ARCHIVED - QR&O: Volume I - Chapter 7 Grievances (Historical Version: 18 October 2013 to 31 May 2014)

Alternate Formats

Amendment List:

  • 18 October 2013 – amended article: 7.11
  • 18 October 2013 – amended article: 7.12
  • 18 October 2013 – amended notes A and B: 7.12
  • 18 October 2013 – replaced article: 7.13
  • 18 October 2013 – amended article: 7.14
  • 18 October 2013 – amended article: 7.18

History:

The Volume I Chapter 7: Grievances replaces this content.

Section 1 - General

7.01 - RIGHT TO GRIEVE

(1) Subsections 29(1) and (2) of the National Defence Act provide:

"29. (1) An officer or non-commissioned member who has been aggrieved by any decision, act or omission in the administration of the affairs of the Canadian Forces for which no other process for redress is provided under this Act is entitled to submit a grievance.

(2) There is no right to grieve in respect of

  1. a decision of a court martial or the Court Martial Appeal Court;
  2. a decision of a board, commission, court or tribunal established other than under this Act; or
  3. a matter or case prescribed by the Governor in Council in regulations."

(2) There is no right to grieve in respect of a decision made under the Code of Service Discipline.

(3) The right to grieve does not preclude a member from making an oral complaint to the commanding officer prior to submitting a grievance.

(G) [P.C. 2000-863 effective 15 June 2000]

NOTES

(A) Subsection 29(4) of the National Defence Act states that a member may not be penalized for exercising the right to submit a grievance.

(B) Subsection 29(5) of the National Defence Act states that any error discovered as the result of an investigation of a grievance may be corrected even if correction of the error would have an adverse effect on the member.

(C) [15 June 2000]

7.02 - TIME LIMIT

(1) A grievance must be submitted within six months after the day that the member knew or ought reasonably to have known of the decision, act or omission in respect of which the grievance is submitted.

(2) A member who submits a grievance after the expiration of the period referred to in paragraph (1) must submit reasons for the delay.

(3) An initial authority may consider a grievance that is submitted after the expiration of the period if the initial authority is satisfied that to do so would be in the interests of justice. An initial authority who is not satisfied shall provide reasons in writing to the member.

(G) [P.C. 2000-863 effective 15 June 2000]

NOTES

(A) Where a member is deployed on an operation and the six-month time limit expires during the operation, an initial authority should normally be satisfied, where preparation and submission of the grievance by the member during the operation were not reasonably possible, that the submission of the grievance within a reasonable period of time after return from the operation would be in the interests of justice.

(B) The former grievance regulations provided a time limit of one year. This same time limit applies if the date that the most recent act or omission on which the complaint is based occurred, or the date that the member knew or ought reasonably to have known the facts upon which the complaint is based took place, was prior to 15 June 2000.

(C) [15 June 2000]

7.03 - ASSISTANCE

(1) Where a member requests assistance in the preparation of a grievance, the commanding officer shall detail an officer or non-commissioned member to assist in its preparation.

(2) Where practical, the officer or non-commissioned member detailed shall be the officer or non-commissioned member requested by the grievor.

(G) [P.C. 2000-863 effective 15 June 2000]

7.04 - SUBMISSION TO COMMANDING OFFICER

(1) A grievance must be in writing, signed by the grievor and submitted to the grievor's commanding officer.

(2) A grievance must include:

  1. a brief description of the decision, act or omission that is the subject of the grievance, including any facts known to the grievor;
  2. a request for determination and the redress sought;
  3. if a person can substantiate the grievance, a statement in writing from that person; and
  4. a copy of any relevant document in the possession of the grievor.

(3) A grievance may not be submitted jointly with any other member.

(4) A grievance must not contain language or comments that are insubordinate or otherwise constitute a breach of discipline, unless the language or comments are necessary to state the grievance.

(G) [P.C. 2000-863 effective 15 June 2000]

7.05 - DUTIES OF COMMANDING OFFICER

(1) A commanding officer to whom a grievance is submitted shall examine the grievance and determine whether the commanding officer is able to act as the initial authority in respect of the grievance.

(2) If the commanding officer is not able to act as the initial authority, the commanding officer shall:

  1. forward the grievance within 10 days of receipt to the initial authority;
  2. forward any additional information to the initial authority that the commanding officer considers relevant to the grievance; and
  3. inform the grievor of the action taken and, where applicable, provide the grievor with a copy of any additional information forwarded to the initial authority.

(G) [P.C. 2000-863 effective 15 June 2000]


Section 2 - Initial Grievance Authority

7.06 - WHO MAY ACT AS INITIAL GRIEVANCE AUTHORITY

(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the initial authority who may consider and determine a grievance is:

  1. the commanding officer of the grievor if the commanding officer can grant the redress sought; or
  2. the commander, or officer holding the appointment of Director General or above at National Defence Headquarters, who is responsible to deal with the matter that is the subject of the grievance.

(2) If the grievance relates to a personal decision, act or omission of an officer who is the initial authority, the officer shall refer the grievance to the next superior officer having the responsibility to deal with the matter that is the subject of the grievance and that officer shall act as the initial authority.

