FSD 50 - Vacation travel assistance
This directive recognizes that it is in the interest of both management and employees that employees and their families have access to a vacation travel allowance to visit Canada and/or take a vacation away from the post during each posting, with more frequent travel provisions for employees at more difficult posts.
Issue and verification procedures are found in FSD 70 - Reporting requirements and verification of allowances.
50.01 An employee and any dependant normally residing with the employee at a post shall be entitled to vacation travel allowance (VTA) to assist them in taking a vacation in Canada or some other location,
(a) from posts which are not listed in the Appendix to FSD 58, once per tour of duty (including any extension), of three years or more; where an employee is assigned to a non-hardship post for a period of less than three years, such an employee shall only be entitled to an allowance at the end of the posting in accordance with Section 50.02(a);
(b) from posts at Levels I and II in the Appendix to FSD 58, once per two-year tour of duty plus one trip for each additional year beyond two years;
(c) from posts at Levels I and II in the Appendix to FSD 58, twice per three-year tour of duty, plus one trip for each additional year beyond three years;
(d) from posts at Levels III, IV and V in the appendix to FSD 58, once for each year for the number of years of the tour of duty, plus one trip for each additional year beyond the normal tour of duty.
1. "Dependant normally residing with the employee at the post" includes primary and secondary school students who are being educated away from the post but not in Canada under the provisions of FSD 34.05 where educational facilities at the post are not compatible.
2. Where assistance has been authorized in accordance with FSD 18 - Special family separation assistance, the allowance authorized under section 50.01 may be used by the employee and all the employee's dependants.
(a) In addition to the travel entitlements specified in Section 50.01, an employee and any dependant normally residing with the employee at the post may request to travel between the post and the headquarters city, on the termination of each posting in accordance with FSD 15.03.
(b) The employee does not have the option of deferring relocation travel under FSD 15.03.
(c) The deputy head has the right to defer an employee's relocation travel to the headquarters city under FSD 15.03 for operational reasons. In such a case, the employee shall have one additional VTA under this directive for travel to the headquarters city during the new posting. This travel to the headquarters city must be identified on the FSD 70 Travel Certification form for FSD 50.
1. Employees may be required by the deputy head to provide evidence that the VTA has or will be used for vacation travel, in accordance with the intent of this directive, to assist employees and their dependants in taking one or more vacations away from the post.
2. Travel authorized under Section 50.02 on termination of posting may only be authorized in conjunction with relocation travel under FSD 15 - Relocation, and does not apply to situations of posting extension.
(a) Employees should anticipate changes in family size when applying for VTA. Once issued, VTA cannot be adjusted to recognize the arrival or departure of a dependant.
(b) Where a VTA is authorized, dependants do not have to travel together or with the employee.
50.04 Where travel is authorized under Section 50.01 and/or 50.02(c), the deputy head shall authorize a non-accountable vacation travel allowance equivalent to:
(a) 80% of full (Y) economy class fare, for a return journey from the employee's post to the headquarters city; and
(b) where there is no full (Y) economy class fare for all or a portion of the journey, 100% of special (Y2) economy class fare shall be used for the full journey;
where the allowance shall correspond to the post specific allowance established under FSD 56.10 on June 1st of each year.
Provisions for the issue and verification of vacation travel allowances are found in FSD 70 - Reporting requirements and verification of allowances.
(a) When the employee travels under Section 50.01 of this directive, there is no minimum number of compensation days of leave with pay which must be taken.
(b) An employee shall use the allowance for travel outside the mission, and may be used on one or more occasions upon submission of a travel plan which shall indicate travel for everyone for whom an allowance has been authorized.
(c) Employees are expected to demonstrate that a minimum of 75% of the allowance is spent on travel and travel related expenses, including transportation, accommodation, meals and incidental travel expenses such as tours, entry fees etc. Certification is required on completion of travel or at the end of the posting, as applicable, in accordance with FSD 70 - Reporting requirements and verification of allowances.
1. Vacation leave is an entitlement and should be authorized at the same time that the VTA is approved.
2. When travel is by PMV or rental vehicle, an employee may include expenses for vehicle rental, fuel, oil, road/bridge tolls, ferries and other transportation charges/fees, but may not base travel on a mileage/kilometric rate.
50.06 An employee authorized to travel under this directive who is returning to a Level III, IV or V hardship post may arrange for the shipment of additional personal and household goods as an extension of the provisions of FSD 15.13 - Relocation. The employee will be entitled to either one air shipment not to exceed 20 kilos for the employee and for each accompanying dependant, or accompanied excess baggage not to exceed 20 kilos for the employee and for each accompanying dependant, and where:
(a) the cost shall be limited to the lesser cost of either air cargo or accompanied excess baggage, as determined by the deputy head on the basis of the employee's weight entitlement for shipment from the employee's headquarters city to the employee's post at the time travel is taken;
(b) such shipment must originate from a location on the return routing to the post and must relate to the period of travel;
(c) an employee may claim the cost of charges for customs duties, taxes and/or clearance charges imposed by the host country on the air cargo/accompanied excess baggage.
1. An employee may claim for excess baggage or an air shipment, but not both. Where an employee is claiming accompanied excess baggage, such costs may be incurred from one or more locations on the return routing to the post, up to the amount authorized by the deputy head. Where an employee claims for an air shipment, the cost shall not exceed the amount authorized by the deputy head. This amount shall be determined by the deputy head prior to the employee's departure from the post.
2. An employee is responsible for any demurrage or similar charges incurred as a result of fault, choice or negligence of the employee or dependant and for local transportation costs at the points of origin and destination of the shipment.
50.07 Employees are expected to travel during non-working hours; however, where travel is during working hours, the employee shall be charged the appropriate leave. An exception is made when travel is not possible during non-working hours (for example, all international flights are scheduled for morning, mid-week departures). In such exceptional situations the deputy head shall grant an employee travel leave for a period sufficient to reach the destination of the travel. This period shall not exceed the travelling time by air required for a journey between the post and headquarters city.
50.08 This directive shall apply to each employee of an employee-couple. However, when both employees are at the same post, where a dependant is eligible for travel under this directive, only one employee may claim the entitlements under this directive for each dependant.
(a) All travel entitlements under this directive may be taken at any time during a posting, but all such travel entitlements automatically lapse on the termination of each posting.
(b) Where the frequency of VTA changes as a result of a reduction in a post's post differential allowance level under FSD 58, this change shall not affect an employee at the post on the effective date of the reduction for the duration of the current tour of duty.
(c) Where the frequency of VTA changes as a result of an increase in a post's post differential allowance level under FSD 58, this change shall only affect an employee at the post on the effective date of the increase where the employee has approximately 12 months remaining in the tour of duty.
50.10 Where an employee travelling under the provisions of this directive is accompanied by a dependant and is instructed to report for temporary duty during the period of authorized travel, the deputy head may authorize the payment of the reasonable and actual living expenses for the period of temporary duty for a dependant who accompanies the employee, in accordance with FSD 15.07 - Temporary Duty En Route.
50.11 In cases of early termination of posting at the initiation of the employee or resignation before the end of the employee's tour of duty at a post, all or a portion of the allowance may be recovered by the deputy head. Such recovery action may be waived when, in the opinion of the deputy head, there are extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the employee. (See related provisions FSD 15.35 and FSD 15.36.)