# 2009-024 - Accuracy of Information by Recruiters, CDS' Authority to Award Financial Compensation, Negligent...

Accuracy of Information by Recruiters, CDS' Authority to Award Financial Compensation, Negligent Misrepresentation, Recruitment Allowance

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2010–02–24

The grievor contested the fact that he was promised a recruitment allowance (RA) that he did not receive.

In 1999, the grievor enrolled in the Regular Force (Reg F), and in 2003, he became a member of the Supplementary Reserve (Supp Res). The grievor then graduated from a civilian college in Police Foundations.

In 2007, the grievor applied for re-enrolment in the Reg F. He was told that due to his qualifications, and the fact that the Intelligence Operations trade was under-strength, he could obtain a RA of $20,000. The grievor's enrolment/transfer posting (ETP) instruction message confirmed that he was eligible for a RA.

After his enrolment, the grievor was paid only $5,000 while the amount of RA he was to receive was confirmed. Due to this confirmation, the grievor's ETP instruction was amended, confirming that he was not eligible to receive an RA. The grievor had to repay the $5,000 that he had received in error. The grievor claimed that the Canadian Forces (CF) had breached their contract with him, and that the repayment of the RA would put him into financial distress.

The initial authority concluded that the grievor had been treated in accordance with approved policies, and that the grievor would only have been eligible for a RA if he had been deemed military occupation qualified (MOQ).

The Board found that there was not sufficient evidence on file to determine whether the grievor was MOQ at the time of his enrolment, and therefore found that the grievor was not eligible for the RA. However, the Board found that the grievor had agreed to re-enroll on the basis of the promise of a substantial allowance, made by the recuiting centre in error. As a result, the Board found that the grievor's case appeared to meet all the conditions for negligent misrepresentation. The CF had an overwhelming moral obligation to provide relief to the grievor.

Further, the Board found that the grievor's agreement to re-enroll,as a result of the promise of obtaining a RA, constituted an enforceable arrangement of a contractual nature between the grievor and the Crown and, therefore, in simple fairness the CF ought to provide relief.

The Board recommended that the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) deny the grievance because the grievor did not meet the requirements for the RA.

The Board recommended that the CDS take any steps within his authority to ensure that the grievor receives an amount equivalent to the full value of the RA promised him as a civilian as an inducement to enroll. Alternatively, if that is not possible, the Board reccommended that the CDS refer the file to the Director Claims and Civil Litigation with a request that a fair financial settlement be negotiated with the grievor.

Systemic Recommendation

The Board was concerned with the number of cases such as this one that have been received at the Board. The Board confirmed its previous position that new recruits are entitled to expect accurate and complete information from recruiting centres, and that the CF has a moral obligation to provide relief to those who have been prejudiced by their reliance on erroneous information.

The Board recommended that the CDS direct that a message be sent to all recruiting centres to remind them of the importance of diligence in presenting accurate offers to potential recruits and that this be followed up to ensure that the recruiting process is as efficient and consistent as possible. The Board also recommended that the CDS direct an amendment to the enrolment form to ensure that it includes clear and specific information regarding pay and any other recruitment benefits, thus allowing applicants to make fully informed decisions.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2011–03–02

The CDS agreed with the Board's findings and its recommendation that the grievance be denied. The CDS reiterated the facts which lead to the conclusion that in this particular case, negligent misrepresentation had occurred. Particularly, the CDS found that the recruiting authorities provided that grievor with inaccurate information on the RA, while they had access to the correct rules and policies that clearly indicated that the grievor did not qualify for the RA. The CDS agreed with the Board's systemic recommendation that the CF must do more to ensure this type of situation from reoccuring, and he directed CFRG Headquarters to follow up on its recent change and to review the Board's comments to ensure they implement whatever measures are possible to avoid such occurrences in the future.

The CDS strongly agreed that the CF has a moral obligation to provide the grievor with a measure of relief, but since he had no authority to settle potential claims against the Crown, the CDS forwarded the grievor's file to the DCCL for review with his strong support. In the meantime, the CDS decided not to address the Board's systemic recommendation regarding the issue of his authority to award financial compensation, since it is currently under review at the highest levels of the department and the CF.

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