Leave Arrangements & the British Armed Forces

In 2016-17, Service personnel had an average Individual Leave Allowance (ILA) entitlement of 50.3 days, similar to 51.2 days in 2015-16. Of this entitlement (2015-16 figures in brackets) (AFPRB, 2018, p.13):

  • 40.1 days were used (42.5 days);
  • 8.9 days were carried forward (7.7 days);
  • 1.2 days were lost (1.1 days); and
  • Some element of ILA was lost by 15% of Service personnel (13%).

What is the Individual Leave Allowance?

The ILA comprises:

  • Annual Leave Allowance;
  • Seagoers Leave;
  • Post Operational Leave; and
  • Authorised Absence.

ILA does not include:

  • Rest and recuperation (R&R);
  • Re-engagement leave; and
  • Relocation leave.

How Satisfied are Service Personnel with ILA?

The Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey (AFCAS) found that:

  • 70% of respondents were satisfied with their overall leave entitlement, unchanged from the previous three years;
  • 61% of respondents were satisfied with the amount of leave they were able to take in the previous 12 months (62 per cent in 2015-16); and
  • 45% of respondents were satisfied with the opportunity to take leave when they wished, a slight increase from 44 per cent in 2016.

Data collected via the Continuous Working Patterns Survey suggested that:

  • 41% of respondents had to change approved periods of leave for Service reasons compared to 43% in 2015-16
  • 32% had to change leave once or twice (34% in 2015-16); and
  • 8% had to change leave three or more times (10% in 2015-16).


AFPRB (Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body). (2018) Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body Forty-Seventh Report 2018. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/armed-forces-pay-review-body-forty-seventh-report-2018. [Accessed: 22 January, 2019].


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