# 2015-221 - House Hunting Trip (HHT), Integrated Relocation Program (CF IRP)

House Hunting Trip (HHT), Integrated Relocation Program (CF IRP)

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015–09–23

The grievor, a Reservist, was offered a period of Class B Reserve service in a new place of duty, and was posted to the new location 19 days after his acceptance of the offer. The grievor's dependants remained in his previous place of duty. Approximately three weeks after his posting, the Director Compensation and Benefits Administration released a message authorizing the grievor's relocation benefits. Upon inquiring about his house-hunting trip (HHT) benefits, the grievor was advised by Brookfield Global Relocation Services that, since he had already commenced employment in his new place of duty, he was not entitled to the HHT benefit. Notwithstanding, the grievor and his dependants took a self-funded HHT and purchased a home. He submitted a grievance claiming that a CAF member should not be expected to maintain two residences, and pointed out that he was expected to report to his new place of duty immediately, before his move was even authorized. He requested reimbursement of the HHT he and his dependants took at his own expense.

The Director General Compensation Benefits acting as the Initial Authority (IA), denied the grievance. He stated that, in accordance with the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program (CF IRP), Reservists are to normally take a HHT before the commencement date of employment, and if one is taken beforehand, authority must be granted before proceeding on a HHT. He found that the grievor's file was administered properly and in accordance with the policy.

The Committee reviewed the relevant portions of the CF IRP and noted that for Reservists, the HHT is “normally” taken before beginning the period of employment. However, contrary to the IA's interpretation of the policy, the Committee found that the use of the word “normally” was indicative that not all situations would fall within the suggested parameters, and provides for discretion. In addition, the Committee pointed out a Clarification Bulletin with respect to the CF IRP 2009 which expressly permits CAF members who receive a short notice posting (30 days or less between the posting instruction and the commencement of employment) to be reimbursed HHT benefits upon arrival at their new place of duty in order to secure permanent accommodations. Given that this was precisely the grievor's case, the Committee recommended that the grievor's eligible HHT expenses be reimbursed.

FA Decision Summary

The FA agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation that the grievor's eligible HHT expenses be reimbursed.

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