# 2013-115 - Breach of Contract/Promise, Recruitment Allowance

Breach of Contract/Promise, Recruitment Allowance

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2014–01–27

The grievor complained of the refusal of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to pay him the recruiting allowance he was promised during the enrolment process on the condition that he complete his basic training and start his occupational training.

The Initial Authority (IA) determined that the grievance had been filed after the six-month deadline provided for in the policies. However, in the interests of justice, she completed an analysis of the case. The IA indicated that the grievor's occupation was not eligible for a recruiting allowance and that she was unable to explain why the recruiting officer had made the grievor such an offer. The IA denied the grievance, concluding that the grievor had received all the benefits and credits to which he was entitled.

The Committee determined that the CAF had erroneously drafted a written agreement under which the grievor would have received a recruiting allowance on completion of his training, on the condition that he serve for a minimum period of time. The Committee noted that the grievor's occupation did not appear in the Compensation and Benefits Instructions or in the CANFORGEN in effect at the time he enroled. Consequently, the Committee found that the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) could not grant him the promised recruiting allowance.

However, the Commitee examined the principles of law and determined that the CAF should be required to respect the commitments that were promised to induce civilians to enrol. The Committee therefore found that the CAF's position, according to which existing case law exonerated them from any civil or contractual responsibility vis-à-vis their members, did not apply to cases involving civilians going through the enrolment process.

The Committee also found that the issue of civil responsiblity for the CAF did not fall under the authority of the CDS. The Committee determined that cases involving claims against the Crown should be referred to the Director Claims and Civil Litigation (DCCL).

In such cases, the Committee determined that the role of the grievance process should be to examine the position of the grievors and that of the CAF in light of the applicable policies. When it is determined that a member's claim appears to have merit, and that the CAF may be required to pay compensation, the file should be sent to the DCCL with the recommendation of the CDS.

The Committee recommended that the CDS acknowledge the mistake made by the CAF during the grievor's enrolment process and that he forward the file with his recommendation to the DCCL.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2015–07–06

The CDS agrees with the Committee that the grievor was aggrieved, but he does not support the Committee's conclusion that a breach of contract occurred. The CDS recognizes that a mistake was made by the CAF when a clerk erroneously offered the grievor an RA during his enrolment, but he does not agree with the Committee's recommendation to refer the grievance to the DCCL.

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