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Compassionate leave eligibility

Posthumane

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Good day,

I have a question regarding who is typically considered "family" for the purpose of compassionate leave, as this is not specifically defined in the regs.

Background:
My father-in-law passed away recently. He and his wife lived on one coast, whereas my wife and I are on the opposite coast. My wife and I had to travel to their location to help her mom out with arrangements, attend a memorial, etc. After flight delays it ended up being almost 2 days of travel on the way there and one day on the way back.
When I applied for compassionate leave my CO was away and the DCO was acting. The DCO denied compassionate leave on account of in-laws not being considered immediate family. My supervisor recommended I apply for family related short leave instead, which I did, and this request was also denied on the grounds that family related leave is not for travel. Eventually I was approved for three days of annual (for travel) and two days of family related short for the memorial.

Everybody else I've talked to feels I should get compassionate leave for this case. Is this something that is worth trying to pursue, or is it pretty standard policy?
 
Everybody else I've talked to feels I should get compassionate leave for this case. Is this something that is worth trying to pursue, or is it pretty standard policy?

In this case, it's up to your CoC. I've seen compassionate leave being granted for spousal grandparent deaths and denied for exactly what you described. Compassionate related travel costs however is very specific in what they'll cover, but that's a different topic.
 
Good day,

I have a question regarding who is typically considered "family" for the purpose of compassionate leave, as this is not specifically defined in the regs.

Background:
My father-in-law passed away recently. He and his wife lived on one coast, whereas my wife and I are on the opposite coast. My wife and I had to travel to their location to help her mom out with arrangements, attend a memorial, etc. After flight delays it ended up being almost 2 days of travel on the way there and one day on the way back.
When I applied for compassionate leave my CO was away and the DCO was acting. The DCO denied compassionate leave on account of in-laws not being considered immediate family. My supervisor recommended I apply for family related short leave instead, which I did, and this request was also denied on the grounds that family related leave is not for travel. Eventually I was approved for three days of annual (for travel) and two days of family related short for the memorial.

Everybody else I've talked to feels I should get compassionate leave for this case. Is this something that is worth trying to pursue, or is it pretty standard policy?
Compassionate Leave is granted for urgent and exceptional personal circumstances. Para 7.1.02 gives examples and included death of a family member. However, neither the policy or the QR&O defines "family" for the purposes of compassionate leave. So, it's pretty much up to the CofC to accept that your father-in-law qualifies as "family". In addition, if his death was foreseeable (e.g. doctors told him he had X time to live, or he chose MAID), the urgency of your request could be called into question.

Maybe get your padre or a base social worker involved. They may have more insights as to how to navigate this favourably.
 
It's very CoC specific; had one of my subordinates approved for the same thing with the rational for him supporting his wife and kids during the difficult time.

IMHO compassionate leave is one of the ones where you should generally need to justify not approving it, as the current guidance is very broad specifically to give the CoC flexibility to approve things in different scenarios. Lots of people have very close 'family' that isn't actually immediate family

Depends on the CO, but pretty much every CO I had would be not happy with the DCO when they got back and found that out.
 
As a contrast, my Collective Agreement clearly defines family for the purposes of leave as:

“family” (famille)except where otherwise specified in this agreement, means father, mother (or, alternatively, stepfather, stepmother, or foster parent), brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister, spouse (including common-law partner resident with the employee), child (including child of common-law partner), stepchild, foster child or ward of the employee, grandchild, father-in-law, mother-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, the employee’s grandparents and relative permanently residing in the employee’s household or with whom the employee permanently resides.
 
It's very CoC specific; had one of my subordinates approved for the same thing with the rational for him supporting his wife and kids during the difficult time.

IMHO compassionate leave is one of the ones where you should generally need to justify not approving it, as the current guidance is very broad specifically to give the CoC flexibility to approve things in different scenarios. Lots of people have very close 'family' that isn't actually immediate family

Depends on the CO, but pretty much every CO I had would be not happy with the DCO when they got back and found that out.
And that is a bit of a crapshoot if the CO is a bureaucratic type.
 
My father-in-law passed away recently . . .. The DCO denied compassionate leave on account of in-laws not being considered immediate family.

