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Several other ongoing issues are expected to arise early in the new year, including to further restrict the use of administrative leave–in particular where employees are facing disciplinary action. OPM earlier this year ordered restrictions on its use but the issue continues to gain attention; under pressure from Congress the VA for example recently said it will reassign employees instead in almost all circumstances. Also, the Pentagon several months ago raised proposals that would not only affect DoD as the government’s largest employer but also could serve as a model for other agencies if enacted. These include extending pay-for-performance pilot projects already under way and shortening the disciplinary appeal process–provisions that employee organizations oppose. However, the plan also has some features favorable to employees: to increase the value of buyout payments from $25,000 to $40,000 and use them more widely; create an entitlement to paid parental leave; and boost career development programs, among other changes. Formal proposals are expected early in the new year when Congress begins writing the next DoD authorization measure. Implementing rules meanwhile are pending on several provisions enacted in this year’s version of that bill to: extend the probationary period for newly hired employees there to two years; require that performance be the first factor in determining RIF retention rather than the last; and make any period during which an employee’s performance rating is unacceptable not creditable toward the next within-grade increase. Those also are widely seen as potential precedent for wider application.