Frequently asked questions on CANFORGENS issued in relation to COVID-19
- Supporting Remote Work and Equipping Defence Team Members Questions and Answers
- Direction on promotions during Active Posting Season 2020 in response to COVID-19
- Active Posting Season 2020 Direction in Response to COVID-19
- Voluntary Delay of Releases from the CAF due to COVID-19
- Compensation & Leave Entitlements in Relation to COVID-19
- Reserve Pay, Benefits in relation to COVID-19
I am on the 2020 Promotion (Merit List) and I am posted to a position at the next rank during Active Posting Season 2020. What will be my effective promotion date?
Your effective promotion date will be 14 days prior to the change of strength date of your posting (or position change) message. The report for duty date may be adjusted left or right of the promulgated date by losing and gaining unit Commanders as required to meet Canadian Armed Forces needs; any change to the change of strength date would affect the promotion date.
I am on the 2020 Promotion (Merit List) and was due to be posted to an Advanced Training List position beginning July (or later) 2020. I will now not be posted to the Advanced Training List until September 2020 or until Active Posting Season 2021. What will be my effective promotion date?
Your effective promotion date will be 14 days prior to the Change of Strength date of your posting (or position change) message once your course start date is confirmed. If you are not posted to the Advanced Training List until Active Posting Season 2021 and are bypassed on the promotion list in 2020, you will be promoted December 1, 2020, and remain over-ranked in your current position until posted in Active Posting Season 2021.
I am on the 2020 Promotion (Merit List), and was due to be posted to a position of the next rank in APS 2020. As a result of the revised posting plot due to COVID-19, I will now not be posted anywhere. Am I still going to be promoted and if so what will be my effective promotion date?
If you are bypassed for promotion in 2020 you will be promoted effective December 1, 2020, and remain over-ranked in your current position until posted to a higher ranked position in Active Posting Season 2021. If you are not bypassed on the promotion list in 2020, you will remain in your current rank.
How am I going to know if I was bypassed on the promotion list in 2020 or not?
Your career manager will notify you if you are to be promoted and when. Usually if you are told you will be promoted December 1, 2020, it is because you have been bypassed. Although current policy does not require a career manager to advise a member that they have been bypassed, career managers will normally provide an explanation out of courtesy.
Are the 2020 changes to the promotion policy retroactive?
No, these are in place due to potential COVID-19 impacts only. The changes to promotion policy for 2020 in CANFORGEN 071/20 are not retroactive to any previous years’ promotion lists nor applicable to future years’ promotion lists. These exceptions to promotion policy will expire December 31, 2020, unless directed otherwise by the Chief of the Defence Staff.
My Commanding Officer has received my promotion message. My medical is out of date. Can I be promoted regardless?
Yes. For the 2020 promotion year only, the existing Periodic Health Assessment, medical category and/or Medical Employment Limitations, if expired, will be accepted as on record for promotion and you will be promoted substantive, or if CANFORGEN 012/17 applies to your situation. It remains the member’s responsibility to ensure that their respective Periodic Health Assessment is updated as required as soon as Canadian Forces Health Services are able accommodate.
Do promotion screenings still need to be signed by a medical authority prior to a promotion being effected?
Despite the physical fitness exemption, a promotion screening is still required in order to provide a record of how the promotion was affected and what further criteria remains to be met for the promotion to be substantive, as applicable. Promotion screenings can still be approved by a Commanding Officer if physical fitness criteria have expired.
My Commanding Officer has received my promotion message. My FORCE test is out of date. Can I be promoted regardless?
Yes. For the 2020 promotion year only, your existing FORCE test pass will remain valid for promotion to the next rank. You must however complete and pass the FORCE test at the next available opportunity in accordance with current policy, unless CANFORGEN 012/17 applies to your situation.
My promotion requires a specific second official language profile to be obtained or my second official language profile required for promotion is expired. Can I be promoted regardless?
Pay and Benefits
What does “acting” mean? Will I be receiving the pay and benefits of the higher rank if I am promoted “acting”?
The term “acting” is used when a criteria for promotion cannot be met as a result of an inability to obtain the required promotion criteria specific to CANFORGEN 071/20 due to issues and situations created by the COVID-19 pandemic and CANFORGEN 12/17 (Q6).
“Acting” rank is granted to a Canadian Armed Forces member which allows the organization to meet national and international commitments. A member who is “acting” in the next higher rank receives the pay and benefits associated with that higher rank.
If I decide to voluntarily release while promoted “acting”, will my “acting” pay be considered for my pension contributions and benefits in relation to retirement?
Yes. Your pension benefits and contributions made to the plan use your salary and/or earnings throughout your career and does not look at whether the rank was substantive or not.
I have been promoted “Acting” in accordance with the policy promulgated by CANFORGEN 071/20. My performance will be evaluated at which rank?
Members promoted to an acting rank in accordance with the policy promulgated by CANFORGEN 071/20 have been promoted on merit, but lack some required promotion conditions or standards preventing substantive promotion. As such, you will be evaluated in your acting rank in accordance with Canadian Forces Personnel Appraisal System (CFPAS) Article 109.2.
