Leave & Travel
There are many forms of leave, some of which may be familiar to you some of which may not be. All leave is subject to the requirements of the Service and it may be necessary for leave to be postponed, stopped or for personnel already on leave to be recalled. In these circumstances the reason why will be explained to the individual concerned. This section is aimed at informing you of some of the lesser known leave and travel procedures. For any further queries regarding the rules of leave and travel, Service Personnel are advised to visit their Unit Personnel Office or Ship's Office onboard.
Career Breaks will be granted at the absolute discretion of the Service - they are not a right- and will only be permitted where manning margins allow and where operational capability is not compromised. All applications are considered on their merits and approval will be subject to the overriding needs of the Service. Personnel on a Career Break will not be paid and will remain liable to full time regular service in the event of operational necessity.
A Career Break enables individuals to take a specified unpaid period of time out of their RM/RM career to meet personal objectives or to deal with personal circumstances, which could not be achieved by utilising other paid or unpaid leave entitlements. The duration will be for a period agreed by Career Managers (DNCM), ranging from a minimum of 3 months to a maximum of 3 years. Exceptionally, applications for a longer period will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Personnel must recognise that the operational capability must be maintained and that, sometimes, it may be necessary to restrict the number of personal on Career Breaks at any one time. Inevitably some applications may be refused.
A Career Break can be used for almost any purpose although personnel wishing to undertake civilian employment must seek approval form their Commanding Officer- certain types of employment e.g. Fire Service, Police and all types of security work, whether in the UK or overseas are prohibited.
(QRRN Articles J8401-8408)
For eligibility and the effects of taking a CB please refer to 2005 DIN02-104
In exceptional circumstances Service Personnel may apply for unpaid leave in excess of their normal annual allowance when this has been used up. Service Personnel should ensure there are no grounds for granting alternative special leave prior to considering this option. Possible circumstances may include business or estate difficulties over which the Service Person has no control and there is no other person to deal with the situation, taking part in activities beneficial to the Service which do not justify the granting of special paid leave and absences longer than can be met by the granting of compassionate leave but do not warrant the individual's release from the Service.
Ordinary Maternity Leave (OML)
All Service women who become pregnant, whether they are leaving the Service or returning to duty after childbirth and irrespective of length of service, are entitled to 26 weeks OML. Within prescribed limits you may choose when this starts and ends. In exceptional circumstances this leave can be extended by 2 weeks if the birth is late under Health and Safety regulations. However, time in excess of 26 weeks will be unpaid. OML is reckonable service and counts towards the completion of engagement or commission. For full explanation of the regulations regarding OML you are ad
More Information: Legal and Disciplinary Matters - Pregnancy
Additional Maternity Leave (AML)
Service Women who have completed at least one year's service by the start of the 11th week before the Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC) are entitled to take unpaid AML. This starts at the end of OML and ends no later than 29 weeks from the beginning of the week of actual childbirth. AML is unpaid leave that does not count as reckonable service and an extension of service would be necessary to complete a pensionable commission or engagement. For a full explanation of the regulations regarding AML you are advised to contact your Unit Personnel Office or Ship's Office onboard or RN Sick Quarters.
Parental Leave (PL)
Parental Leave is paid leave to allow parents of either gender to take time off from their normal employment for the purpose of caring for a child. PL is available to all Service Personnel who have been continuously employed for 26 weeks and have, or expect to have, parental responsibility for a child. You may take up to 2 weeks PL for each pregnancy for which there is an entitlement subject to giving a minimum of 15 weeks notice in writing before the expected birth date. For a full explanation of the regulations regarding PL you are advised to contact your Unit Personnel Office or Ship's Office onboard..
Travel to Northern Ireland
All travel, including compassionate travel, to Northern Ireland is subject to regulations administered by British Army HQ Northern Ireland (HQNI) and all applications must be signalled via the Service Person's Commanding Officer at least 21 days prior to the start of the visit. However, compassionate leave can be exceptionally authorised at short notice. Eligibility for travel to Northern Ireland will be assessed with regard to the security situation at any given time. Travel between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.