CBI 209-51 Compassionate Travel Assistance defines "immediate family member" as


immediate family member
means:
  1. a member's spouse or common-law partner;
  2. a member’s, their spouse’s, or their common-law partner’s child — including a stepchild, legal ward, adopted child or child adopted under a Canadian indigenous custom adoption practice;
  3. a member's, their spouse's or their common-law partner's father, mother, step father, step mother, brother, step brother, sister or step sister; or
  4. in lieu of a parent, a person who stood in the place of the member's, their spouse's or their common-law partner's father or mother. (membre de la famille immédiate)
    (amended by TB, effective 1 August 2023)
Note
In order to determine if a person stood in place of a mother or father, that person must have lived at the same residence with the member, their spouse or their common-law partner as the case may be, and made day-to-day decisions concerning that individual’s education, health and well-being.(C)
 
Thanks for the replies and references. I will try to revisit this with the CO through my supervisor. While CTA and compassionate leave do not fall under the same policy, the fact the CTA has a definition of immediate family (along with every other bereavement policy I've encountered) that includes in-laws may add some weight to the argument for granting compassionate leave.
 
ah but there is the rub. CTA and Comp Lve are not the same thing or covered under the same policy. CTA has defined what Comp Lve does not. Comp Lve is totally up to the CO to decide if it is given.

That's true but it's basic common law that when something is not defined in one thing but it is defined in another related / similar thing, that you lean on the definition in the other.

Of course, I would expect that to fly over the head of most in the CAF/DND world regardless.... but especially so if it's inconvenient for them.
 
Double whammy, I believe he's also not entitled to Compassionate Travel Leave unless he's been granted

"leave under article 16.16 (Sick Leave), article 16.17 (Compassionate Leave), article 16.26 (Maternity Leave), or article 16.27 (Parental Leave) of the QR&O"

so in this case he loses out on that possible benefit to. So now the two policies are actually tied together making an even stronger argument that the "immediate family member" definition in the CBIs should be leaned on.

And if the DCO is correct, then there would be no need for the CTA to include in-law parents in it's definition.

I would exhaust the other options but then grieve it, quoting the DCO's reason as well. The CO/DCO might have discretion but if their reason is based of on an incorrect fact pattern (such as compassionate leave not being an option because it's in-law parents, which is totally different than saying "I realize it's an option but am deciding not to grant it") it may get overturned. In this case, it might (should, IMO) have to go to the Bde Comd to be the IA. If nothing else, the DCO's ability to think critically at least deserves that level of scrutiny.
 
We don't have retention issues, we have RECRUITING issues where I work. Or so the going feeling is.
Girl Why Dont We Have Both GIF
 
That's true but it's basic common law that when something is not defined in one thing but it is defined in another related / similar thing, that you lean on the definition in the other.

Of course, I would expect that to fly over the head of most in the CAF/DND world regardless.... but especially so if it's inconvenient for them.
What some in the CAF/DND world miss is that compassionate leave was left undefined for a good reason. You don't need to have a family member on their death bed or dead to be given it. Perhaps your best friend of 40 years is critically ill and you would like to visit them, the CO as a caring individual can grant you compassionate leave. Perhaps you are dealing with a personal difficult situation and the padre has recommended comp leave so the CO approves it. Neither of these require CLTA which is an additional financial consideration thus should be more restrictive. Leave is purely administrative while CLTA is finance. The only link between them is that comp lve must be granted in order to claim CLTA.

I don't see where they get the Family Related not for travel. Although it doesn't specify it is it also doesn't specify you can't travel while on family related same as compassionate. It does specify a lot of "attend" events which could be anywhere. The last item listed is "attend to any other family-related situations".

I also did a quick search of the CFLPM as things do change and nowhere in there does it define immediate family or link any leave to immediate family. Closest I found was COVID leave which has immediate dependants. I would challenge them on that to see where they came up with it.

That being said - I think the DCO was seriously wrong based on the information presented and the first 2 samples provided in the CFLPM for compassionate leave. Can't help wondering though if it was a decision made on own or was advise from the admin staff involved.

If I was the C HRA or whatever they are calling the head admin staff at that unit my advice would be wait while I see if the CO will amend to comp lve. I would talk to the DCO first to get their side of things then I would send the leave pass that was approved with a BN advising the CO of the facts, regulations and my recommendation that Comp Lve be approved along with CLTA.
 