Does CANFORGEN 071/20 have an impact on the personnel evaluation report (PER) Opt-Out and Opt Back In processes described at the link http://cmp-cpm.mil.ca/en/recruitment-careers/cfpas/index.page and in Canadian Forces Personnel Appraisal System (CFPAS) Chapter 1 Section 125?
No. The processes to Opt-Out and Opt Back In are not affected by CANFORGEN 071/20. Anyone who wishes to Opt Out can continue to submit a request to do so. Anyone who has Opted Out but who now wishes to Opt Back In can also request to do so.
I am still under training. Does CANFORGEN 071/20 apply to me?
No. The provisions of CANFORGEN 071/20 apply to members that have attained their operationally functional point.
I have been promoted “Acting” in accordance with CANFORGEN 071/20. Do I accrue seniority in acting rank?
In accordance with Queen’s Regulations and Orders Volume I, Chapter 3.10(1), seniority does not accrue in acting rank. However, members who are granted acting rank in accordance with CANFORGEN 071/20 will have their date of seniority adjusted, once the promotion is made substantive, to the date of promotion to the acting rank. This is permissible because the Chief of the Defence Staff has the authority to grant additional seniority and has agreed to do this due to COVID-19 impacts this year. The additional seniority granted is the period during which the member was in acting rank.
Does CANFORGEN 071/20 have an impact on the Administrative Review related to Medical Employment Limitation process?
No. While CANFORGEN 012/17 allows for some members to be promoted with Medical Employment Limitations and promotion with expired Medical Employment Limitations is permitted by CANFORGEN 071/20, the process to ensure Medical Employment Limitations are analyzed against the Minimum Operational Standards (including the MOSID Task Statements listed in A-MD-154-000/FP-000 (CFP 154)) related to Universality of Service, detailed in Defence Administration Orders and Directives 5023-1, remains present.
I am promoted “acting” in accordance CANFORGEN 071/20 in July 2020. I would like to voluntarily release in December 2020. Can I be released in my acting rank?
No. You will be released in your substantive rank.
Is Active Posting Season 2020 cancelled?
Active Posting Season 2020 is proceeding. To meet our institutional needs and members’ professional needs, both for the current and future environment, we must continue to put our valued CAF members in positions where they are needed.
However, the upcoming Active Posting Season will not be a typical year and will need to be adapted to take into consideration the impacts of COVID-19.
Is Active Posting Season being postponed? Am I still going to be moving in the July-August timeframe?
Active Posting Season 2020 is proceeding with planned Change of Strength dates from mid-July to mid-August.
However, while efforts to observe the traditional Active Posting Season in the summer months will remain preferable, it is expected that Active Posting Season 2020 will extend well into the fall period and possibly to the end of the calendar year.
Measures, such as an increase in the number of days commanding officers can now authorize for reporting dates, have been put in place. Commanding officers can now authorize a reporting date 30 days in advance of a Change of Strength date and up to 90 (vice 30) after the Change of Strength date. Level one Commanders have additional flexibility to adjust Reporting Dates beyond the 90 Days if there is a defined need or requirement to support the member’s needs.
Are posting messages still being issued?
Posting instructions, for other than specific operational or essential posts, have been paused until further notice. Senior leadership will review the posting plot and establish new priorities.
I was advised that I was getting posted this year but have yet to receive my posting instruction. Is there anything I should do?
As we seek to execute the Active Posting Season, we will take into account individual circumstances. If you have been advised that you were going to receive a posting message and have specific requirements and/or concerns, you must address them with your chain of command and your career manager as soon as possible. This will ensure that the CAF’s leadership remain aware and can influence the plan going forward.
You are also reminded that you are not permitted to make any financial commitments until you are in receipt of an official posting instruction.
Are House Hunting Trips (HHTs) and Destination Inspection Trips (DITs) cancelled?
House Hunting Trips and Destination Inspection Trips are currently paused until further notice. This is necessary in the interests of CAF members, families and community safety during this unprecedented time. Although every attempts have been made by BGRS and HRG to cancel affected HHTs/DITs commercial travel bookings, CAF members who had HHTs/DITs commercial travel booked between now and 30 Apr 20 should communicate with BGRS to ensure travel arrangements have in fact been cancelled.
I have received a posting message, but have not yet conducted a house hunting trip (HHT). Can I list and/or sell my home? Can I buy a home virtually?
If your posting has been confirmed, you can go forward with listing and selling your home; however, it is important to take the following steps:
- Confirm that your posting is still going ahead, and to the same location, via your chain of command, who will seek confirmation from your career manager;
- Register with BGRS;
- After you have confirmation that your posting will continue, you are not restricted from continuing with certain aspects of your move; however, you are still expected insofar as possible to conduct a door-to-door move. It is thus important to make decisions on when/how to sell your house wisely;
- For example, if you think your Change of Strength date might be changed, or you might not be able to secure new accommodations in time, the recommendation is to wait to sell your home if possible.
- While authorization for extended Interim Lodgings, Meals and Miscellaneous is being sought from higher authority, approval has not yet been granted and the current policy remains in place.