(G) [P.C. 2000-863 effective 15 June 2000]

7.07 - DUTIES OF INITIAL GRIEVANCE AUTHORITY

(1) Upon receipt of a grievance the initial authority shall, within 60 days:

  1. consider and determine the grievance;
  2. advise the grievor in writing, through the commanding officer if the initial authority is not the commanding officer, of:
    1. the determination and the reasons for it; and
    2. where applicable, the grievor's entitlement to submit the grievance to the Chief of the Defence Staff;
  3. return any documents or things submitted by the grievor if requested to do so; and
  4. maintain a record of the grievance, including the determination made and any action taken.

(2) Where an initial authority other than the Chief of the Defence Staff does not determine a grievance within the period required under paragraph (1), the grievor may request that the initial authority submit the grievance to the Chief of the Defence Staff for consideration and determination.

(3) Where the Chief of the Defence Staff is the initial authority, the time limit under paragraph (1) does not apply.

(G) [P.C. 2000-863 effective 15 June 2000]


Section 3 - Final Grievance Authority

7.08 - CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE STAFF

Section 29.11 of the National Defence Act provides:

"29.11 The Chief of the Defence Staff is the final authority in the grievance process."

(G) [P.C. 2000-863 effective 15 June 2000]

7.09 - DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY

Section 29.14 of the National Defence Act provides:

"29.14 The Chief of the Defence Staff may delegate to any officer any of the Chief of the Defence Staff's powers, duties or functions as final authority in the grievance process, except

  1. the duty to act as final authority in respect of a grievance that must be referred to the Grievance Board; and
  2. the power to delegate under this section."

(G) [P.C. 2000-863 effective 15 June 2000]

NOTE

The Chief of the Defence Staff has delegated the powers, duties and functions of final authority under section 29.14 of the National Defence Act to the officer appointed to the position of Canadian Forces Grievance Adjudicator, except in respect of any grievance submitted in respect of any decision, act or omission of the officer or any grievance determined by the officer as an initial authority in the grievance process.

(C) [15 June 2000]

7.10 - SUBMISSION TO CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE STAFF

(1) Where a member has submitted a grievance under article 7.01 (Right to Grieve) and the decision of the initial authority does not afford the redress that, in the opinion of the member, is warranted, the member may submit the grievance to the Chief of the Defence Staff for consideration and determination.

(2) The grievance must be in writing, signed by the grievor and submitted to the Chief of the Defence Staff within 90 days of receipt by the grievor of the determination of the initial authority.

(3) A member who submits a grievance after the expiration of the period referred to in paragraph (2) must submit reasons for the delay.

(4) The Chief of the Defence Staff or an officer to whom final authority has been delegated may consider a grievance that is submitted after the expiration of the period referred to in paragraph (2) if satisfied that it would be in the interests of justice to do so. If not satisfied, the Chief of the Defence Staff, or the officer to whom final authority has been delegated, shall provide reasons in writing to the grievor.

(G) [P.C. 2000-863 effective 15 June 2000]

7.11 - DUTIES WHERE GRIEVANCE NOT REFERRED TO GRIEVANCES COMMITTEE

Where the grievance is not of a type that must be referred to the Grievances Committee pursuant to article 7.12 (Referral to Grievances Committee), the Chief of the Defence Staff or the officer to whom final authority has been delegated shall:

  1. consider and determine the grievance;
  2. advise the grievor in writing through the commanding officer of the determination and the reasons for it;
  3. return any documents or things submitted by the grievor if requested to do so; and
  4. maintain a record of the grievance, including the determination made and any action taken.

(G) [P.C. 2000-863 effective 15 June 2000; P.C. 2013-1068 effective 18 October 2013 – heading, portion before (a)]

7.12 - REFERRAL TO GRIEVANCES COMMITTEE

(1) The Chief of the Defence Staff shall refer to the Grievances Committee any grievance relating to the following matters:

  1. administrative action resulting in the forfeiture of, or deductions from, pay and allowances, reversion to a lower rank or release from the Canadian Forces;
  2. the application or interpretation of Canadian Forces policies relating to expression of personal opinions, political activities and candidature for office, civil employment, conflict of interest and post-employment compliance measures, harassment or racist conduct;
  3. pay, allowances and other financial benefits; and
  4. the entitlement to medical care or dental treatment.

(2) The Chief of the Defence Staff shall refer every grievance concerning a decision or an act of the Chief of the Defence Staff in respect of a particular officer or non-commissioned member to the Grievances Committee for its findings and recommendations.

(G) [P.C. 2000-863 effective 15 June 2000; P.C. 2013-1068 effective 18 October 2013 – heading, portion before (1)(a), and (2)]

NOTES

(A) Pursuant to subsection 29.12(1) of the National Defence Act, the Chief of the Defence Staff may refer a grievance other than one prescribed in article 7.12 to the Grievances Committee. The Chief of the Defence Staff's decision under subsection 29.12(1) is a discretionary one. There is no right to have a grievance that is not of a type prescribed by article 7.12 referred to the Grievances Committee. The factors assessed by the Chief of the Defence Staff in determining whether or not to exercise the discretion to refer any other grievance to the Grievances Committee would include the benefit to be obtained from having the grievance reviewed externally and the capacity of the Grievances Committee to investigate independently and make findings.

