25 June, 2009


Compassionate Leave and Travel

What Is Compassionate Leave
Compassionate leave is granted when there is an urgent need for the Serving person to be at home. While no precise rules can be laid down when compassionate leave, or if necessary compassionate draft, can be granted the following should give some indication of the types of situations that could attract compassionate action:
When a spouse or child is very seriously ill or has died.

  • On the death of a parent, or parent-in-law or when death is imminent.
  • When a person's presence is the only means of preventing the break-up of the family.
  • When the care of young children can only be provided satisfactorily by the person's presence.
  • At other times only when circumstances are more than usually distressing.

The length of leave will vary according to the circumstances of the case, but the leave is in addition to, and not counted against, an individual's annual leave entitlement. All cases are dealt with on a case-by-case basis and further information should be sought from your local NPFS Area Office or The Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre.

How Does Compassionate Travel Work?
Once compassionate leave is granted then compassionate travel is normally arranged by the individual's unit in conjunction with the Joint Casualty and Compassionate centre (JCCC) and will be at public expense. If returning from overseas then the urgency of the situation will dictate the type of travel. In practice this means if the situation is very critical i.e. death is imminent, then the fastest means available (excluding charter aircraft or air taxis) will be used. Otherwise travel will be by the quickest means available to arrive by an agreed date.

Compassionate Leave Travel from Overseas
If circumstances should arise whilst your relative is overseas (including N Ireland) either on a posting, at sea or on deployment, that make it necessary for you to apply for his or her return on compassionate grounds, such as a death in the family, serious illness or a serious family crisis, you should telephone:

The Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre
RAF Innsworth

Phone Icon Phone: +44 (0)1452 519951

This number is continually manned 24 hours a day, including weekends and Bank Holidays.

The Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) is responsible for authorising Compassionate Leave Travel from overseas for Service personnel, their dependants based abroad, and mobilised Reservists and Territorial Army. Compassionate Leave (as distinct from Compassionate Leave Travel) is authorised by the Service person's Commanding Officer overseas, and the JCCC will liase with the Commanding Officer, as required, to bring the Service person home where the situation requires it.

Compassionate travel at public expense is authorised in response to a serious situation regarding an immediate relative or long term partner. If in doubt as to whether a situation qualifies for Compassionate Leave Travel, please call the JCCC for advice.

When you contact the JCCC you will be asked for various information which the JCCC requires to progress your request effectively. To help you identify this information before you phone, download and complete the following 'Compassionate Questionnaire' and have it to hand when you call:

Download Downloadable File: Compassionate Questionnaire (PDF)
To view the PDF file (Portable Document Format), you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader®. Click here to get your FREE download of the software.

Finally, if your Service relative is required home urgently, it is essential you call the JCCC directly; if you call their parent unit, they will have to pass any information you give them on to the JCCC, as they do not have the authority to authorise Compassionate Travel, and this may waste valuable time in dealing with your request.

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