For regular travellers to Northern Ireland, it is possible to be granted "Frequent Visitor" status by HQNI Brigade Staff allowing them to travel to an agreed address without clearance. Application should be made via the Service Person's Commanding Officer. Service Personnel will be given a security briefing prior to leaving their unit and have a duty to attend a local security briefing on arrival within the province. For any further queries regarding the rules of travel, Service Personnel are advised to visit their Unit Personnel Office or Ship's Office onboard.
Travel to the Republic of Ireland
All travel, including compassionate travel, to the Republic of Ireland is subject to regulations administered by Defence Section, Dublin and all applications must be signalled via the Service Person's Commanding Officer at least 21 days prior to the start of the visit. Notification of visits to Donegal, Louth, Monaghan and Cavan will be copied to HQ Northern Ireland. Compassionate leave can be exceptionally authorised at short notice. Eligibility for travel to the Republic of Ireland will be assessed by Commanding Officers. Cross Border travel will require the approval of HQ Northern Ireland prior to notification to the Defence Section. Please note that cross border travel is rarely authorised.
Service Personnel will be given a security briefing prior to leaving their unit and will be provided with the contact details for the Defence Section, Dublin for use in an emergency. For any further queries regarding the rules of travel, Service Personnel are advised to visit their Unit Personnel Office or Ship's Office onboard.
Free Leave Travel - Additional Warrants
School Children's Visits in the UK
If your place of duty is in the UK and you have a child or children attending full time education at a boarding school, you are entitled to 3 return journeys per year per child, at public expense, reduced by a parental contribution, in order that the child(ren) can visit a parent. Warrants may only be issued for a journey between the boarding school and the parents' home address.
The parental contribution equates to 100 miles at the motor mileage allowance (MMA) for car journeys and 50 miles for each return journey issued by half rail warrant for children under 16. For any further queries regarding the rules of free leave travel, Service Personnel are advised to visit their Unit Personnel Office or Ship's Office onboard.
School Children's Visits Overseas
Children of Service Personnel serving abroad may be granted passage at public expense to spend school holidays with their parents at their duty stations. The term school includes boarding school, day school and full-time higher education. There will be a parental contribution towards the costs of travel within the UK for all overseas visits. The duration of the visit must be for a minimum of 7 days, with a usual frequency of the three main school annual holidays. For the complete instructions regarding school children's visits, Service Personnel are advised to visit their Unit Personnel Office or Ship's Office onboard.
Privately Arranged Passage(PaP)
PAP arrangements enable personnel travelling to or from overseas appointments or drafts to receive a payment towards expenses for making private travel arrangements. Eligible personnel will be re-imbursed actual costs not exceeding the cost of official transport. Privately arranged passages are intended to assist personnel who have personal reasons for travelling by means other than the official route e.g. those wishing to transport a vehicle to use at their duty station. Further queries regarding the rules of PAP should be discussed with Unit Personnel Office or Ship's Office staff.
Travel on Sick Leave
When sick leave is granted, travel at public expense will be allowed for the journey to and from the place at which sick leave is spent, provided the place is approved by the Medical Officer. Warrants issued for travel on sick leave will be additional to any other travel warrant entitlement. When patients suffering from mental disorders are recommended to have leave at home, as part of their prescribed treatment, travel will be allowed for one relative or friend to act as escort for the journey to and from the hospital and the place of residence, if recommended by the Senior Medical Officer prior to the patient proceeding on leave. For any further queries regarding the rules of free leave travel, Service Personnel are advised to visit their Unit Personnel Office or Ship's Office onboard.
Travel on Compassionate Leave
When personnel granted compassionate leave are required to travel, travel at public expense will be allowed. The Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC), the relevant NPFS/RM Welfare Authority and/or the Serving Person's Unit may arrange travel with the collection of tickets at transport terminals.
Travel to the UK for Service Personnel and their families serving abroad may be granted in the event of the death of a Parent or Parent-in-Law. Family travel includes the Serving Person, spouse and any dependant children aged 16 years and under who are resident in theatre.
Additionally the spouse of personnel serving outside the UK and any of their accompanying children may, if desired, be allowed to travel at public expense to visit a child, parent or legal guardian of a spouse who is very seriously ill.
