HL Deb 21 February 2005 vol 669 cc168-9WA
Baroness Noakes

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Bach on 27 January (Official Report, col. WA 179), what are the normal rules for Armed Forces personnel to claim an allowance for recreational travel and subsistence; and whether attendance by regular service personnel at events such as the Royal Navy ski and snowboard championships counts as part of the leave arrangements of those persons. [HL1059]

Lord Bach

Provision of leave and minor allowances towards sport and adventurous training is seen as one of the best and most cost-effective means of boosting morale, improving retention in the services and providing continued professional and personal development. It is a demonstration of the Royal Navy's commitment to being a good employer, promoting health, fitness, team values and work-life balance.

The regulations for recreational travel and subsistence expenses laid down in Joint Service's Defence Council Instructions permit participants and essential officials at overseas events such as Single Service Winter Sports Championships to claim a contribution towards their attendance. Travel must be by the cheapest means and subject to the local budget holder's approval and a maximum value; strict criteria apply. They can also claim an allowance for meals in lieu of the provision of service meals.

The use of annual leave to attend the championships or other such events is at the discretion of commanding officers. Those selected to represent their unit or command in the championship races are not normally required to take annual leave. Other attendees are expected to use annual leave, except in some circumstances where up to five days for adventurous training per year can be counted towards attendance.