Yes, purchasing a home virtually is approved. If this route is chosen, please be aware that you will forego entitlement to an HHT. You will have the right to a Destination Inspection Trip (DIT), once travel restrictions are lifted, which includes up to three days and three nights at the new location, for the CAF member or spouse. The total duration, including travel time, should not normally exceed five days and four nights. However, members are reminded that, currently travel restrictions are still in place— something to take into consideration when submitting an offer online. As well, you should still try to achieve a door-to-door move.
I am being posted and want to live in Military Housing, how do I apply?
The Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA) has ramped up the capability to serve you better remotely and to continue to provide service to our current and potential occupants. Please contact via phone or email the local Housing Service Centre of your new posting location to submit your application. CFHA will be happy to answer your questions or guide you through the application process.
I applied and accepted an offer with the Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA) to live in a Residential Housing Unit (RHU), do I still have an RHU waiting for me?
CFHA is concurrently preparing RHUs for Active Posting Season (APS) move-ins for in-coming families. If you have been offered and have accepted an offer for an RHU, it should be ready for you. CFHA is actively working on preparations to ensure the continued availability of safe and healthy RHUs. Contact the local Housing Service Centre of your new posting location to speak to a representative to obtain re-confirmation.
Will my Residential Housing Unit (RHU) be ready in time for my move-in?
The Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA) continues to prepare RHUs for occupancy this APS. CFHA is taking the necessary steps to ensure that RHUs are ready and available for move-in and that those RHUs are safe for occupancy. Contact the local Housing Service Centre of your new posting location to speak to a representative to obtain re-confirmation.
I was told I would receive a posting instruction but have yet to get it. Will I receive it?
Your career manager is working with all Commands to verify the annual posting plot and once it has been confirmed that you will be posted, a posting instruction will be issued. For those with moves associated with their postings, you should be in receipt of it in the coming few weeks. While posting messages may be issued, it is important to remember that any such plan could still be influenced based on federal, provincial, territorial and, when applicable, international restrictions on travel and the assessed regional COVID-19 circumstances.
For our valued Canadian Armed Forces members, you are reminded that until such time as you receive your posting instruction and register with BGRS, you are not permitted to make any financial or personal commitments or incur any expenses related to relocation. Verbal direction or affirmation of an upcoming move will not be sufficient to incur reimbursable expenditures.
I received a posting instruction/release instruction that involves a cost move out of the area. What should I do?
If you have received a posting instruction/release instruction prior to 30 April 2020 that involves a cost move out of the area, you must confirm with your chain of command and career manager that nothing has changed with respect to your posting nor move.
Delays created by the COVID-19 pandemic have caused a delay of more than 10 days between the date I am moving out of my current residence and the occupancy date of my new residence. What can I do?
As COVID-19 and the restrictions placed on house hunting trips are outside of members’ control, enhanced Interim Lodgings Meals and Miscellaneous (ILM&M) can be made available. Storage of your HG&E will be reimbursed up to an including the last day of your ILM&M You can find the details of these increased entitlements in CANFORGEN 072/20. While these entitlements exist, it is incumbent on each individual to facilitate their moves in a manner that reduces the time between departure and arrival at new location so as to minimize the time your Household Goods and Effects are out of your possession.
I am posted this year and need to sell my residence. How can I do so with the current COVID-19 restrictions?
If you are selling a principal residence, you may sell via the regular sale process, respecting all physical distancing and federal and provincial restrictions in place, or opt for a virtual sale, which is being offered through many real estate agents. Both options entitle you to reimbursement of real estate and legal fees, and enable you to claim relocation benefits as outlined in the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program Directive.
I received my posting message prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and have already incurred expenses tied to relocation after completing my House Hunting Trip. Is my posting still valid?
Yes, if you have already received a posting instruction with a Change of Strength date that is soon approaching and/or have completed your house hunting trip and secure accommodation at your new place of duty, your relocation will continue as planned. Your move will continue without restrictions other than the requirement to adhere to provincial and municipal restrictions and regulations.
I received my posting message but have yet to conduct my House Hunting Trip. Is my move considered underway? Is my posting still valid?
If you have received a posting instruction that involves a cost move out of the area but have yet to conduct your house hunting trip you are to discuss this with your chain of command and your career manager as soon as possible.
Outside of Canada Postings
I received an outside of Canada (OUTCAN) posting instruction and have commenced screening. Is my move still valid?
If you have received an OUTCAN posting instruction, and commenced screening, you should continue to do so. You should however be aware that any and all OUTCAN moves are subject to increased considerations given the impacts of COVID-19 on many of the nations where the Canadian Armed Forces serve.
If you have received an OUTCAN posting instruction for a Developmental Period 3 or Developmental Period 4 programs, you are to contact your career manager to receive updated information related to advanced training list plans. Currently, no OUTCAN Developmental Period moves are authorized.
I received an outside of Canada (OUTCAN) posting instruction but haven’t commenced screening. Is my move still valid?
If you have received an OUTCAN posting instruction but have not commenced screening, you are to wait for further direction. Any and all OUTCAN moves are subject to increased considerations given the impacts of COVID-19 on many of the nations where the Canadian Armed Forces serve.
I am currently posted abroad. Am I being asked to come back to Canada?
