# 2015-064 - Pay and Benefits, Relocation Benefits

Pay and Benefits, Relocation Benefits

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015–06–29

The grievor, a member of the Reserve Force, was employed on an initial seven month period of service away from his primary residence. His period of service was extended three times in one year increments and then a final time for three years. At the time of his first extension, the grievor was advised that he was entitled to free single quarters (SQ) because he maintained a residence elsewhere. The grievor confirmed this entitlement at each extension and he was required to re-submit his paperwork at one point because it had been misplaced. In his last month of service at this unit, an accommodation audit revealed that he had received free SQ without authority for 79 months. A decision was taken to recover the funds.

The Initial Authority indicated that the grievor had an obligation to be aware of his financial entitlements in accordance with the Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Forces (QR&O) 203.04(1) regardless of what he was advised by the clerical staff. He agreed with the decision to recover funds; however, he reduced the grievor's debt by $6,153 to account for the statutory limitation on recovery of the overpayment.

The Committee reviewed the applicable policy and determined that in order to be entitled to free SQ, the primary residence had to remain vacant and could not be shared, rented or sublet. In the grievor's case, his primary residence was co-owned by a family member that was not listed as a dependant. Further, the charges could not be remitted because the grievor's circumstances were not exceptional as envisioned by QR&O 208.52. Therefore, the Committee found that there was no entitlement to SQ free of charge.

However, the Committee also determined that there was sufficient evidence on file that the grievor had been provided erroneous information to his detriment. Therefore, the Committee recommended that the grievor's file be forwarded to the Director, Claims and Civil Litigation for review as a case of negligent misrepresentation.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2015–12–01

The CDS agreed with the Committee's findings that the grievor was not entitled to free SQ during the period in question, and that he was given inaccurate information. However, he disagreed with its recommendation to seek a remedy outside of the CAF grievance process, since the information provided to the grievor did not amount to negligent misrepresentation.

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