25 June, 2009


Welfare Issues

You will be entitled to the same annual leave as British Citizen sailors, currently 30 working days of paid leave every year. You may also be entitled to a certain amount of travel warrants for travel within the UK only. You should note that the cost of leave travel to your country of origin is your own responsibility.

In certain circumstances you may be entitled to leave to return to your country of origin. The rules are quite complex so you should contact your Unit Personnel Office for full details. However, as a guide the following information is provided: DOMCOL. A single sailor or a married sailor serving unaccompanied (that is having left his family in his native country), who was mostly resident outside the UK or Northern Ireland prior to enlistment may be granted paid leave to visit that country of origin. Eligibility for this leave is after 5 years' service and is termed

DOMCOL (Domiciled Collective Leave). It is important that you register as soon as possible with your Unit Personnel Office.

DOMCOL SUBSTITUTE. Alternatively, if you are married and accompanied by your family you may be eligible for DOMCOL substitute. This enables you to accumulate up to 25% of your annual leave for the purpose of taking 45 working days' leave to your domiciled country after 5 years. In this instance, travel at public expense is not permissible.

Compassionate Action/Leave
Compassionate leave and travel at public expense is provided to sailors to visit immediate relatives (i.e. spouses, children, parents, siblings) who have died or are very seriously ill. Entitlement to compassionate leave is assessed on a case-by-case basis and, with your consent, involves verification of information with the appropriate medical authorities. You are strongly advised to discuss the sharing of information with your relatives at regular intervals. This should expedite any NPFS investigation. This travel is only authorised for return from ships overseas to the UK homeport and excludes any relatives who are living overseas. You are therefore not entitled to compassionate travel back to your country of origin at public expense for leave purposes. However, if you are registered under the DOMCOL scheme you can be granted an early entitlement to leave and travel to visit immediate relatives, although this will only apply to single and married unaccompanied sailors. Further information should be sought from either your Divisional Officer or Unit Personnel Office.

Welfare Support
Naval Personal & Family Service (NPFS) and Royal Marines Welfare
The purpose of NPFS is to support the Royal Navy, its personnel and their families in peacetime and war by helping prevent or reduce the effects of personal difficulties especially those which arise as a result of Service life, in order to optimise the military capability of the serviceman or woman.

What can you expect from NPFS?

  • A confidential service (subject to civil and military law).
  • An aim to alleviate the effects of the stresses of naval life on individuals and their families by working in partnership with all those involved (including the Command, supporting agencies, medical services and Chaplaincy) to meet the RN's requirements for an efficient and effective service.
  • A commitment to deliver a timely, high quality non-discriminatory service. In support of continuous improvement we aim for consistency and quality, actively seeking comments, compliments and complaints on our service.
  • A comprehensive assessment of need.

What NPFS Offers

  • A comprehensive social work service to RN personnel and their families.
  • A proactive Community service.
  • A professional service to the RN Executive and Divisional System.
  • A link between the service person and their family in times of difficulty.
  • Advice Service - RN equivalent of the Citizen's Advice Bureau.

Services provided by NPFS
We offer direct or in conjunction with other agencies, advice, counselling, support (practical or emotional), advocacy on behalf of clients. These services are available to individuals, couples or families and examples of the type of work we undertake are:

  • Relationship problems
  • Bereavement
  • Debt Advice
  • Child Care concerns
  • Mental Health
  • Special Needs
  • NOK Support for Deployed Personnel
  • Physical Illness
  • Pregnancy complications

This list is not exhaustive, a quick call to one of our offices will confirm if we can assist. If we are not able to directly help we are often able to provide information and access to an alternative local or national civilian and services source of support relevant to your concerns.

Contact Telephone Numbers

Naval Personal & Family Service (NPFS)
Eastern Area & Overseas Western Area Northern Area
Swiftsure Block
HMS Nelson
Fenner Block
HMS Drake
1-5 Churchill Square
Argyll & Bute
G84 9HL
Phone Icon Phone: 02392 722712 Phone Icon Phone: 01752 555041 Phone Icon Phone: 01436 672798

NPFS & RM Welfare Advice Service
Part of the service provided by NPFS, and under the direct supervision of the Area Officers at the three base ports, Advice Service is the Navy's own version of the Citizen's Advice Bureau (CAB). It provides a wealth of information and advice across a broad range of Service and civilian issues that are relevant to RN/RM personnel and their families. They are an ideal starting point when seeking advice or information on any issues and provide a confidential service.

Legal Advice
A Legal Advice Officer (LAO) is a civilian solicitor provided by the Forces Law Network. They specialise in assisting military personnel.

The Legal Advice Clinic provides initial advice, guidance and assistance on a wide range of legal matters to Royal Navy personnel of all ranks. Much of the work involves advice on personal legal problems i.e.

  • Divorce and other Relationship matters
  • Criminal cases
  • Road Traffic offences
  • Consumer problems Service Conditions and Regulations
  • Courts Martial and Disciplinary Procedures

The service is free and confidential to the service user, and is provided wherever they are serving, either in the UK or overseas. Many service users may not be seen at the Legal Advice Clinic, but may still receive advice by letter, signal, telephone etc.

Legal Advice Clinics normally attend the local Naval establishments on a regular basis and further information can be obtained by contacting your local NPFS office.

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Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Naval Families Federation
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SSAFA Confidential Support Line

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