Christmas and New Year Leave and Payment Arrangements 2020/2021 – Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Our Ref: SH/7/2
18th December 2020


Dear Colleagues

Christmas and New Year Leave and Payment Arrangements 2020/2021 – Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Further to my letter dated 8th December 2020, please read a further update below from Mark Carden, Assistant National Secretary, regarding the above matter:-

“Following on from the RFA Commodore’s recent bulletin both RMT and Nautilus wrote to the Commodore asking that he reconsider his decision to restrict any Christmas concessionary leave. After an urgent meeting with the RFA and the implications of restricted Christmas leave on our members we agreed that not only a ‘compelling compassionate’ reason should be considered for acceptance but also any mental health issues should be considered by commanding officers (CO’s). Seafarers mental health has been a growing topic of concern over the last few years and has been compounded by Covid-19 and it’s effects on tour of duty lengths and concerns about vulnerable family members at home. RMT and Nautilus members have pulled together over the last eight months to contain Covid-19 on board all the vessels and training establishments. We have shared best practice in all areas and continue to do so.

RFA/RMT representatives have been meeting on a regular basis via Zoom and discussing RMT members concerns on Covid-19 and Christmas concessionary leave. We concluded that there is an opportunity for RMT and Nautilus members to request concessionary leave over the Christmas period contained within the criteria and guidance given to CO’s from RFA.

RMT members who request concessionary leave over the festive period should approach their CO’s in confidence with a compassionate or mental health case to proceed on leave. Their RMT rep should be available for advice if needed and provide advocacy to RMT members.

We would also remind RMT/RFA members that they should also consider their own health and safety and the health and safety of their families. A full and frank conversation with your family members should take place especially if you have vulnerable family members at home. Covid-19 has not gone away and the contagion is still hidden.

We as a workforce have dealt with Covid-19 proactively through the 27 page live document available on RFA defence gateway and share best practice between ships, training establishments, shipyards and RFA shore staff. A phenomenal effort has been mobilised by all and the safety of RFA personal has been at the forefront of all discussions on Covid-19.

If you are proceeding on Christmas concessionary leave stay safe, be vigilant and follow PHE and NHS advice.

Yours Fraternally


Mark Carden
Assistant National Secretary”

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary