# 2021-156 Pay and Benefits, Family Care Assistance, Modernizing the Family Care Assistance Policy

Family Care Assistance (FCA), Modernizing the Family Care Assistance Policy

Case summary

F&R Date: 2021-12-14

The grievor challenged the denial of the $75 maximum daily amount of Family Care Assistance (FCA) while he was away on Temporary Duty (TD). He argued that the prohibitive cost of a commercial childcare provider and the difficulty in procuring 24/7 care made the requirement to use such a provider unreasonable and unfair. The grievor further pointed out the difficulties in leaving one's child with an unknown care provider. The grievor asserted that the FCA policy should be flexible enough to accommodate the personal circumstances of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and provide them with the maximum level of financial assistance allowable, when providing suitable proof of payment. The grievor asked to be reimbursed at the $75 maximum daily rate by either recognizing his chosen care provider as a commercial care provider, or, alternatively, by removing the ‘commercial’ stipulation from the policy. 

There was no Initial Authority decision on the file. 

The Committee found that, as the grievor had retained non-commercial childcare services for the duration of his periods of TD, he was entitled to the $35 maximum daily amount in accordance with the Compensation Benefits Instructions for the Canadian Forces (CBI) 209.335. Consequently, the Committee found that the grievor had received the FCA benefits to which he was entitled.

The Committee observed that arguments raised by CAF members in numerous FCA-related grievances (that CBI 209.335 is inflexible and does not meet members’ needs) are valid and merit immediate attention. The Committee found that the FCA policy needs to be reviewed and modernized.

However, as the grievor was treated in accordance with the applicable Treasury Board-approved policy, the Committee recommended the Final Authority not afford the grievor redress.

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