If you are currently posted outside of Canada, you are asked to remain in place if safe to do so. You must stay safe, stay healthy and take care of yourself and your family. You are also encouraged to keep Canadian Armed Forces authorities advised of your personal circumstances so that assistance can be made available if needed.
I am currently posted abroad and have received a posting message for a Canadian position. Is my posting still valid?
If you are currently serving outside of Canada and have received a posting message, you should remain in place if safe to do so, until such time as direction is passed to relocate. Normal procedures for postings are not in effect and deliberate decisions are forthcoming.
I received an Outside of Canada posting instruction but I am unable to conduct a house hunting trip at destination. What are my options?
HHTs to the Continental US/OUTCAN remain restricted and will be decided upon on a case by case basis. If you are posted to the United States, you can consider conducting a virtual house hunting trip using the means best suited to your needs including an approved rental search agent as per the third-party service providers list found on the BGRS Member Secure website.
Given restrictions, members may not be able to conduct a house hunting trip before travel to their new place of duty outside of Canada. Members who plan to conduct a house hunting trip after their change of strength date due to COVID-19 restrictions will need to submit a request through their relocation coordinator. Additional entitlements to Interim Lodgings Meals & Miscellaneous (ILM&M) expenses are available should you select this option. Storage of your House Hold Good & Effects will be reimbursed up to and including your last day of ILM&M
I am currently posted Outside of Canada and am posted to a location within Canada. What are my house hunting trips and destination inspection trips options?
HHTs from the Continental US/OUTCAN remain restricted and will be decided upon on a case by case basis. Given restrictions, members may not be able to conduct a house hunting trip before travel to their new place of duty. In this case you may:
1. Request a residential housing unit if available at the location to which you are posted;
2. Proceed with a virtual accommodation search (purchase/rental); or
3. Conduct a house hunting trip upon arrival at your new place of duty. Members who plan to conduct their house hunting efforts after their change of strength date due to COVID-19 restrictions will need to submit a request for adjudication through their relocation coordinator. Additional entitlements to Interim Lodgings Meals & Miscellaneous (ILM&M) expenses are available should you select this option. Storage of your House Hold Good & Effects will be reimbursed up to and including your last day of ILM&M.
House Hunting Trips/ Destination Inspection Trips
Are restrictions on house hunting trips and destination inspect trips going to be lifted?
The current international and domestic COVID-19 restrictions on house hunting trips and destination inspection trips remain in effect.
Given the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19-related restrictions, approval of house hunting trips and destination inspection trips will be contingent on the following:
a. Approving authorities, must be aware of and respect COVID-19 travel restrictions;
b. The country, province or territory’s requirement for self-isolation before travel, on arrival at destination and on return to origin is factored into the approval of the house hunting trip or destination inspection trip;
c. Availability of commercial accommodation, food services and rental vehicles must be confirmed prior to travel; and
d. Service providers such as real estate and rental search agents, lawyers and home inspectors must have the ability to operate and provide services.
If all conditions are met, L1s can approve any house hunting trips and destination inspect trips while Commanding Officers will remain the approving authority for intraprovincial house hunting trips and destination inspect trips.
How will I be able to put in a request for my house hunting trip or destination inspection trip with my chain of command? What will my chain of command base its decision on?
You will be able to submit a travel request for the conduct of your house hunting trip or destination inspection trip to your chain of command. The Vice Chief of the Defence Staff has created a common reference point webpage for information on the conditions at major destinations. This information source will be of assistance in deciding to approve or not to approve a house hunting trip or destination inspection trip. This webpage is available here: www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/campaigns/covid-19/dit-hht-local-community-conditions-info.html. Commanding Officers may approve intraprovincial HHTs/DITs. L1s may approve all other HHTs/DITs.
Restrictions remain in place at my new place of duty, prohibiting me from conducting a house hunting trip or destination inspection trip. What can I do in lieu of a house hunting trip or destination inspection trip or conducting a move?
If you cannot currently conduct a house hunting trip or destination inspection trip in relation to COVID-19 restrictions, you may:
1. Request to report to your new place of duty on imposed restriction;
2. Proceed unaccompanied to the destination for a period of up to six months;
3. Request a residential housing unit;
4. Conduct a virtual accommodation search (purchase or rental); or
5. Submit a request for adjudication through your relocation coordinator to conduct a house hunting trip upon arrival at destination (after change of strength date). Additional entitlements to Interim Lodgings Meals & Miscellaneous (ILM&M) expenses are available should you select this option. Storage of your House Hold Good & Effects will be reimbursed up to and including your last day of ILM&M
My posting instruction is for an inter-provincial move. Will I be asked to self-isolate upon arrival at destination?
Provincial restrictions and isolation requirements will apply when members arrive at their destination. If there is a requirement to self-isolate at destination, time spent in self-isolation will be considered as part of the travel to new location portion of the move.
Is BGRS continuing to provide services?
There have been some adjustments in BGRS’ service delivery as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak but they continue to be responsive to Canadian Armed Forces members. You will continue to have access to a support network and many resources to assist you throughout the phases of your relocation. BGRS will be your first point of contact, via the BGRS app or email through the Member Secure Website. BGRS will continue to provide essential services which include advance of funds, booking trips, movement of Household Goods and Effects, and payment of third-party service providers, with a priority on house closures. They are monitoring emails daily and if the subject line identifies as an “Essential Service”, it will assist in flagging the issue.
Is BGRS continuing to provide individual initial interviews and respond to chat requests?
BGRS does not have the secure means at this time to provide individual initial interviews or respond to chat requests. However, as a workaround, BGRS is providing group tele-conference planning sessions. Briefings will cover the content that would normally be given in an initial planning session, outlining entitlements and process but not pertaining to questions about individual members’ situations.
How can I request a group tele-conference planning session?
Shortly after you complete your Preliminary Relocation Assessment (PRA) on the Member Secure website (MSW), BGRS will contact you with options and instructions for you to join a group webinar general planning session. There is also a recorded planning session called “Overview of the Member Secure Website (MSW)” which explains, in detail, the contents of each tab and what you need to do in order to book a trip, request an advance, submit a claim etc. This video can be found as the top item on the lower right quadrant of your MSW dashboard as well as in the Knowledge Centre tab.
I have received authorization to proceed on my house hunting trip. Can I go accompanied?
It is strongly recommended that members proceed unaccompanied on their house hunting or destination inspection trips in order to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure to dependants and communities at destination and for local residents when returning to the place of origin.
While house hunting trip entitlements remain unchanged, the reality is that many locations will not have access to schools, daycares and doctors, which would normally be part of a house hunting or destination inspection trip, thus reducing the need to have family present. While not ideal, and understanding there may be occasions when this will be necessary, it should be the exception that dependents travel with members for house hunting or destination inspection trips this Active Posting Season.
What is the impact of the situation on promotions? Am I still going to be promoted?
We will aim to protect promotions to the greatest extent possible and will work to identify how this can be achieved while still meeting service requirements.
I received a posting instruction but have yet to conduct my House Hunting Trip. Can I go ahead with registering my kids for school even if postings may be delayed for a few months?
Yes, you can register your kids for school now. However you should refrain from making any financial commitments with school registration until the travel and relocation restrictions to the new place of duty are lifted.
I received my posting message and need to vacate my Residential Housing Unit, what do I do?
Provide your local Housing Service Centre a confirmation of your posting and the date of departure as soon as possible. Please provide this information remotely via email as to respect physical distancing efforts.
I live in a Residential Housing Unit (RHU) and a person in the household has COVID-19, what are my responsibilities?
You must notify your local Canadian Forces Housing Agency Housing Service Centre. This is to ensure the safety of you and your family/household members, our employees and contractors should there be emergency work required in the RHU.
I am on leave with my family but have been recalled to duty due to COVID-19, am I authorized for reimbursement of expenses?
Yes, reimbursement of expenses when members are recalled from or on cancellation of leave are authorized in accordance with CBI 209.54. You may also contact your local administrative authority for direction. Furthermore, the Director Compensation and Benefits Administration will entertain any clarification requests staffed through the local administrative authority with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic and responses shall be expedited.
Do I have to take annual leave if I’m self-isolating?
No. All military personnel returning from leave or duty from outside Canada will be required to self-isolate for up to 14 days, even if asymptomatic. When directed to self-isolate, members are considered on duty.
When I cancelled my travel plans, the commercial carrier gave me a credit that must be used within 12 months. Can I be reimbursed the value of this credit?
No. Credit notes are issued in the member’s name, therefore it is considered to already be paid and cannot be reimbursed a second time by the crown. Members will have the opportunity to utilize this credit during the period of validity. Should there be imperative operational reasons that prevent the approving authority from granting any leave during the credit duration, a request for adjudication must be submitted to +DCBA 3 Clarification (P-OTG.DCBA3Clarifica@intern.mil.ca) with all the supporting documentation and substantiation from the chain of command.
I was on Leave Travel Assistance (LTA) and was recalled from leave, can I have another LTA this year?
Yes. Any member who had elected to use LTA will not be considered as having used their annual entitlement to LTA if they have been recalled to duty. If you were recalled to duty during your LTA, you will be able to use that benefit at a later date. DCBA will request approval to the Treasury Board for a second LTA in the new fiscal year.
I was on home leave travel assistance (HLTA) and was recalled from leave, can I have reimbursement for costs I incurred due to COVID-19?
Yes, CANFORGEN 052-20 CMP 027-20 061958Z APR 20 is to be used as authorization for local administrators to provide reimbursement of costs resulting from changes to HLTA that are a direct result of COVID-19 and the CDS directive on international travel. Reimbursement shall be limited to travel costs, cancellation fees and expenses incurred for breaking contractual arrangements, providing these costs are incurred as a direct result of the new CDS direction.
I was approved leave for March but I can no longer go on my vacation as planned. Will I be able to accumulate annual leave due to COVID-19?
Members who could not take or use the remainder of their annual leave because they were employed in the performance of critical or essential tasks will be afforded the opportunity to accumulate or cash out this leave. Leave is very important to ensure CAF members are rested and ready for future operations.
Can I receive reimbursement for non-refundable tickets to resorts, cruises airline tickets if my leave is cancelled?
