# 2016-044 - Vocational Rehabilitation Program

Vocational Rehabilitation Program

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2016–07–20

The grievor contended that his commanding officer (CO) twice denied his request to participate in the Vocational Rehabilitation Program for Serving Members (VRPSM) merely out of spite for having caused a summary trial to be reviewed and quashed. The grievor submitted that the denial was a form of extrajudicial punishment based upon an alleged service offence that he had succeeded in getting dismissed.

The initial authority (IA), the Commander 1 Canadian Air Division Headquarters, found that although the CO may have had valid concerns, he should have tempered those concerns with due consideration for the intent of the VRPSM. The IA found that the grievor was unfairly denied access to the VRPSM. Regrettably, since the grievor was no longer serving in the CAF, approving his VRPSM request was no longer possible. Following receipt of the IA decision, the grievor sought five months pay as compensation for denying his VRPSM.

The Committee noted that the intent of the VRPSM, as set out in Canadian Forces General Message 151/07 and in the Aide Memoire for the VRPSM, is to insure to the extent possible that releasing members are given the support they need to successfully transition to a civilian career. The Committee concluded that the CO denied the request because of the conduct of the grievor, and found that although the decision was not overtly contrary to CAF policy, it failed to respect the intent of the policy and was unreasonable and overly restrictive.

The Committee reiterated that the aim of the grievance process is to provide a CAF member with a rights-based mechanism capable of repairing a situation or restoring a grievor to where he/she should have been in the first place had that injustice not occurred. The Committee confirmed with the Servicemen's Income Security Insurance Plan (SISIP) that the grievor had full access to all of SISIP's programs and benefits, and that he had availed himself of SISIP's vocational training benefit by upgrading his educational qualifications. Consequently, the Committee recommended that the grievor's request for five months pay be denied.

FA Decision Summary

The FA agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation that the grievance be denied. Like the Committee, given the evidence on file, the FA found that denying the grievor's request for VRPSM was unreasonable and unwarranted given the circumstances. However, while the FA regrets that the grievor was not afforded with that program, he was pleased to note that the grievor took advantage of the vocational training offered to medically releasing members through the Servicemen's lncome Securig lnsurance Plan.

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