# 2015-179 - Separation Expense (SE)

Separation Expense (SE)

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015–10–23

The grievor was posted unaccompanied from a Canadian base to the United States for advanced training. Upon completion of his training, he was posted to Ottawa. His Career Manager approved a request for imposed restriction (IR) status and the grievor applied for separation expense (SE) benefits. The grievor was then advised by local administrative authorities to proceed to find rental accommodation.

The Director of Compensation and Benefits Administration (DCBA) denied the SE claim, explaining that there is no entitlement when a member moves from a place of duty outside of Canada (OUTCAN) to a place of duty in Canada.

The grievor complained that he had signed a one-year rental agreement and made a financial commitment on the basis of his IR approval and advice from CAF experts, and that it was unfair for the CAF to expect him to pay for two residences. As remedy, he sought to be reimbursed for the first year of accommodation expenses he incurred.

Acting as the Initial Authority (IA), the Director General Compensation and Benefits denied the grievance, explaining that the move from OUTCAN to Ottawa was administered properly pursuant to Compensation and Benefits Instructions (CBI) 208.997, in place at the time. The IA found that the Treasury Board (TB) approved policy did not allow SE benefits to be paid to CAF members moved from a place of duty OUTCAN to a new place of duty in Canada.

The Committee found that the SE policy was properly applied to the grievor's situation as there was no entitlement to SE benefits based on his posting. However, the Committee noted that the grievor's posting situation had been mishandled, because CAF authorities were well aware of this unintended problem stemming from the 2012 SE policy change. Essentially, CAF members like the grievor, who move unaccompanied on an OUTCAN posting, are highly disadvantaged by the recent SE policy changes. The Committee noted that CAF career management authorities have been mitigating the negative impact of this policy oversight through the use of postings. Based on this mitigation strategy, the grievor should have first been posted to reunite with his family at his prior place of duty before being posted to Ottawa. The Committee found it unfair that the grievor was not treated to the same strategy as his peers in a similar situation.

The Committee recommended that the Chief of the Defence Staff correct the error by cancelling the original posting messages and replacing them with the postings necessary to establish the grievor's entitlement to the SE benefit.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Pending

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