Yes. However, if you have travel insurance, you should first seek reimbursement against your travel insurance. Members can be reimbursed for breaking contractual arrangements or cancellation fees if no compensation was available from the supplier.
Ref: CBI 209.54
Is BGRS continuing to provide services to the Canadian Armed Forces?
There have been some adjustments in BGRS’ service delivery as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. You will continue to have access to a solid support network and many resources to assist you throughout the phases of your relocation. BGRS will be your first point of contact, via the BGRS app or email through the Member Secure Website. BGRS will continue to provide essential services limited to advance of funds, payments for home closings, essential travel arrangements, and providing guidance for the essential movement of Household Goods and Effects. They are exploring options on how to provide planning session information.
I am relocating with my family this Active Posting Season (APS) but have yet to conduct my House Hunting Trip (HHT). Given ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions, will I be able to conduct an HHT prior to traveling to my new place of duty?
Members will be given the opportunity to conduct an HHT. However, the conduct of your HHT will vary depending on your personal circumstances. In order to obtain information specific to your personal circumstances, we recommend that you contact your CFIRP Coordinator.
I have been informed that my Household Goods and Effects (HG&E) delivery may be delayed at destination. Will this put my family out of pocket?
The requirement to closely coordinate door to door moves remains. Any extension to Interim Lodgings, Meals and Miscellaneous (ILM&M) beyond basic entitlement will be reimbursed upon approval of the appropriate authority. The Director of Compensation and Benefits Administration will seek higher approval for reimbursement of 100% of meals beyond the basic entitlement.
Can I still elect the Real Estate Incentive (REI)?
Yes you can. However, you only have 15 days from the date of your appraisal to elect the REI. Be aware that once the decision is made, it is irrevocable.
If I purchase a residence online without taking a House Hunting Trip (HHT), can I still be reimbursed relocation benefits?
The costs associated with home purchase are reimbursable in accordance with the CFIRP directive, regardless of whether or not you take an HHT. Current policy also states if you currently own the home, you or your spouse can proceed on a Destination Inspection Trip once the restriction is lifted.
Once the travel restrictions are lifted, how do I proceed on a House Hunting Trip (HHT)/Destination Inspection Trip (DIT)?
In order to book or rebook your HHT/DIT, you will require a new HHT authorization form with the new travel dates and signed by your Commanding Officer. This form must be uploaded to the Member Secure Website (MSW). For commercial travel, you will have to submit a trip request through the MSW.
I sold my house prior to COVID-19, and now my posting has been cancelled. What happens now?
When a posting is cancelled or postponed for service reasons, CAF members are entitled to reimbursement for all actual and reasonable expenses incurred prior to posting cancellation based on the limitations of the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program Directive.
I was scheduled to move to my Intended Place of Residence, but my move is being delayed due to COVID-19. Am I eligible for an extension?
Yes., members, or retired members still on a valid IPR, may request an extension to the time limit to complete their move to Intended Place of Residence through the CFIRP Coordinator at their release base who shall initiate a request for staffing to the Director of Compensation and Benefits Administration for an adjudication.
I elected to rent a principal residence when I was initially moved to my place of duty but was scheduled to move-in to a new purchased residence this summer prior to the two year expiry date of my purchase benefits. Due to COVID-19, my move-in date has been delayed past my expiry date for purchase benefits. Am I eligible for an extension?
Yes, members may request an extension to the time limit to complete their purchase and move through their local CFIRP Coordinator who shall submit the request to the Director of Compensation and Benefits Administration for an adjudication.
I have questions about the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program Directive and the impact COVID-19 may have on my move benefits. Who should I contact?
If you have a relocation question directly related to the impacts of COVID-19, submit a clarification to the Administrative Response Centre at +CMP ARC - CRA CPM@CMP DGMP@Ottawa-Hull CMPARC.CRACPM@forces.gc.ca. Members are also advised to keep up to date by remaining engaged with your chain of command and by reading messages from the CDS, CANFORGENS, and other official information sources.
Military Foreign Service Instructions (MFSI’s)
In considerations of all precautions at my post due to COVID-19, I have evacuated my dependants from my post before the evacuation order was given. Will I be eligible to be reimbursed travel related expenses, meals and accommodations at the location to where I have evacuated my dependants?
Yes, you will be. Foreign Service Directive 64 (Emergency Evacuation) may not cover all expenses incurred by members due to the early departure of the member and/or dependants from the post. In these cases where members have not received an evacuation order, they are encouraged to keep receipts and keep track of all related expenses as other government directives may be implemented to cover these unique circumstances.
I am posted abroad and one of my children is attending full time university in Canada. Due to COVID-19, all students were required to vacate the University Campus. Will my child be eligible for expenses related to Emergency Evacuation outlined in Foreign Service Directive (FSD) 64 (Emergency Evacuation)?
No. As your child is in Canada, he/she is not eligible for expenses under the FSD 64 (Emergency Evacuation). Some out of pocket expenses may be reimbursed based on receipts due to the requirement of vacating the University campus. Your support unit is required to submit your request to the Director of Compensation and Benefits Administration for further analysis and adjudication.
