# 2014-146 - Home Leave Travel Assistance (HLTA), Post Combat Reintegration Allowance
F&R Date: 2014–12–29
The grievor was attach posted to an operation. For operational reasons, the Commander determined that he had to withhold Special Leave (Mission) (SL(M)) from certain personnel, which also prohibited Home Leave Travel Assistance (HLTA). As the grievor was one of the individuals who was denied SL(M) and consequently HLTA, he claimed the applicable policy concerning SL(M) was being applied unfairly as he had served more than the 210 days in theatre required to receive SL(M) and HLTA, while others with less than 210 days in theatre received the leave and the benefit. As redress, the grievor requested compensation equivalent to the HLTA he was not able to receive.
There was no Initial Authority (IA) decision for this grievance as it was determined that the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) would be the appropriate IA. However, in this case, the CDS will act as Final Authority.
The Committee reviewed the applicable policy 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), Military Foreign Service Instruction (MFSI). The Committee found that the decision to deny SL(M) was clearly the Commander'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 the mission 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.
With regard to the grievor's contention that some members with less days in theatre received SL(M) and he did not, the Committee noted that each element of the task force would have had to weigh their particular military requirements and personnel capabilities in making decisions to grant SL(M) in individual cases. Further, the Committee could not comment on the individual circumstances of each decision to grant or deny leave but found that the grievor's observation was insufficient to substantiate his being treated unfairly or in a manner which was inconsistent with the Commander's decision to withhold leave.
The Committee found that, in accordance with MFSI 10.21 – HLTA the grievor was not entitled to HLTA since he 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 and did not support that a new allowance be created to compensate for not receiving the HLTA benefit.
The Committee recommended that the grievance be denied.
CDS Decision Summary
CDS Decision Date: 2015–05–25
The CDS agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation that the grievance be denied.
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