OPM Handbook on Workplace Flexibilities and Work-Life Programs for Elder Care (July 2015)


I. Introduction

The Federal Government offers a wide array of workplace flexibilities and work-life programs that can be combined in many ways to achieve the type of flexibility that allows employees time off for elder caregiving needs. To build on our record of leadership through better education and training, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is providing this handbook to provide assistance and demonstrate how these flexibilities and programs work together to support employees who are providing elder care for a family member. In doing so, we can help ensure that the Federal workforce is engaged and empowered to deliver exceptional and efficient service to the American public while simultaneously meeting the needs of their families.

Roles and Responsibilities

This handbook provides various tools for employees to use in preparing and planning for time off for elder caregiving. It must be read in conjunction with agency and component-specific flexibilities and program policies and, to the extent they comport with applicable law, any applicable collective bargaining agreements. The division of roles and responsibilities are provided below.

OPM’s Role. OPM provides leadership on Federal policies and programs by developing and maintaining Governmentwide rules and regulations on annual leave, sick leave, the Family and Medical Leave Act, Federal leave sharing programs, alternative work schedules, part-time employment, and other workplace flexibilities and programs. OPM also provides guidance on telework.

Agencies’ Role. Federal agencies are responsible for complying with the law and OPM’s Governmentwide regulations and guidance. Agencies are also responsible for developing agency-specific policies dealing with the administration of leave and other workplace flexibilities and programs, including any discretionary benefits, in accordance with appropriate provisions of any applicable collective bargaining agreements.

Employees’ Role. Employees must review both OPM and agency-specific rules and regulations on leave and other workplace flexibilities and programs to understand the options available for taking time off for elder caregiving. It is equally important for employees to consult with their agency’s servicing human resources office.

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