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Highlights

GAO discussed the proposed Federal Employees Family Friendly Leave Act. GAO noted that: (1) allowing spouses to share leave could be beneficial to their families; (2) the leave-sharing bill would not change the total amount of leave available to federal employees or the discretion of federal agencies to grant or deny annual leave; (3) federal employees have expressed considerable interest in the leave-sharing program; (4) the proposed change in leave-sharing is unlikely to significantly change total payroll costs; (5) there are a number of safeguards against employees accumulating leave they do not plan to use and cashing it in upon retirement; (6) productivity gains from the leave-sharing program could offset any additional program costs; (7) allowing employees to use their sick leave when caring for ill family members would bring government practice in line with private industry leave practices; and (8) reduced retirement system costs would eventually offset the costs of using sick leave for family care.

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