What some in the CAF/DND world miss is that compassionate leave was left undefined for a good reason. You don't need to have a family member on their death bed or dead to be given it. Perhaps your best friend of 40 years is critically ill and you would like to visit them, the CO as a caring individual can grant you compassionate leave. Perhaps you are dealing with a personal difficult situation and the padre has recommended comp leave so the CO approves it. Neither of these require CLTA which is an additional financial consideration thus should be more restrictive. Leave is purely administrative while CLTA is finance. The only link between them is that comp lve must be granted in order to claim CLTA.

I don't see where they get the Family Related not for travel. Although it doesn't specify it is it also doesn't specify you can't travel while on family related same as compassionate. It does specify a lot of "attend" events which could be anywhere. The last item listed is "attend to any other family-related situations".

I also did a quick search of the CFLPM as things do change and nowhere in there does it define immediate family or link any leave to immediate family. Closest I found was COVID leave which has immediate dependants. I would challenge them on that to see where they came up with it.

That being said - I think the DCO was seriously wrong based on the information presented and the first 2 samples provided in the CFLPM for compassionate leave. Can't help wondering though if it was a decision made on own or was advise from the admin staff involved.

If I was the C HRA or whatever they are calling the head admin staff at that unit my advice would be wait while I see if the CO will amend to comp lve. I would talk to the DCO first to get their side of things then I would send the leave pass that was approved with a BN advising the CO of the facts, regulations and my recommendation that Comp Lve be approved along with CLTA.

Being a bit of a burnt out, tired prick now I would probably just resubmit asking for 15 calendar days or more so it has to go past the CO to the next level for approval, and see if the DCO can explain why they denied it on the CO's behalf for less then 14.

I'm presuming of course the initial request was formally submitted/denied, which would be tracked in MM with the submitted leave pass.
 
We don't have retention issues, we have RECRUITING issues where I work. Or so the going feeling is.
I really tried to ignore this but maybe just because it is Friday can't. if we don't have a retention issue why is it I know 3 people that are extended pass CRA and 1 of them was asked by 2 CMs to submit a request for it? If the issue was only recruiting then we would not have the issue in some trades of hurting at the MCpl/Sgt level due to releases. Why is it courses are more often cancelled due to lack of staff rather than lack of students? Seems to me if we didn't have a retention issue and only a recruiting issues we wouldn't have an issue staffing courses and we wouldn't need to extend members pass CRA so we could fill positions.

Unfortunately, this is what has been pushed for years so we continue to push and push recruiting while all the potential trainers for those recruits walk out the door. Not much use having 100 new mbrs with no one to train or lead them.
 
I really tried to ignore this but maybe just because it is Friday can't. if we don't have a retention issue why is it I know 3 people that are extended pass CRA and 1 of them was asked by 2 CMs to submit a request for it? If the issue was only recruiting then we would not have the issue in some trades of hurting at the MCpl/Sgt level due to releases. Why is it courses are more often cancelled due to lack of staff rather than lack of students? Seems to me if we didn't have a retention issue and only a recruiting issues we wouldn't have an issue staffing courses and we wouldn't need to extend members pass CRA so we could fill positions.

Unfortunately, this is what has been pushed for years so we continue to push and push recruiting while all the potential trainers for those recruits walk out the door. Not much use having 100 new mbrs with no one to train or lead them.
I think recruiting and retention issues vary by occupation and location.

My occupation can't recruit, and struggles to retain people around the MCpl/Sgt level. I think we'll have 8 students on the next DP1, and we have lost 13 so far this year. That trend has been ongoing for near a decade at this point, so we are quite short at the MCpl/Sgt level.

As for compassionate leave, I have seen in granted for pets, so I don't get why the OP's DCO was being difficult. I suspect some people just like having to power to say no.
 
I thought I would provide an update.

After sending a request through my supervisor for the CO to revisit this issue, I was told that compassionate leave would be approved. The DCO told me directly that his denying of this request was in error based on misremembering the regs (or perhaps they had changed since he last dealt with similar situations). So a positive outcome in the end. Thanks all for the help.
 
I thought I would provide an update.

After sending a request through my supervisor for the CO to revisit this issue, I was told that compassionate leave would be approved. The DCO told me directly that his denying of this request was in error based on misremembering the regs (or perhaps they had changed since he last dealt with similar situations). So a positive outcome in the end. Thanks all for the help.
Good on your DCO for owning their mistake, we all make them.
 
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