# 2016-089 - Leave Entitlement

Leave Entitlement

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2016–06–09

In February 2015, the grievor submitted his intent to release in October 2015. In June 2015, CANFORGEN 115/15 – Amendments to the Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Forces (QR&O) Chapter 16, was issued. One of the amendments announced was that members on retirement leave could not earn annual leave, and this amendment was effective 1 April 2015. The message also allowed for a transition period from 1 April to 31 August 2015, wherein members who had already commenced retirement leave during that timeframe would receive special leave in lieu of annual leave. It was also made clear that for members who would commence retirement leave after 31 August 2015, their retirement leave would be administered under the amended QR&O; in other words, no special leave in lieu was to be authorized. The grievor contended that his retirement plan and decision were based on the regulations in effect at the time he submitted his intention to release, and that he lost 10 days of leave as a result of the amended regulations. He requested 10 days of special leave, as was granted during the transition period announced in CANFORGEN 115/15.

The Director General Compensation and Benefits, acting as the Initial Authority (IA), denied the grievance. The IA noted that QR&O Chapter 16 – Leave, represents the Minister of National Defence (MND) regulations pursuant to subsection 12(2) of the National Defence Act. As such, the IA stated that the MND is the only authority who can create and amend these regulations, and officers in the CAF cannot grant leave in any other manner. Given that the grievor commenced his retirement leave in October 2015, the IA stated that he has no authority to grant special leave outside of the authorized transition period in CANFORGEN 115/15 and the grievor is therefore subject to the amended QR&O provisions.

The Committee noted that the grievor commenced his retirement leave on his chosen date in October 2015, which occurred after the amended QR&O took effect in April 2015, and after the transition period ended in August 2015. As a result, the Committee found that he was not eligible to accumulate annual leave, and not entitled to special leave during his retirement leave.

Over the years, the Committee has often been critical of the reduction or the removal of benefits without a measure of protection or transition. The Committee was pleased to see that in this instance the CAF did implement a transition measure.

The Committee recommended that the grievance be denied.

However, the Committee made an observation that, as comparable groups to the CAF, the Federal Public Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are both currently permitted to accrue annual leave while taking annual leave, special leave, or other paid leave, even when that leave is taken right before retirement. In other words, unlike the CAF, they are not restricted from earning annual leave while taking various types of paid leave at the end of their career. The changes to the QR&O have essentially placed CAF members at a disadvantage when compared to their federal counterparts. It is unclear to the Committee why this amendment was felt to be necessary, and left it to the CDS to decide whether he wished to review the amendment.

FA Decision Summary

The FA agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation that the grievance be denied.

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