# 2015-006 - Pay and Benefits, Relocation Benefits

Pay and Benefits, Relocation Benefits

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015–06–29

The grievor, a former member of a foreign military and a pilot qualified to wings standard, was enrolled CAF. During the recruitment and enrolment processes, he was advised on several occasions that he was entitled to move his Household Goods and Effects (HG&E) once he was enrolled. He placed his HG&E in storage, travelled to Canada and enrolled in the CAF. Nearly two years later, the grievor was informed that he was not entitled to move benefits. In the interim, the grievor noted that he had been subjected to a Restricted Release Date (RRD) that was seven years after enrolment even though he was already wings qualified. The grievor continued to seek resolution to these two issues but was finally told by his career manager to submit a grievance. At this point, more than three years had passed. The grievor arranged for his HG&E to be shipped to Canada and shortly after, submitted his grievance.

The Canadian Forces Recruiting Group Headquarters rejected the grievance as being out of time. Following a query by the Committee, a staff officer from the Director Compensation and Benefits Administration (DCBA) explained that in 2008 a letter was issued granting relocation entitlements to foreign recruits. However, in early 2010, a letter correcting this mistake was distributed since this benefit was not authorized by Treasury Board.

The Committee reviewed the grievor's enrolment and found that he was enrolled to satisfy a “special need” for the CAF pursuant to article 6.01 of the Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Forces. The Committee reviewed the transportation and travelling expenses of the grievor at the time of enrolment, noting that Compensation and Benefits Instructions (CBI) 209.61(6) provides for the reimbursement of travel for applicants. The Committee found that at minimum the grievor's airfare should have been reimbursed for the portion inside Canada. However, since he was enrolled to satisfy a special need, Ministerial Authority should be granted to cover the full cost of his travel. The Committee determined that CBI 209.971(2) entitled the grievor to relocation benefits and Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program Directive, chapter 11 applied to the grievor's situation. Article 11.1.02 provides for the movement HG&E, however reimbursement would be limited to the cost that would have been incurred from the place of enrolment. The Committee also found that the Ministerial Authority should be granted to reimburse the storage costs incurred by the grievor. Alternately, the Committee recommended that the file be forwarded to the Director, Claims and Civil Litigation for consideration.

Concerning the RRD, the Committee determined that since the CAF did not incur any training costs for the grievor to achieve wings standard, then he should not have a RRD. The Committee noted that everyone, including the office of primary interest, agreed that the imposition of a RRD was not correct, however, no one corrected the error. The Committee recommended the RRD be removed.

FA Decision Summary

The FA partially agreed with the Committee's recommendations. The FA did not support the recommendation that ministerial authority be exercised to reimburse the grievor for the full cost of his travel from outside Canada to Edmonton, since no relocation benefits from outside Canada are reimbursable, and it would be against the TB-approved restriction. However, as per 1.3.01 of the CFIRP Directive, the FA agreed with the Committee that, upon enrollment, the grievor was entitled to relocation benefits between Edmonton and Cold Lake. For the storage costs, the FA did not agree with the Committee's recommendation that ministerial authority under CBI 209.013(2) be invoked, because the grievor's situation did not merit special consideration, and his circumstances were not different from the circumstances established: in fact, they are specifically disallowed.

With regard to referring the case to DCCL for review on the grounds of negligent misrepresentation or for consideration of an ex gratia payment, the FA stressed that he had no authority over claims against the Crown and that he could not accept liability on behalf of the Crown. While it remained within the grievor's purview to pursue this claim outside of the grievance process, the FA was dubious that his situation was such that damages would be payable, since the career manager was not responsible for administering relocation benefits, given that the grievor had to request a move authorization from a completely separate body.

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