# 2015-106 - Integrated Relocation Program (CF IRP), Pet Care/Transportation Expenses, Relocation Expenses

Integrated Relocation Program (CF IRP), Pet Care/Transportation Expenses, Relocation Expenses

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015–07–31

The grievor was required to use his personalized funding envelope to pay for the care and shipping of his pets when he was posted back to Canada. He argued that the policy change with regard to pet care and shipping under the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program (CF IRP) was unfair. He also pointed out that being forced to rely on their personalized funding envelope to pay for expenses was unfair to the lower ranks as funding available in the personalized envelope is based almost exclusively on the pay of the CAF member.

The Director General Compensation and Benefits, acting as the Initial Authority (IA), denied the grievance finding that the policy had been administered properly. The IA said that he was unable to amend or ignore the CF IRP directive as it was a Treasury Board approved policy, but he did express regret that there was no grandfathering clause related to the benefit change.

The Committee found that from a policy perspective, the provisions of the existing policy were correctly applied to the grievor and he was not entitled to reimbursement from his customized funding envelope.

However, the Committee also found that there was unfairness in the policy change as members of the CAF were being treated differently than their counterparts in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Public Service. The Committee also found that the manner in which the policy changes were implemented did not minimize the impact on CAF members as claimed, in that there was no protection or transition measures put in place in regard to the policy changes. Finally, the Committee agreed with the grievor that the posting allowance was unfair because it was a rank and pay based allowance and there was no justification for this.

FA Decision Summary

The FA, the Chief of the Defence Staff, found that he did not have the authority to grant the remedy sought and he did not agree with the Committee's recommendation to grant redress by seeking TB approval to retroactively change the benefit, as well as to review all similar cases. The FA concluded that changes to the CF IRP were brought as part of the CAF's effort at deficit reduction, unfortunately without reflection on the second order effects. He stated that with a number of benefits having moved from the custom to the personalized envelope, the latter most often being solely comprised the Posting Allowance (PA), this resulted in the PA being used to offset moving expenses rather than its stated intent of providing an extra benefit for the disruption that relocation causes. As such, the FA agreed with the Committee that reimbursement of the high expenses related to moving pets OUTCAN should not come from the personalized envelope. He directed the Chief of Military Personnel develop a TB submission to rectify the issue going forward.

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