My dependants have been evacuated under the provisions in Foreign Service Directive 64 (Emergency Evacuation) and are currently living with family in Canada. Will my Foreign Service Premium (FSP) allowance be impacted due to their departure from the post?
Yes, Foreign Service Premium (FSP), will be adjusted commencing on the 26th compensation day of the absence of your dependants. FSP will resume the first compensation day following the return of the dependants at the post.
Authority is being sought to cover expenses for dependant children to travel to the nearest family member (or caregiver) in Canada as a result of end of shelter assistance benefit or end/expiration of current lease. You should retain any receipts related to provision of shelter or temporary residence for your dependants who are required to remain in Canada.
I was on deployment and due to COVID-19, I was relocated and required to come back to Canada. I have taken my special mission leave and I am currently awaiting instruction to redeploy or cease mission. Will my Operations Foreign Service Premium (Ops FSP) be impacted as I have departed the mission?
Yes, your Ops FSP will be ceased commencing on the 26th compensation day of your departure from mission. In the event that you are not returning, it will be ceased the first day following your departure from the mission.
Are Canadian Armed Forces members getting paid?
The Canadian Armed Forces have implemented the necessary measures to ensure that pay of CAF Regular Force members’ pay will continue uninterrupted.
Are Reserve Force members getting paid?
Reserve Force members on valid Class B and Class C contracts continue to be paid.
Pay and Allowances
I am a Class A reservist. Am I going to continue being paid?
Yes, Class A Reservists who are conducting authorized military duties at home will continue to be paid for regularly scheduled pre-COVID-19 training activities until 18 May 2020.
Ref: Chief of the Defence Staff Tasking Order 002 Op LASER 20-01 Dated 03 April 2020
I am a Class A reservist. Am I eligible to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or the Canada Emergency Student Benefit?
If you are a Class A member conducting authorized military duties at home and in receipt of Class A pay, you may not be eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or the Canada Emergency Student Benefit. If your cumulative income from all employment sources is greater than $1,000.00 within the calendar month, your eligibility to receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or the Canada Emergency Student Benefit may be affected. You should consider your personal circumstances and decide if it is appropriate for you to continue your Class A service during COVID-19 precautions. If you elect not to serve on any Class A service, you are to notify your chain of command. Any such election will not, under the current circumstances, result in you being considered Non-Effective Strength.
I am a Reserve Force member deployed in support of Op LASER. What type of allowances am I entitled to?
When the environmental factors warrant it, reservists may be entitled to Land or Sea Duty Allowance (casual). These allowances are being provided in order to compensate for sporadic exposure to the environmental conditions associated with employment on operations and related training.
Op LASER Class C Contract
I am a Class B reservist who is looking to elect a Class C contract in support of Op LASER. What do I need to do?
If you are a Class B reservist and you would like to voluntarily seek to move to Class C service in support of Op LASER, you must reach out to your chain of command.
I am a Class B reservist who elected a Class C contract. What do I need to know?
If you are a Class B reservist who was selected for Class C service in support of Op LASER, you will not be required to conduct medical and dental exams and the force test in advance of this particular employment. This adjustment to pre-requisites applies to Operation LASER 2020 employment only.
As a Class C reservist, you will automatically become participants in the Supplementary Death Benefit plan and you will be, as a Class C Reservist, subject to the Code of Service Discipline 24/7, on or off duty, for the duration of your time on Class C contract
I am a Class C reservist. What happens if I become injured or ill?
If a declaration of Op LASER as a Special Duty Operation is made, and you suffer an injury or illness while serving on Class C service in this special duty operation, you may have that service extended.
Ref: CBI 210.72
I am a Reserve Force member whose contract has just been extended or who just elected a new contract. Am I eligible to the Public Service Health Care Plan? What should I do?
Reserve Force participation in the Public Service Health Care Plan depends on the member’s class and length of service. Consequently, if you are extending or commencing a period of Class C or Class B (181 days or more) service, you should ensure that you continue or start coverage. Read CANFORGEN 059/20 for additional direction that is specific to your circumstances.
I am a Reserve Force member. Am I eligible to the Reserve Dental Care Plan? Are my dependants eligible to the Dependants Dental Care Plan?
Reserve Force participation in the Reserve Dental Care Plan and their dependants’ eligibility to the Dependants Dental Care Plan depends on the member’s class and length of service. For more information on eligibility, please read CANFORGEN 059/20.
Supporting Remote Work and Equipping Defence Team Members Questions and Answers
What to do if a Defence Team (DT) member is not equipped to work remotely?
DT members should have a discussion with their manager regarding their current remote work set up and what their needs are. Managers need to ensure DT members are working safely and effectively.
- If DT members need IT equipment, this is to come from DND’s current internal inventory or should be procured for them through regular means.
- If DT members require ergonomic or support equipment/supplies, they should be allowed access to the workplace to pick up their own equipment from their office space, where feasible.
- As per OCHRO guidance, if any DT members requires additional equipment it could be purchased through established standing offers and have it delivered to the members remote work site. This equipment will remain DND assets.
Should all DT members, irrespective of tenure be equipped the same?
