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Part 4: Assisted leave travel

16.4.1 Purpose

Assisted leave travel is provided for members and their dependants living at a hardship location. Its purpose is to enable them to do three things.

  1. Travel to a regional leave centre.

  2. Take a holiday and access health and shopping facilities not normally available at the hardship location.

  3. Obtain relief from the environment.

16.4.2 ...

16.4.3 Member this Part applies to

This Part applies to a member who meets both these conditions.

  1. They are on a long-term posting to a hardship location.

  2. See:
    Annex 16.A, Hardship post conditions of service – member posted before 1 July 2017
    Annex 16.B, Hardship post conditions of service – member posted on or after 1 July 2017

  3. They are granted a reasonable period of recreation leave.

16.4.4 Member this Part does not apply to

This Part does not apply to a member on short-term duty.

See also: Chapter 12 Part 1 section 12.1.2, Member Chapters 12 to 16 do not apply to

16.4.5 Assisted leave travel

  1. An eligible member may be reimbursed or have the Commonwealth directly pay the lesser of these amounts.

    1. The cost of return travel by the member and their dependants.

    2. The allowable travel cost for return air travel by the member and their dependants to a leave centre.

    Exception: The member and their dependants travel by private vehicle.

    See: Section 16.4.15, Travel by private vehicle

  2. In this Part, the allowable travel cost for travel between Islamabad and Karachi is taken to be the class of air travel next above economy class.

  3. Any difference between the actual cost of travel and the allowable travel cost is not 'credit' and cannot be carried over.

  4. Example: A member has a travel benefit from Timor-Leste to Darwin. The CDF approves travel to Brisbane. The member travels to Brisbane on a discount fare of less than half the cost of the member's benefit to Darwin. The member cannot bank the unused credit to put towards subsequent trips. The relief has taken place and the intent of the policy is met.

16.4.6 Leave fare basis

This table shows examples of situations in which assisted leave travel might be provided.

Examples
Item Factor Reason
To a regional leave centre (either Australia or London)
1. Inadequate medical or dental facilities Assisted leave travel is not intended to enable members and dependants to obtain urgent medical attention when they are ill. If it is necessary for the member or dependants to have immediate medical treatment that is not available at the posting location, a medical evacuation is available to the member and dependants.

It may be necessary to leave the posting location to obtain routine dental or medical checkups, or to undergo non-urgent diagnostic testing or treatment.
2. Lack of shopping facilities In some posting locations, items such as clothes, recreational and personal items are not readily available.

Assisted leave travel is not intended to be used to buy daily items such as food.
To a relief leave centre
3. Security Suitable security measures protect members and their dependants.

If serious security problems arise in the community, assisted leave travel may be used to provide temporary relief.
4. Climate A posting location is subject to continuous hot or cold weather throughout the year, without any seasonal relief.
5. Social, economic and cultural reasons There may be substantial social, economical and cultural differences between a posting location and Australia, which could have an adverse effect on the member and their dependants if there was no ability to use assisted leave travel.

16.4.7 Number of trips

  1. The number of trips a member is eligible for to each leave centre for a hardship location is listed in the following Annexes.

    1. For a member posted before 1 July 2017 – Annex 16.A Part 1 column 3.

    2. For a member posted on or after 1 July 2017 – Annex 16.B column 3.

    Note: Each trip is to be treated as a separate benefit.

  2. The number of trips under subsection 1 is reduced by any trip for which costs are provided under section 15.3.38.

    See: Chapter 15 Part 3 Division 7 section 15.3.38, Additional travel when posting extended

  3. The interval between assisted leave fares in this table is recommended to allow a member to get the most benefit from the trips provided.

  4. For members who have shorter or longer posting periods, this limit is adjusted on a pro rata basis.

    See:
    Section 16.4.8, Posting longer than the ordinary posting period
    Section 16.4.9, Posting shorter than the ordinary posting period

  5. A member is not to combine trips under this Part.

    Example: A member in Fiji has assisted leave travel benefit to one regional trip to Australia and two relief trips to Sydney. The member cannot combine the two relief trips to Sydney to take one relief trip to Perth.