Visits to Service Personnel in Hospital
Personnel who have been in hospital for a period of at least three days may use their free travel warrants to enable a relative or friend to visit them in hospital. Single personnel receiving long-term treatment in a hospital situated more than 20 miles from their normal home address will qualify after 30 days of hospitalisation for a free warrant every 30 days up to a maximum of 8 per year for family or friends to visit. For any further queries regarding the rules of travel, Service Personnel are advised to visit their Unit Personnel Office or Ship's Office onboard.
Dangerously Ill Foreign (DILFOR)
The DILFOR scheme is intended primarily for the benefit of the patient. It provides accommodation and travel at public expense (including overseas travel) for close family members1 to visit a Service person in hospital. Also, it can be extended to include reimbursement of one return journey for 2 close family members to visit the permanent residence of a Service person who is hospitalized. The scheme is in 2 parts; one covers hospitals outside UK (Very Seriously Ill and Seriously Ill) and the other is for UK hospitals only (Very seriously Ill, Seriously Ill and Ill). Family members are accommodated at public expense for up to 7 days but this can be extended to 10 days in exceptional circumstances. Visits are normally authorised and arranged via the appropriate Welfare authority and families are hosted by the Service person's unit or local British Consulate for the duration of the visit.
Get You Home (Overseas)
Service Personnel drafted/appointed overseas and their accompanying family are eligible for 1 return journey to the UK per person per year of their overseas assignment. For further information regarding the rules of GYH(O), Service Personnel are advised to visit their Unit Personnel Office or Ship's Office onboard.
Indulgence air passage may be granted to serving personnel and their families to travel in spare seats in RAF and MOD charter aircraft when there is no entitlement to travel at public expense. A charge is made to cover administration. It must be emphasised that, because spare seats are few and their availability is uncertain, at no time can a guarantee be given that an indulgence flight will be available. More are available during term time as during school holidays children at boarding school will be visiting parents abroad.
RAF Forms 2768/IND are available from Unit Personnel Office (UPO) and Ship's Offices. Forms for each single journey should be completed and must be sponsored by an Officer equivalent to the rank of Lieutenant Commander/Major or above. These must not be submitted more than three months in advance of the date of travel. Applications for journeys originating in the UK are to be sent to:
Joint Service Travel Centre (JSTC)
5th Floor St Georges Court
2 - 12 Bloomsbury Way
Forces Discount Railcards
The Forces Railcard Scheme allows service personnel and their entitled dependants to purchase for £15.00 a Railcard that will give reductions on certain rail fares. The Railcard is valid for one year from the date of issue. In addition up to four children aged 5 to 15 years inclusive can travel standard class when accompanying the Railcard Holder at a flat fare (currently £10.00). These tickets can only be purchased in association with a Railcard discounted fare; they cannot be obtained when using an HM Forces Travel Warrant. Applications for Railcards are made via the Service Person's Unit Personnel Office or Ship's Office onboard.
Forces Discount Coach Cards
The Forces Discount Coach Card entitles all members of the regular forces and their spouses to a discount of approximately 33% on standard fares for nearly all National Express services in mainland Britain. Dependant children are not eligible for the Forces Discount Coach Card. However, children under 5 travel free provided they do not occupy a separate seat. Children aged 5 to 15 inclusive receive the normal child discount rate (full fare discounted by 30%) without requiring the card. Dependants aged 16 to 23 inclusive can purchase the generally available Young Persons' Coach Card. Application for Coach Cards are made via the Service Person's Unit Personnel Office or Ship's Office onboard.
UK Passports for Service Personnel and Their Families
Service Personnel who require a passport or passport renewal to travel on an official journey are entitled to do so at public expense subject to unit budget holder approval. This is normally arranged through your Unit Personnel Office or Ship's Office; however, you may arrange your own application via the post office but can only claim for the standard passport fee of £66. Additional handling charges cannot be refunded. Family passports will not normally be funded unless foreign travel is required for Service reasons e.g. accompanied local foreign service. In these circumstances application and funding will be arranged via units in the same way as for the Service spouse. For further information regarding passport application contact your Unit Personnel Office or Ship's Office onboard.
Web site: UK Passport Service
Web site: Foreign & Commonwealth Office - Passport/Visa Advice