# 2015-161 - Imposed Restriction (IR), Separation Expense (SE)

Imposed Restriction (IR), Separation Expense (SE)

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015–11–12

The grievor was posted to a new place of duty and was unable to sell his home despite lowering his asking price significantly. He proceeded unaccompanied on imposed restriction (IR) status. As a result, he received separation expense (SE) benefits while his wife and dependants remained in another province pending the sale of their home. The grievor submitted a grievance stating that the IR/SE policy was unfair and flawed because it failed to address the unique situation of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members like himself who are unable to sell their home on posting and have no choice but to proceed to the new place of duty without their family. As remedy, the grievor requested to be reimbursed for his rations or a comparable financial benefit while separated from his family. He also requested a policy revision to address the unfair financial burden faced by CAF members.

The initial authority (IA), the Director General Compensation and Benefits, denied the grievance on the basis that there was no entitlement pursuant to the relevant policy. The IA informed the grievor that the Compensation and Benefits Instructions and the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program are Treasury Board (TB) approved policies that establish the parameters within which relocation benefits, including SE, can be authorized. The IA also pointed out that no officer, including the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), has the authority to alter a TB approved policy.

The Committee found that the grievor had no entitlement to rations at Crown expense and recommended that the grievance be denied. The Committee noted, however, that the grievor's situation arose, in part, because of the outdated and inadequate Home Equity Assistance (HEA) benefit. The Committee acknowledged that the grievor's situation shows that often service personnel and their families are faced with the impossible decision of selling at a loss or having the family separated, and that there is currently insufficient protection from the HEA policy. The Committee recommended that the CDS give priority to a review of the adequacy of the HEA provisions with the TB in order to help mitigate the negative impact on CAF members brought on by the exigencies of military service.

FA Decision Summary

The CDS agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation that the grievance be denied. The CDS directed the Chief of Military Personnel to continue to petition TB to make changes to the SE policy as part of the ongoing, holistic review of the financial support provided to CAF members to mitigate against the exigencies of military service.

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