Parental Leave:

Revised Cost Estimate Reflecting the Impact of Spousal Leave

HRD-89-68: Published: Apr 6, 1989. Publicly Released: May 4, 1989.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO: (1) estimated the costs of proposed revision to H.R. 770 allowing 10 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a seriously ill spouse; and (2) discussed the potential impact of such leave benefits on labor negotiations.

GAO found that the cost to employers with: (1) 50 or more workers would be about $330 million annually for unpaid leave to care for seriously ill spouses; and (2) 35 to 49 workers would be about $368 million annually. GAO believes that the proposed addition to the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1989, would have no adverse impact on labor negotiations because employers: (1) would have few measurable net costs associated with replacing workers or production while workers were on unpaid leave; (2) generally reallocate work among the remaining work force; and (3) save wages not paid to the absent workers.

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