16.4.8 Posting longer than the ordinary posting period

  1. This section applies to a member whose posting to an overseas location extends beyond the ordinary posting period.

    Related Information: The ordinary posting period for a location is listed in column 2 of Annex 16.A, Part 1, Hardship post conditions of service for specific posting locations.

  2. Related information:
    Travel when posting is extended is also provided under Chapter 15 Part 3 Division 7 section 15.3.38, Additional travel when posting extended.
    Subsection 16.4.7.2 provides that if the member claims travel under section 15.3.38, the member may not also claim travel under this Division.

  3. The number of trips a member may take to a leave centre from the member's hardship location may be increased using the formula shown below.

  4. A x (1 + B)
    C

    Where:
    A = Extra period (months).
    B = Total number of trips under the relevant of the following Annexes.
          a. Annex 16.A Part 1 Column 3.
          b. Annex 16.B column 3.
    C = Ordinary posting period (months).

    See:
    Annex 16.A, Hardship post conditions of service – member posted before 1 July 2017
    Annex 16.B, Hardship post conditions of service – member posted on or after 1 July 2017

  5. The outcome of the formula in subsection 2 must be rounded to the nearest whole number.

  6. If the number of trips increases, the allowable travel cost for each trip is determined as if the trip was to a leave centre, in the following order.

    1. The first additional trip is to the regional leave centre.

    2. The next additional trips are to the relief leave centre, until the number of trips for that centre in the ordinary posting period has been used.

    3. Subsequent additional trips are to any further relief leave centre applicable for that location, until the number of trips for that centre in the ordinary posting period has been used.

    4. Any remaining trips must be worked out in a similar manner, beginning from the regional leave centre in paragraph a, then paragraphs b and c.

  1. This section applies in relation to a member's original posting period. It also applies if a member's posting is extended.

16.4.9 Posting shorter than the ordinary posting period

  1. If a member's posting is shorter than the ordinary posting period, then the number of trips to leave centres are reduced pro-rata using the formula:

  2. Total number of trips for the
    ordinary posting period
    x Reduced posting period (months)
    Ordinary posting period (months)
  3. The number of trips must be rounded to the nearest whole number.

  4. If the number of trips is reduced, this table shows how the remaining number of trips are to be allocated.

    Remaining number of trips

    Item

    If the ordinary posting period has been reduced to a period of... and there is... then...
    1. less than 12 months all trips are to be to the relief leave centres for the hardship location.
    2. more than 12 months a regional leave centre for the hardship location one trip can be made to the regional leave centre.Any additional trips are to be made to the relief leave centre.
    3. more than 12 months no regional leave centre for that posting location shown in Annex 16.A all trips are to be to the relief leave centre.
  5. The amount of assisted leave travel under this section will not be reduced if the CDF terminates the posting.

  6. The CDF may decide that it would be reasonable not to reduce the amount of assisted leave travel under this section, if the member terminates the posting. The CDF must consider all these criteria.

    1. The circumstances in which the posting was terminated.

    2. The period the member has served at the posting location.

    3. The ordinary posting period at that location.

    4. If the member's service will continue after the posting.

    5. Any other factor relevant to the termination of the posting.

Persons who can make the decision under subsection 16.4.9.4 on behalf of the Secretary/CDF:
Senior ADF Representative at the overseas post
A person who is authorised to manage Defence personnel administration at the overseas post and is not below MAJ(E)/APS 6.
Director of Personnel – HQJOC
A person working in the Pay an Administration Centre – Victoria who is authorised to manage Defence pay administration at overseas posts and is not below WO2(E)/APS 5.
Director of Attaché and Overseas Management

16.4.10 Sequence

The member may choose in writing the sequence in which assisted leave fares are taken for the leave centres during the ordinary posting period.

16.4.11 Offsetting assisted leave travel

  1. If the CDF is satisfied that travel to another country meets the purpose of assisted leave travel, the member may travel to a destination in another country that meets the purpose of assisted leave travel.

  2. The CDF must consider both these criteria.

    1. The purpose of the leave fare.

    2. The facilities and environment at the destination.

  3. The Commonwealth will provide assisted leave travel up to the allowable travel cost of the trip the member would otherwise be eligible for under this Part. This is to help the member buy air fares and package deals from any source.

