# 2015-267 - Duty Status, Leave Entitlement, Release, Sick Leave

Duty Status, Leave Entitlement, Release, Sick Leave

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2016–02–19

While on a Return to Work (RTW) program, in which the grievor was working only three half-days per week, he was directed to expend the remainder of his annual leave before the end of the fiscal year. The grievor claimed that the days he was not required to be at the office were actually sick leave. He therefore argued that he should only have had to expend 1.5 days of annual leave for each week he took off, rather than the normal 5 days. The grievor also asserted that he was required to attend medical appointments while on retirement leave and those days should be considered duty days and credited back to him as annual leave. In total, the grievor was seeking payment for 51 days of leave.

The Initial Authority (IA) stated that the Canadian Forces Health Services views the RTW program as full duty status regardless of the number of days actually at work. Therefore, the grievor was required to use 5 days annual leave to take a week off work; the days which he did not normally work were not considered to be sick leave. The IA also found that scheduled medical appointments during retirement leave do not constitute a recall to duty and that there was no provision in the leave policy related to attending appointments while on retirement leave. The IA therefore denied the requested redress.

The Committee concluded that while on an RTW program, the days the grievor was not in the office were not sick leave, but rather were a part of the program, the same as the days in the office were. The Committee therefore found that the grievor was not entitled to reimbursement of the half-days and annual leave days he requested, during full weeks that he took off from his RTW program. The Committee also determined that because the grievor's medical appointments while on retirement leave were authorized, directed and scheduled by CAF medical authorities, the grievor should be deemed to be “on duty” while attending those appointments. The Committee therefore recommended that the grievor be reimbursed for the annual leave days expended to attend medical appointments while on retirement leave.

FA Decision Summary

The FA agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation but also granted additional redress. The FA agreed with the Committee that the days at home during the RTW program were not sick leave. The FA also agreed that the grievor should be reimbursed days of annual leave for medical and Veterans Affairs Canada appointments as recommended by the Committee. However, he found that the RTW Guide provides that when a member works, the next day (a day of rest at home) should not be counted as annual leave, and therefore that additional leave days should be reimbursed.

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