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Department of State Standardized Regulations - (Last updated 07/09/2006)



531 Commencement


531.1 Newly Appointed or Transferred Employees


The hardship differential prescribed for an employee's post shall commence as of the latest of the following dates:


a. date of employee's arrival at a new post;


b. date of entrance on duty, if the employee was recruited locally (Section 031.3);


c. effective date of assignment, if employee is already at the new post on detail or leave;


d. the effective date on which a post is classified for differential at a rate higher than zero.


531.2 Upon Return to Post


The hardship differential to an employee whose differential was terminated during a period of absence shall commence as of the date of his/her return to his/her differential post.


532 Termination (Eff. 7/9/06 TL:SR 666)


The hardship differential shall terminate as of the close of business on the earliest of the following dates:


a. date the employee commences travel under orders for:


(1) transfer, including transfer combined with leave or detail;


(2) travel to the United States;




Hardship differential may continue up to 42 consecutive calendar days (532c.) when the primary purpose of the travel to the U.S. is for detail or medical evacuation and an eligible family member remains at the post in both instances. 


Hardship differential may continue during "Family Visitation Travel" from a hostile area to the United States as described in 3 section 3735.1 of the Foreign Affairs Manual (State) or equivalent agency regulations.; (eff. 5/1/05 TL:SR 650)


Hardship differential may continue when an employee assigned to a footnote n post is in the United States for up to 30 days; (eff. 11/4/03; published TL:SR 632)


(3) emergency evacuation;


(4) separation (Section 040r);


b. date the employee departs the post for any period of leave (including Rest and Recuperation leave) in the United States.  However, if leave is taken in a foreign area en route to the United States, hardship differential shall cease as of the date of arrival in the United States;


Exception: Hardship differential may continue when an employee assigned to a footnote n post is in the United States for up to 30 days; (eff. 11/4/03; published TL:SR 632)


c. forty-second consecutive calendar day of the employees temporary absence from the post;


d. day immediately preceding the effective day of transfer, if during the first 42 consecutive calendar days absence from his/her post the employee is on detail or leave at the place to which transferred;


e. date of first departure of other employees from his/her post under emergency evacuation orders if the employee is already on detail or leave away from post;


f. date the employee departs his/her post for leave or detail during period when the post is in an emergency evacuation situation;


g. date of separation.


533 Continuation of Hardship Differential During Absence from Post

From Foreign Hardship Differential Post (eff. 10/23/03; published TL:SR 631)

a. The hardship differential for an employee on detail to another differential post may continue at the rate prescribed for his/her post for the first 42 consecutive calendar days of his/her temporary absence from the post except as otherwise provided in Sections 532 and 552.


b. Beginning on the 43rd day the employee on detail from the hardship differential post shall receive the hardship differential prescribed for the post where he/she is detailed (see exception for footnote n posts, Section 541a).


From the U.S. or Other Non-Differential Posts (eff. 10/23/03; published TL:SR 631)

a. Hardship differential will not be paid for any periods of travel in the US including official travel of fourteen days or less unless the detail is to a footnote n post (see Section 541a).


b. Employees on detail to footnote n posts may continue to receive the hardship differential payment for up to 30 consecutive days of leave.   Leave from a footnote n post of more than 30 days will cause the differential payments to terminate on the 31st day of leave.