We are pleased to announce the issuance of the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM's) report to Congress concerning our findings and recommendations on paid parental leave for the purpose of childbirth and adoption. The report is available on OPM's Web site at http://www.opm.gov/oca.
House Report 106-1033 for H.R. 5658 (Public Law 106-544, December 15, 2000) directed OPM to develop alternative means for providing Federal employees with at least 6 weeks of paid parental leave in connection with the birth or adoption of a child (apart from any other paid leave). In addition, the House Report directed OPM to determine whether paid parental leave would assist agencies in their recruitment and retention efforts.
Our study shows that the Federal Government's leave policies and programs compare favorably with benefits offered by most private sector companies. In addition, human resources directors in Federal Executive departments and agencies overwhelmingly indicated that an additional paid parental leave benefit would not be a major factor in enhancing their recruitment and retention situations.
As part of OPM's Strategic Compensation Initiative to modernize Federal compensation systems so that agencies have access to flexible, competitive compensation systems, we will seek the views of interested parties on the importance of paid parental leave within the context of an overall Federal compensation package. Until a comprehensive study of compensation systems can be completed, we believe employees can meet their family responsibilities with the many leave and work scheduling flexibilities that are already available to them. As a first step in our effort to help Federal agencies educate their workforce about these existing benefits, we have attached two fact sheets on the leave and work scheduling flexibilities currently available to employees to provide time off for parental responsibilities. The fact sheets also are available on OPM's Web site at www.opm.gov/oca.