  4. The member will not be reimbursed more than the allowable travel cost for a trip from their hardship location to the relevant leave centre.

    See:
    Section 16.4.5, Assisted leave travel
    Section 16.4.12, Proof of travel

Persons who can make the decision under subsection 16.4.11.1 on behalf of the Secretary/CDF:
A person not below MAJ(E)/APS 6 who is authorised to manage Defence personnel administration at the overseas post.
Senior ADF Representative at the overseas post
Director of Attaché and Overseas Management
Director of Personnel – HQJOC

16.4.12 Proof of travel

  1. Proof of travel is required when either of these conditions applies to a member.

    1. They offset the assistance under section 16.4.11.

    2. They are paid for assisted leave travel in advance.

  2. The member must provide written evidence that they and their dependants visited another country while on leave, within two weeks of returning from the leave.

  3. An air ticket is not sufficient evidence. Written evidence may include any of these things.

    1. An exit stamp in a passport.

    2. An airline boarding pass.

    3. Written confirmation from a travel agent.

  4. ...

16.4.12A Recovery of travel costs

The member must repay to the Commonwealth the full amount of assistance provided under this Division, if either of the following applies.

  1. Travel for which the Commonwealth has paid for does not occur.

  2. The member does not provide the proof of travel required under section 16.4.12.

  3. See: Section 6.4.12, Proof of travel

16.4.13 Leave fare examples

This example is to illustrate assisted leave travel approved for a 24-month posting.

Example scenario: A particular posting location lacks suitable shopping and medical facilities, and has a hostile political regime, where members are subject to constant harassment.

It is decided that members require assisted leave travel for all these purposes.

  1. Shopping, once every 12 months.

  2. Medical checkups, once every 12 months.

  3. Relief from the hostile environment, every six months.

Result: The result is that the shopping and checkup needs are met by the same trip, which also provides one of the trips for environmental relief.

At the end of 24 months, the member has taken these three trips.

  1. One trip to a regional leave centre.

  2. Two trips to a relief leave centre.

16.4.14 Alternative leave centre – leave centre ceases to be suitable

  1. If a leave centre ceases to be a suitable leave centre, then an alternative leave centre may be used. This table shows when an alternative leave centre may be used.

    Alternative leave centre
    If the leave centre for a posting location is... and... then...
    affected by war, civil disorder, natural disaster or a similar event the CDF is satisfied that the leave centre is temporarily unfit to use the CDF must substitute a leave centre that is comparable in cost and facilities.
  2. In deciding on a substitute leave centre, the CDF must consider if the alternative leave centre will provide the member with these opportunities.

    1. Relief from difficult climates and environments.

    2. Access to adequate medical, hospital, dental services and facilities.

    3. Access to shops selling household and personal items.

  3. Every six months the CDF must review the decision to substitute a leave centre.

Persons who can make the decisions under subsection 16.4.14.1, table, and subsection 16.4.14.3 on behalf of the Secretary/CDF:
Director Military Conditions and Housing Policy

16.4.15 Travel by private vehicle

  1. A member might go on assisted leave travel by private vehicle. This section shows how to work out the cost of return travel for the purpose of paragraph 16.4.5.1.a.

  2. The cost of return travel by the member is the total of these two amounts.

    1. The amount of vehicle allowance that would be payable if the vehicle was being used on official business.

      See: Chapter 15 Part 3 Division 4, Vehicle allowances

    2. The cost (if any) of transporting the vehicle and occupants for part of the travel. This cost does not include accommodation or meals.

  3. The total under this section is used in working out how much the member is reimbursed for the assisted leave travel under subsection 16.4.5.1.

16.4.16 Excess baggage

  1. A member may be eligible to be reimbursed excess baggage costs incurred on return flights to the hardship location.

  2. Excess baggage assistance for each hardship location is shown in the following Annexes.

    1. Annex 16.A Part 1 column 3 for member posted before 1 July 2017.

    2. Annex 16.B column 3 for member posted on or after 1 July 2017.

  3. The member may be reimbursed the cost of up to 12kg of excess baggage charged by the airline for the excess baggage for each of the following people travelling.

    1. The member.

    2. A dependant of the member.

Application to Reservists: Yes, on continuous full-time service.




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