# 2014-209 - Separation Expense (SE)

Separation Expense (SE)

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015–06–05

At the time of her component transfer to the Regular Force, the grievor was single without dependants. She was posted to attend her Qualification Level 3 (QL3) course and her move of her household goods and effects (HG&E) was prohibited. While on training, she married a service member and became pregnant. She was cease training shortly before the end of the course in light of her medical employment limitations. She returned to resume training after maternity leave, leaving her child with her service spouse, who had since been posted to the same location where the grievor's resided when she had transferred. As the course curriculum had changed, it was decided that she had to redo the QL3 from the beginning. While on training, the grievor's move was again prohibited and the grievor was charged for rations and quarters.

The grievor contended that having to pay for quarters while on training at the same time as having to maintain a principal residence elsewhere caused her undue financial hardship. She argued that her situation is exceptional, considering the reasons that led to a significant delay in completing her basic occupational training. She considered that her situation warranted remission of charges for rations and quarters under the authority of the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS).

The Initial Authority (IA) concluded that the grievor was not entitled to a remission of charges for quarters or for rations as she did not meet the criteria for separation expense.

The Committee agreed with the IA regarding the ineligibility of the grievor to separation expense. However, the Committee noted that it was not what the grievor was seeking and that remission is not intrinsically linked to separation expense.The Committee considered that the grievor had to maintain suitable accommodation for her child as it was impossible to do so in single quarters. The Committee also noted that the Canadian Armed Forces had since posted her service spouse to the location where her HG&E had been stored and it was logical that they would establish a principle residence at that location. Given the circumstances, the Committee considered that it was unreasonable to charge the grievor for quarters.

The Committee's position has always tended towards delinking rations from quarters. As such, the Committee considered that it was reasonable to charge the grievor for rations.

The Committee also examined how the grievor's file was handled and found that the training establishment disregarded the previous decision to recognize performance objectives already achieved, as well as the previous Commandant's decision that the grievor needed only to complete certain objectives to be qualified. The Committee concluded that the training establishment's decision to require the grievor to redo the entire course was arbitrary.

The Committee concluded that the grievor was aggrieved and recommended that the CDS remit the charges for quarters.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2015–10–23

While the FA agreed with the Committee that the grievor has been aggrieved, it did not agree with the remedy. The FA agreed that upon a strict interpretation of the CBIs the grievor did not qualify for separation expenses (and potentially free R&Q), but elected to fix the problem that disturbed the proper administration of the grievor's career and benefits. Therefore, the FA ordered that the grievor's situation be changed back in 2011 by amending her posting messages: these changes allowed the grievor to be entitled to SE benefits for the period in question.

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