# 2014-069 - Separation Expense (SE)

Separation Expense (SE)

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2014–08–11

The grievor transferred from the Regular Force to the Reserve Force in order to accept a three-year Class “B” offer of employment. He was denied an extension to the Separation Expense (SE) benefit for a period of Class “B” Reserve Service. He argued that he accepted the offer based on an understanding with the unit's hiring committee in which he was promised 36 months of SE benefits. The payment of SE benefit ceased for all those on Class “B” Reserve Service when the Director General Compensation and Benefits determined that the Treasury Board (TB) had never provided such authority for this group. The TB eventually approved it effective 1 February 2011. The grievor sought the SE benefit for the interim period during which no SE benefits were allowed. The grievor claimed to have suffered financial harm as a result of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) maladministration of his SE entitlement and alleged that he was the victim of negligent misrepresentation. The Committee had to determine whether the decision to deny SE benefits to the grievor for the period in question was in accordance with policy and regulations.

The Initial Authority acknowledged that errors had been made in the administration of the SE benefit for a period of time, which had affected the grievor. The IA pointed out that the SE benefit was authorized at the beginning of the grievor's Class “B” Reserve Service, for a period of one year subject to a yearly review, which was known to the grievor at that time. The IA noted that, once TB authorized the SE benefits for members on Class “B” Reserve Service, the grievor was compensated accordingly. The IA denied the grievance as the grievor had no entitlement to the SE benefit prior to 1 February 2011.

The Committee referred to CANFORGEN 145/05 which authorized IR status and the SE benefit for Class “B” Reserve Service contrary to the TB approved Compensation and Benefits Instruction (CBI) 209.997 and determined that the grievor had no entitlement to the SE benefit while on Class “B” Reserve Service prior to 1 February 2011. As well, the Committee found that the grievor was not “posted to a new place of duty” when he transferred from the Regular Force to the Reserve Force and therefore had not fulfilled the requirement of CBI 209.997(2)(1). In the Committee's view, the grievor should not have received any SE benefit upon his transfer from the Regular Force and that his entitlement to SE after 1 February 2011 was also questionable.

The Committee found that the grievor could not have reasonably formed an expectation that the SE benefit had been approved for a three-year period as it required a yearly review. Therefore, the test for negligent misrepresentation was not met.

Regarding maladministration, the Committee found that the CAF did in fact improperly administer the SE benefit in the grievor's case. However, the proper remedy was afforded by the CAF's decision not to recover the benefits paid in error. The Committee found that the CAF acted responsibly in the handling of the issue.

The Committee determined that the grievor had not been aggrieved.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2016–01–06

Case withdrawn at Final Authority level.

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