(B) Subsection 29.12(2) of the National Defence Act provides that, where a grievance is referred to the Grievances Committee, the Committee shall be provided with a copy of:

  1. the written submissions made to each authority in the grievance process by the officer or non-commissioned member presenting the grievance;
  2. the decision made by each authority in respect of the grievance; and
  3. any other information under the control of the Canadian Forces that is relevant to the grievance.

(C) [15 June 2000; 18 October 2013]

7.13 - DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS OF GRIEVANCES COMMITTEE

Subsection 29.2(1) of the National Defence Act provides:

"29.2(1) The Grievances Committee shall review every grievance referred to it by the Chief of the Defence Staff and provide its findings and recommendations in writing to the Chief of the Defence Staff and the officer or non-commissioned member who submitted the grievance."

(C) [18 October 2013]

7.14 - ACTION AFTER GRIEVANCES COMMITTEE REVIEW

(1) After receiving the findings and recommendations of the Grievances Committee, the Chief of the Defence Staff shall:

  1. consider and determine the grievance;
  2. advise in writing the grievor, through the commanding officer, and the Grievances Committee of the determination and the reasons for it;
  3. return any documents or things submitted by the grievor if requested to do so; and
  4. maintain a record of the grievance, including the determination made and any action taken.

(2) Section 29.13 of the National Defence Act provides:

"29.13 (1) The Chief of the Defence Staff is not bound by any finding or recommendation of the Grievances Committee.

(2) If the Chief of the Defence Staff does not act on a finding or recommendation of the Grievances Committee, the Chief of the Defence Staff shall include the reasons for not having done so in the decision respecting the disposition of the grievance."

(G) [P.C. 2000-863 effective 15 June 2000; P.C. 2013-1068 effective 18 October 2013 – heading, portion before (1)(a), and (1)(b)]


Section 4 - Miscellaneous

7.15 - INFORMAL RESOLUTION

If an initial or final authority proposes to resolve the grievance of a grievor and the grievor accepts the proposal as full satisfaction of the grievance, the member has no further right to submit a grievance concerning the decision, act or omission once the proposal is implemented.

(G) [P.C. 2000-863 effective 15 June 2000]

7.16 - SUSPENSION OF GRIEVANCE

(1) An initial or final authority in receipt of a grievance submitted by a member shall suspend any action in respect of the grievance if the grievor initiates an action, claim or complaint under an Act of Parliament, other than the National Defence Act, in respect of the matter giving rise to the grievance.

(2) The initial or final authority shall resume consideration of the grievance if the other action, claim or complaint has been discontinued or abandoned prior to a decision on the merits and the authority has received notice to this effect.

(G) [P.C. 2000-863 effective 15 June 2000]

NOTE

A member retains the right to grieve where a grievance has been suspended under paragraph (1) of this article.

(C) [15 June 2000]

7.17 - NEW FACTS

(1) If a member submitting a grievance to the final authority presents new facts that were unknown or could not reasonably have been known to the member at the time that the grievance was submitted to the initial authority, the consideration of the grievance by the final authority may be stayed and the grievance may be referred to the initial authority for reconsideration and determination.

(2) If a grievance is referred to the initial authority for reconsideration, the initial authority shall reconsider the grievance and confirm, amend or rescind the initial determination.

(3) If a determination made by the initial authority is confirmed, amended or rescinded, the member may resubmit the grievance to the final authority.

(G) [P.C. 2000-863 effective 15 June 2000]

7.18 - TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

(1) A grievance that has been submitted for determination by a commanding officer prior to 15 June 2000 but not yet determined by that officer shall be dealt with in accordance with article 7.05 (Duties of Commanding Officer).

(2) A grievance that has been submitted for determination by an officer commanding a formation or an officer commanding a command prior to 15 June 2000 but not yet determined by that officer shall be referred:

  1. if the grievance has been considered and determined by an officer who would have been an initial authority under article 7.06 (Who May Act as Initial Grievance Authority), to the Chief of the Defence Staff; or
  2. if the grievance has not been considered and determined by an officer who would have been an initial authority under article 7.06, to an officer who is an initial authority.

(3) A grievance that has been submitted to the Chief of the Defence Staff prior to 15 June 2000 but not yet determined by the Chief of the Defence Staff, shall:

  1. if it is a grievance of a type prescribed in article 7.12 (Referral to Grievances Committee), be referred to the Grievances Committee; or
  2. if not a grievance of a type prescribed in article 7.12, be determined personally by the Chief of the Defence Staff and not delegated pursuant to article 7.09 (Delegation of Authority).

(4) Nothing in this chapter affects any right that a member had prior to 15 June 2000 to have a grievance adjudicated by the Minister, if the grievance has been considered and determined by the Chief of the Defence Staff prior to 15 June 2000 and the member has submitted the grievance in writing to the Minister within 90 days of the response of the Chief of the Defence Staff.

(G) [P.C. 2000-863 effective 15 June 2000; P.C. 2013-1068 effective 18 October 2013 – (3)(a)]

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