All Defence Team members’ should be equipped appropriately for safe work if they are being directed to work remotely (irrespective of employment status as indeterminate, term, casual or student), after careful consideration of each case, including:
- when the DT member is expected to return to the worksite;
- whether the DT member is on full-time leave, including “other paid leave (699)”; and,
- specific operational requirements (e.g., outdoor work, laboratory settings, etc.)
Are DT members required to complete a Flexible Work Agreement if working remotely?
The Civilian Flexible Work Program, in conjunction with applicable collective agreements, allows managers, when feasible, to authorize civilian employees to alter, on a temporary or permanent basis the following:
- their work schedule;
- the number of hours they work;
- the location in which they work; or
- take leave to meet personal and family responsibilities.
As per the joint direction from the Deputy Minister and Chief of the Defence Staff, the Assistant Deputy Minister (Human Resources-Civilian) (ADM [HR-Civ]) has issued a directive to managers on managing a varied and flexible civilian workforce. You may have heard similar programs being called telework or alternate work arrangement in the past. This program incorporates all flexible options and includes the introduction of a mandatory agreement form for all civilian employees.
Should DND be equipping contractors?
No, equipping contractors may create an employer-employee relationship or financial management concerns. There may, however, be certain circumstances in which a contractor requires departmental equipment in order to fulfill the terms of their contract (e.g., use of a departmental device to access a departmental network). This should be provided in accordance with the terms of the contract and applicable policies.
Does DND still have a duty to accommodate DT members working remotely?
Yes. Each DT member’s case must be examined on its own merits.
- Managers are responsible for creating and offer conditions that allow their DT members to succeed in their jobs, which means providing them with the necessary tools and support measures to mitigate or eliminate barriers.
- When barriers cannot be removed, DT members must be accommodated up to the point of undue hardship, taking into consideration issues of health, safety and cost.
- Managers and DT members must explore and consider every possible option to accommodate DT members’ needs.
- If it is not possible to accommodate given safety and cost permitted the DT member could be required to return to the workplace to work.
How do managers track equipment DT members have removed from the workplace?
Within the NCR, DT members must complete a DND 638 (http://dfc-rfd.mil.ca/en) and submit the form to DIMEUS. Outside the NCR each unit will have a person responsible for the IT and support equipment and DT members must ensure they do the appropriate documentation/form for their unit.
How can managers and DT members ensure their remote work site is set up ergonomically to ensure they are working safely?
Virtual ergonomic assessment available in the NCR through CBI Workplace Solutions. In the regions do the Self-Assessment Checklist and read the Aide Memoire. You may also speak to your Safety Officer if you have concerns. If it is not possible to accommodate the person’s ergonomic needs cost effectively the DT member may need to return to the workplace to work.
If DT members have purchased equipment, tools or office supplies between 13 March and 15 September how will they get these out of pocket expenses reimbursed?
Defence Team members should follow the procedure laid out in the remote work reimbursement support message.
What type of out of pocket expenses can be reimbursed?
RC Managers have the discretion to determine what should be reimbursed for Defence Team members with receipts up to $300 for out of pocket expenses from 13 March to 15 September 2020. Up to $500 may be approved in extenuating circumstances, with L1 approval and accountability to the Deputy Minister/Chief of Defence Staff
If DT members are reimbursed for out of pocket expenses does this equipment belong to DND?
No, any equipment or supplies reimbursed by DND will not be DND property.
Should managers sign the CRA Form T2200 for a DT member working remotely?
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Revenu Québec are reviewing the implications to tax exemptions in the context of the pandemic response and equipping DT members working remotely. Once CRA has finalized their guidance on the use of the Form T2200, Declaration of Conditions of Employment, TBS will provide guidance on claiming other expenses incurred by DT members while working remotely, which may include utility costs.
How and who will determine what extenuating circumstances would be required for managers to reimburse utilities such as electricity, internet or phone expenses?
The Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer is awaiting further guidance from CRA prior to issuing guidance on this.
How and who will determine what extenuating circumstances would be required for DT members to receive up to $500 for reimbursement for out of pocket expenses incurred between March 13, 2020 and September 15, 2020?
L1 approval will be required for DT members to be reimbursed $301-$500. L1’s will be accountable to the DM/CDS. This higher level of reimbursement would require extenuating circumstances, for example a duty to accommodate requirement for a DT member to be capable of doing their duties remotely or operational reasons for employees to have completed their critical duties during BCP.
How will an L1 determine what extenuating circumstances need to exist to approve reimbursement of IT equipment?
IT equipment should be already assigned, come from existing DND inventory, or be procured by DND in the routine manner. Reimbursing DT members for IT equipment would require extenuating circumstances, for example a duty to accommodate requirement for a DT member to be capable of doing their duties remotely or operational reasons for employees to have completed their critical duties during BCP
Following 15 September, how will DT members get the equipment, tools, and supplies they require to work remotely?
If DT members need IT equipment this is to come from current inventory or should be procured for them through regular means. If DT members require small ergonomic or support equipment/supplies they should be allowed access to the workplace to pick up their own equipment from their desk. As per OCHRO guidance, if the DT member requires additional equipment it could be purchased through established standing offers and have it delivered to the members remote work site. This equipment will remain DND assets and will not be a taxable benefit.
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