Clarification on entitlements for compensation and leave as a result of COVID-19 for the Canadian Armed Forces

April 15, 2020 - Defence Stories

Following the initiation of Op LASER, the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) has issued direction to ensure Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) operational effectiveness.

The CDS has issued direction regarding travel restrictions, cancellation or restriction of leave, the potential repatriation of members and/or their dependents from overseas locations, and delays in Active Posting Season (APS) routines and timings. He has also ordered that most schools and academic institutions be closed and courses cancelled. These measures were taken to ensure a heathy force so that assigned missions and key functions that cannot stop be conducted safely.

We understand that many members have questions about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on their compensation and leave entitlements. In an effort to provide clarity, the Compensation and Leave Entitlements CANFORGEN was issued and provides, among others, the following clarifications:

Expenses tied to Cancelled Leave or Recall from Leave

Members with an approved leave pass who had their leave cancelled, or were recalled from leave, may be entitled to a reimbursement of transportation expenses for both the member and their dependants. Claimable expenses are those resulting from the breaking of contractual arrangements or cancellation fees. These include the cancellation fee for a cruise, all-expense paid resort, airline tickets, or hotel bookings, if levied a cancellation fee. Similar entitlements are in place for members who have incurred expenses as a result of changes to leave or travel arrangements due to operational requirements. Leave travel cancellation or recall to duty claims can be authorized by unit commanding officers and must be finalized by 31 March 2021. 

Relocation

House Hunting Trips

CAF members on house hunting trips who experienced delays or cancellation of their return travel due to government or airline cancellations will be entitled to reimbursement for the additional expenses incurred. These claimable items include meals, lodgings, incidentals, and car rental expenses.

Interim Lodgings, Meals and Miscellaneous Expenses (ILM&M)

Extensions to Interim Lodging, Meals and Miscellaneous beyond basic entitlement will be reimbursed upon approval of the appropriate authority. The Director of Compensation and Benefits Administration (DCBA) will seek higher approval for reimbursement of 100%.

Other Relocation Expenses

Other expenses incurred by members as a result of relocation or the cancellation of a posting should be directed to DCBA through the members’ chain of command.

Pay

Regular Force members and Reserve Force members on Class B and C contracts will continue to receive their pay uninterrupted. Units will follow the temporary Class A procedure for Class A reservists.  

Anyone experiencing pay issues should report this immediately through their respective administration teams.

Additional information with regards to expense entitlements as a result of COVID-19 related travel restrictions and/or operational requirements, can be found in the CANFORGEN.

Any CAF member who has incurred travel costs not specified in the CANFORGEN should direct their request through their chain of command to the Directorate of Compensation and Benefits Administration (DCBA) for approval, where any and all reasonable expenses will be considered. Because the current operational tempo requires an adjusted and more rapid response, DCBA will expedite decisions and approval by email.

If you have other questions, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.

All other queries regarding reimbursement should be directed to the Chief of Military Personnel Administrative Response Centre (ARC) at CMPARC.CRACPM@forces.gc.ca, or toll-free at 1-833-445-1182. The ARC will be in a position to further queries to the Director Compensation Benefits Administration (DCBA) for answers.

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