability and expensed in the year earned. For this reason, most private sector companies require vacation to be taken and not accrued.
In the public sector, vacation (and sick days) are typically carried forward and sometimes, after many years, turned into earned service for pension purposes. Also, public sector firms often use accrued vacation and sick time as a form of long term disability.
I once saw a public sector employee who was about to be terminated (he was in a patronage position) go on sick leave before the newly elected official took office and stay on sick leave for several months so that he could not be fired.
Before I retired it was use them or lose them. I made it a point not to lose any. At one time you could carry over. Then at the end of one year they said we will pay you for any unsed vacation time and after that use them or lose them. Company wide the unpaid vacation time was adding up to hundreds of thousands of dollars liability.
We can accrue (sp?) up to 240 hrs of vacation. You either use or lose it at that point. The rate at which you earn the vacation is based on your years of service. We also earn sick leave at the rate of 8hrs/mo., regardless of years of service. We can accrue a total of 960 hrs of sick leave at that rate. Once you exceed 960 hrs, you earn it at half that rate and it goes into a seperate account not to be used until the original 960 hrs are completely depleted. Upon retirement 75% of the original sick leave (max of 960 hrs) is converted to a cash value and is placed in an interest earning account to be used for health insurance coverage at the group rate.
Private Sector - We had to use all vacation by December 31st. Otherwise, we lost it. Occasionally, you might carry over a day or so if something came up and you couldn't take it. That was between you and the boss.
27 working days vacation, they can be carried over to the next year. 5 personal days, blood days(1 for each pint donated), terminal leave days(5 for each year of service), 26 sick days a year(carried over if not used not to exceed 360. Sometimes unions can be a wonderful thing. HMB