# 2014-093 - Duty Status
F&R Date: 2014–12–23
The grievor was seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident while driving her child to daycare before proceeding to her workplace. Upon completion of a summary investigation (SI), the Director of Casualty Support and Administration (DCSA) ultimately concluded that the grievor was not on duty at the time of the accident, contrary to the SI finding, and that her injuries were not attributable to military service.
The grievor disputed DCSA's conclusions, explaining that her service spouse normally drove their child to the daycare, but on the morning of the accident he was required to attend pre-deployment training and so she had requested and been given permission to report for work late in order to carry out this responsibility. She contended that at the time of the accident, she was fulfilling a military duty by executing her family care plan (FCP).
The Initial Authority, the Chief of Military Personnel, denied the grievance, finding that the grievor's request to report to work late on that day was a routine circumstance which did not require invoking her FCP.
The Committee had to determine whether the grievor was on duty at the time of her motor vehicle accident and whether her injuries were attributable to military service.
The Committee acknowledged that the grievor and her service spouse were serving in high readiness units and had chosen to use their FCPs not only to prepare for unexpected duty absences, but also to address normal daily childcare requirements. The Committee noted that it was open to the grievor to design and use her FCP in the manner best fitting her needs, and that this was her personal choice. The Committee explained that the grievor's claim to have been on duty relied not on how she designed and used her FCP but on whether she was ordered by military authorities to use it on the day of her accident. In this regard the Committee noted that there was no evidence to suggest that she was ever ordered to activate her FCP.
The Committee then observed that it was the spouse who was required to attend the pre-deployment training; therefore, even if a FCP had been activated, it would have been his, not hers. The Committee concluded that the couple handled their normal parental duties just as other Canadians would, and that they could have identified anyone they wished to be caregiver on that day. The Committee found that the CAF had no involvement in this decision and, therefore, that the grievor's decision to drive her child to the daycare the morning of the accident was not the result of a military order.
Finally, the Committee explained the concept of being on duty, noting that while members of the Regular Force serve 24/7, and are liable for duty at all times, they are not actually on duty 24/7.
As to whether the grievor's injuries were attributable to military service, the Committee applied the test laid out by the Federal Court and found that the grievor's activity on the morning of the accident was not a result of the military FCP policy seeking to promote deployability. Given that the activity required in the context of the FCP policy was to prepare and declare an FCP, the Committee concluded that there was no causal link between the grievor's injuries and her military service.
The Committee recommended that the grievance be denied.
CDS Decision Summary
CDS Decision Date: 2015–04–16
The CDS agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation to deny the grievance.
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