# 2015-058 - 30-Day Entitlement to Annual Leave and Past Reserve Force Service

30-Day Entitlement to Annual Leave and Past Reserve Force Service

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015–03–13

The grievor enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) as a Reserve Force (Res F) member under the Youth Training Employment Program (YTEP), a program designed to assist in the relief of Canadian youth unemployment. After a year of Reserve service, he transferred to the Regular Force (Reg F) and continued to serve in the CAF.

After completing 28 years of continuous service in the CAF, the grievor was denied entitlement to 30 days of Annual Leave because the year spent in the Res F under the YTEP could not be credited towards the calculation of 28 years of service for leave purposes. The Committee had to determine whether the grievor should have been entitled to count his Res F service as part of the 28 years of CAF service required for the entitlement to 30 days of Annual Leave.

The Initial Authority denied the grievance, explaining that the Minister of National Defence has the sole authority to determine and make amendments to the CAF leave policy in accordance with Section 12 of the National Defence Act.

The Committee examined the Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Forces (QR&O) 16.14 and the CAF Leave Policy Manual. It found that in the grievor's case, the QR&O was explicit: for the purpose of calculating 28 years of service, only the present continuous Reg F service and the last previous period of Reg F service can be taken into account. Any other type of military service is excluded from the calculation. Accordingly, the Committee found that, in the absence of any discretion in article 16.14 of the QR&O, the grievor's YTEP service could not be considered for the purpose of calculating entitlement to 30 days of Annual Leave.

Notwithstanding its conclusion on the merit of the case, the Committee reminded the Chief of the Defence Staff that this issue had first been raised to his attention in 2006 and that ever since, the CAF have consistently indicated that the problem would be rectified by a “soon to come” review of the leave policy. While it acknowledged that a certain delay could be expected when regulatory amendments are required, the Committee found it unacceptable and unreasonable that the changes were still not in effect in 2015.

In light of the above, the Committee concluded that the grievor had been aggrieved by the CAF's inaction to fix a well-known, acknowledged and documented inequity within their leave policy and recommended that the grievor be granted 5 days of Special Leave to account for their failure to act.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2015–10–28

Considering that the changes to QR&O Chapter 16 implemented on 1 April 15 address the issues raised in the grievance, the FA did not endorsed the Committee's recommendation to grant 5 days of Special Leave as compensation. Prior Res F performed as of that date is now recognized towards the annual leave entitlement, and the FA denied the grievor's request to recognize any other date to determine eligibility for the 30 day annual leave entitlement on completion of 28 years of CAF service.

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