HC Deb 14 December 1995 vol 268 c766W
Mr. Cousins

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the normal arrangements for leave and home service between tours; and in how many cases in each year since 1992 those arrangements have been reduced, waived or suspended. [5480]

Mr. Soames

Annual leave entitlement varies between the services from 30 days to 42 days depending on rank, with the flexibility to carry forward up to 14 days from one year to the next. Additionally, there is provision under service regulations for periods of embarkation and disembarkation leave of between seven and 21 days depending upon marital status and overseas location. This is to enable personnel either to settle their affairs in the United Kingdom before proceeding on a tour of duty overseas or to settle themselves and their families after returning to United Kingdom.

Personnel who are permitted or required to serve on a second consecutive and complete tour of duty overseas may be granted leave in the UK on completion of the first tour.

Regular overseas tours outside north-west Europe are still commonplace in the Army. However, when a normal overseas tour has been completed, every effort will he made to post individuals for a further tour of at least 18 months in UK or north-west Europe before the next overseas posting on a normal tour.

Posting and leave policy were subjects covered in the independent review carried out by Sir Michael Bctt. My Department is evaluating his proposals.

The information on the number of cases in each year since 1992 where these arrangements have been reduced, waived or suspended is not held centrally and could he provided only at disproportionate cost.