Author Topic: Eligibility to collect Hardship Allowance (HA) and Sea Duty Allowance (SDA) conc  (Read 1124 times)

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Offline Halifax Tar

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This is currently making its way through social media and the Fleet like wild fire.

Some people could be in for a substantial amount of back pay, if that is what comes of it.
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Case Summary

F&R Date: 2016–10–17

The grievor claimed that he was aggrieved by the denial of the sea duty allowance (SDA) while he was in receipt of the hardship allowance (HA) during the period of his deployment on one of Her Majesty's canadian ships (HMCS). The grievor argued that there was nothing in Treasury Board (TB) approved orders to preclude payment of both the SDA and the HA concurrently and that the CAF did not have the authority to unilaterally decide otherwise. As redress, the grievor sought payment of the SDA, in addition to the HA he had already received during his deployment.

The initial authority (IA) found that pursuant to the TB approved Compensation and Benefits Instructions (CBI), the grievor was entitled to the HA and the SDA for the period in question. However, the IA found that there was a TB precondition, not clearly articulated in the CBI, that CAF members not be compensated twice for conditions related to the SDA entitlement. The IA found that CAF members are compensated for both the SDA and the HA through the HA assessment construct and that the CAF had correctly sought to ensure that a TB direction to avoid double compensation had been respected. The IA directed that the CAF seek TB approval for appropriate clarification to underscore the fact that no CAF member is entitled to receive more than one allowance at the same time when the purpose of each allowance is to compensate for substantially the same adverse environmental conditions.

The Committee found that, in accordance with the TB-approved CBI, the grievor was entitled to be paid the SDA and the HA for the period he was deployed on a maritime operation and that there was no bar to him receiving both allowances.

The Committee was of the opinion that the two allowances served different purposes and although there might be common factors associated with each allowance, this did not automatically equate to double compensation. Furthermore, even if it could be argued that there was overlap in the rationale for the HA and the SDA, the Committee found no clear instruction from TB that both allowances could not be paid.

Accordingly, the Committee determined that in the absence of regulatory concurrence from TB, the CAF was without authority to decide that a benefit was not payable when a military member was plainly eligible. The Committee concluded that if it was TB intent to disqualify members receiving the HA from entitlement to the SDA, then the proper route was to amend the CBI and, to date, this had not been done.

The Committee recommended that the grievor be paid the SDA for the period of his deployment, in addition to the HA already received. The Committee also made a systemic recommendation that the CAF conduct a review to ensure that all military members who had deployed on maritime operations since 2 September 2003 had been appropriately paid the HA and the SDA, as applicable.

FA Decision Summary

FA Decision Pending
Lead me, follow me or get the hell out of my way

Offline Lumber

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"Could be", yes, but "when"? The FA's final decision is pending, and he has no mandatory timeline on when he has to make his decision. Then he'd have to set up a whole unit to administer this change, akin to what we went through a couple years back for our retro-active sea-pay for ship's that went into refit.

Not that it matters to me much. The Navy has so far neglected to deploy me for more than 3.5 months, that one time...
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Offline Chief Engineer

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I would settle for the choice to either elect to keep seapay in lieu of HA. I actually lose money when I deploy.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2019, 08:06:07 by Chief Engineer »
"When your draught exceeds your depth, you are most assuredly aground"

All opinions stated are not official policy of the CF and of a private individual

كافر

Offline Dolphin_Hunter

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As aircrew I kept my aircrew allowance while deployed.

I was collecting both hardship, risk, and aircrew allowance.


Offline Halifax Tar

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As aircrew I kept my aircrew allowance while deployed.

I was collecting both hardship, risk, and aircrew allowance.

I think that is what spurred the stoker to write the grievance.

It will be interesting to see how this is played out.  I don't think there is any way to avoid back pay, but moving forward it will pose new challenged to the CBIs. 

I am leaving in Jan for my 3rd Op Reassurance... Will we lose SDA ?  Will we have the choice between HA or SDA ?  Will we collect it all ? 

What is also interesting is that LDA and HA are not in this equation... Would a person have to grieve to loss of LDA to HA now ?  Or should that not be a follow on effect ?  I have heard a rumor that the LDA policy is aside because the wording to define LDA and HA are very close...
Lead me, follow me or get the hell out of my way

Offline Dolphin_Hunter

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The position I occupied was designated by the CDS so I was able to collect both.



10.3.08(1) (Allowances for designated positions) A member who is entitled to an allowance under CBI 10.3.05 (Hardship Allowance) or CBI 10.3.07 (Risk Allowance), unless the member occupies a specific position on the operation designated by the CDS, is not entitled to the allowances under the following instructions:
a.CBI 205.30 - Paratroop Allowance;
b.CBI 205.31 - Rescue Specialist Allowance;
c.CBI 205.32 - Aircrew Allowance; and
d.CBI 205.33 - Land Duty Allowance; and
e.CBI 205.335 - Casual Land Duty Allowance; and
f.CBI 205.34 - Diving Allowance.

Offline NavalMoose

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Was the Sept 2003 date chosen because it pertains in this specific case?  Is there a reason that ROTO 0 of OP Apollo (2001-02) is not included or even further back for that matter? Maybe someone has to file a grievance for their specific case, or is there some technicality that lets the CAF off the hook for earlier dates.

Offline Dolphin_Hunter

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The way I read it was that it was based on a policy written in 2003.  It is quite possible that it was worded properly prior to 2003, then with the update they made an error.  I deployed in 99/00 and we lost our sea pay as soon as we started collecting HA.

It’s nice to see the grievance system working.

Offline FSTO

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Was the Sept 2003 date chosen because it pertains in this specific case?  Is there a reason that ROTO 0 of OP Apollo (2001-02) is not included or even further back for that matter? Maybe someone has to file a grievance for their specific case, or is there some technicality that lets the CAF off the hook for earlier dates.
Will likely have to file another grievance. I’m pretty sure us pre 2003 deployers are SOL mainly for the sole reason is that I would be a beneficiary. 😑

Offline PuckChaser

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What is also interesting is that LDA and HA are not in this equation... Would a person have to grieve to loss of LDA to HA now ?  Or should that not be a follow on effect ?  I have heard a rumor that the LDA policy is aside because the wording to define LDA and HA are very close...

Someone will grieve it, its a dice roll if it works. Now they've created a system where environmental allowances are being treated differently for a decade. Its odd that there is even back pay in this regard. Normally the CAF says "we screwed up, but the rules are retroactive to XXXX so no back pay".