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Getting Pulled Off Leave


How often does this happen?

In the last few months I've read a few people (on RFA facebook groups) saying they've been put on a course or called back to a ship early while on leave. I've now seen it once too often to overlook it as a one off.

So I have a few questions,
i) How often does this actually happen?
ii) Are you obliged to do it?
iii) Are you compensated when it does happen?

Any other relevant info would be greatly appreciated.


Lantern Swinger
You cannot be obliged to join a ship or attend a course whilst on earned voyage leave, so no-one has been "pulled off leave".


War Hero
Perhaps the point Megalopteron is making is that when you join a ship -including travel - or take a course you are not on leave.

Ships' programmes take into account crew changes but they won't often burn 50 cubes of F76 so (insert name of officer or rating who thinks he or she knows his rights) can leave home to join the very day leave ends. A week early is in the contract if I'm not mistaken. That's why it's called leave, not holidays.

Appointers can and do ask people to come back early ( unused leave carried over), matey agrees having been promised something special but arrives on board dripping that he was 'pulled off leave and it's so unfair'.

"I know its 2 weeks early, join in New York for Fleet Week, you'll get your leave back and I'll put you to the top of the list for a MARS tanker."

"Fack off I know my rights", he said, never.


You can and will be asked to attend various courses during your leave, it is entirely up to you whether you attend or not, no one can demand that you attend, that said, if you do not attend said courses and the guy behind you does then he will be first choice for the next job and you may be left behind career wise.
It is your choice, either make it your career or leave it to those who do not have an issue with having their leave curtailed from time to time, some call it "growing up"

Sorry, that was in reply to EightSixteen


Lantern Swinger
A week early is in the contract if I'm not mistaken.

I'm not digging out my contract, but I happen to have a copy of the relevant section of "Regulations for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service" to hand (my emphases):

"Employees are also reminded that they could, in times of crisis, be appointed to a ship within 5 days of completion of their EVL in accordance with [PRG]".

"Whilst employees are permitted, and will be encouraged to take all outstanding EVL before their next appointment, they may however be asked to return from leave early in certain circumstances. This will be necessary to meet operational requirements and/or to facilitate the timely relief of other employees onboard ship... All employees are encouraged to be ready to take up an appointment up to 48 hours prior to the end of any period of EVL."

"Asked" and "encouraged" are enough wiggle room to say "poke it" when an appointer suggests coming back before your leave has expired. I have been asked often, and declined occasionally. The rules give a week's margin for relief onboard, but there is no sanction until a relief is 14+ days late, when Extended Tour Allowance applies. It is amazing how often reliefs arrive 12-13 days late.

If the programmed relief windows for the ship your appointer would like to appoint you to does not coincide with the end of your leave, and you do not wish to return from leave early, that is your appointer's problem.


War Hero
the RN seem to be teaching the RFA bods pretty well. They seem to have the cream of the lower deck lawyers;)


It can also work the other way. You may have earned 84 days evl but be sat at home for 150+ days and getting paid. I know it then turns to "continous pay" but its not something to moan about. I have been off since February and no sign of a ship at the moment


some call it "growing up"

Would it not make more sense for some to call it "opportunity"?... I'm pretty sure it's more relevant than maturity.

Anyway, putting my maturity to the side, it all makes much more sense to me and I have no problem with it. The terminology used in the aforementioned FB posts was "pulled" which suggested less of a request; and more of a "get your arse back here".

Cheers for clarifying it though lads, I appreciate it and feel a hell of a lot better for it.
Going back to the early '70s, we often asked blokes to return early from leave. We knew who were flexible and who usually weren't. The "invitation" response would often mean the difference between getting a creamy topper or something really exciting like EDDYFIRTH, ENGADINE or pongo ferrying in the North Sea. Leaving blokes at sea longer than the Appointment Letter was easier by the phrase "subject to the exigencies of the Service".
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