# 2014-102 - Home Leave Travel Assistance (HLTA), Post Combat Reintegration Allowance

Home Leave Travel Assistance (HLTA), Post Combat Reintegration Allowance

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2014–12–29

The grievor was attach posted to the Canadian Contribution Training Mission – Afghanistan (CCTM-A) on Operation ATTENTION Rotation 3 (Roto 3) in Kabul. For operational reasons, the Commander (Comd) CCTM-A determined that he had to withhold Special Leave (Mission) (SL(M)) from certain personnel, which also prohibited Home Leave Travel Assistance (HLTA). This decision was supported by the Comd of Canadian Joint Operational Command (CJOC). Furthermore, the mission was not designated by the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) as combat operations for the purposes of Post Combat Reintegration Allowance (PCRA). As the grievor was one of the individuals who did not receive SL(M) and HLTA, she argued that she should have been entitled to PCRA regardless of whether the mission was designated as a combat mission, but that it should have been designated as such given the high risks and ongoing threats during the mission. As redress, the grievor requested financial compensation for PCRA for the time she spent on the Operation ATTENTION.

There was no Initial Authority (IA) decision for this grievance as it was determined that the CDS would be the appropriate IA. However, in this case, the CDS will act as Final Authority.

The Committee reviewed the applicable policies with respect to SL(M) including the CCTM-A Theatre Standing Order 0110 – Leave, Defence Administrative Orders and Directives 5060-0 – Leave, Canadian Forces Leave Policy Manual (CFLPM) and Military Foreign Service Instruction (MFSI), as well as the additional information received from CCTM- A Deputy Comd and CJOC staff. The Committee found that the decision to deny SL(M) was clearly the Comd CCTM-A's to make and was reasonably taken in light of military requirements and constraints upon the mission. Given the dynamic conditions and substantial uncertainty surrounding the operation, the Committee's view was that members of Roto 3 should have expected that the mission demands would preclude most of them having an opportunity for SL(M) and consequently HLTA, as they were briefed in this regard before leaving Canada for the mission. The Committee found that keeping as many people in theatre for as long as possible and clearing the Canadian military contribution from theatre met the test of imperative military requirements as indicated in policy.

The Committee found that, in accordance with MFSI 10.21 – HLTA, the grievor was not entitled to HLTA since she was reasonably and justifiably denied SL(M). In addition, the Committee noted that the purpose of HLTA is to defray the cost of travel from the member's post outside Canada to their next of kin and return. There was no need to defray such costs for the grievor since no leave or travel was taken. The Committee was satisfied that the grievor was treated fairly, in accordance with the HLTA policy.

With respect to the grievor's contention that she should have received PCRA despite the mission not being designated a combat mission, the Committee found that the all Roto's (1, 2 and 3) for Operational ATTENTION were designated as non-combat mission. As set out by the Government of Canada in 2011, Operation ATTENTION was to focus on education and health, security, regional diplomacy and humanitarian assistance. The Committee found that the CDS correctly and deliberately did not designate Roto 3 as a combat operation. Therefore, the applicable MFSIs to PCRA did not apply to personnel on Roto 3, nor was there any entitlement to the allowance.

The Committee recommended that the grievance be denied.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2015–03–13

The CDS agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation that the grievance be denied.

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