NEP - Thoughts?

Title is quite self explanatory. Good, bad or indifferent - is it a help or a gateway to leaving the uniform cadre?

It is a deferred resignation.
I don’t really see the point - resign or don’t. We need to have a proper Leave of Absence system for people who need to take time out (bearing in mind the 12-hour thing), but NEP seems heavy-handed


I agree with Incubus, I’m not a fan of NEP especially as it’s implemented differently in different places. In some wings if you go NEP it’s treated like a leave of absence and your posting is kept open, in others you are seen as having left and if you come back you go where you are needed.

A decision needs to be made one way or the other & implementation needs to be enforced evenly across the Corps. If NEP is enforced as deffered resignation then something else needs to be created as Incubus describes to allow people who are going to definatley come back to take time out.


We’ve had a CFAV take NEP for personal reasons which affected their enjoyment of the Corps.

1 month in they were feeling much better about the situation, and after 2 months realized they missed it having dealt with sideline issues.
at the 3month deadline review they returned.

another example i know someone took NEP when they became a parent but this was then the gateway to them leaving…

it can go either way- depends on your reasons for NEP - taking a break for a short time or change in priority needing the time off

I wholeheartedly agree that there needs to be a better way of doing things like an extended leave of absence - in my role at work it is feasible that I could end up taking a temporary posting for 6 or 12 months overseas. It is unlikely that I would do this, but it in not something that fits well with NEP as normally applied should I want to remain part of the ACO (sorry pedants RAFAC).

Our wing treats it as a resignation and you tend to find that’s what happens, I’ve only seen 2 people come back from NEP and one of them was put somewhere he was needed and resigned within a year, the other came back onto Wing and hung around.
An old mate of mine when his mum passed away, said he wanted to take a couple of months off and was told he had to go NEP, which he thought was OTT. He just took three months as holiday. But I remember him saying his work were brilliant and gave him a week and half initially and then let him have additional paid leave when he needed to take it.

I’ve never really understood why we need to ask to take time off and have rules around doing it. We don’t get paid and the 12 hours per month given it is and was never a contracted is more like a request and gentleman’s (and lady’s) agreement to do it, but they put huge store in it for uniformed staff.
A better system is just let people do what they want, when they want, we all volunteer and people won’t take huge chunks of time out, unless there is a real need and this might actually help retention as you the lose the NEP get out. So people can be more honest about their reasons.
TBH when I was a CO, if someone came in and said they wanted time off, they just took it and if anyone was to query it (they never did) they would have been told to butt out, I’m in charge of the sqn, so leave me to do just that.


From the people I know who’ve taken NEP, it’s a bit like what people have said when they retire; the first month is like a long holiday, the second is getting used to not going to work and the third month and on is realising that you don’t know how you found the time to go to work. When and since my dad retired he has kept himself busy doing lots of different things that kept him active, but doing it all on his terms. The latter is what the Corps should be like.

Why we have a system like NEP must be a throw back control system and not really suited to the modern ATC. NEP is a way of making asking for time off awkward and smacks of CFAV being Bob Cratchit to the Corps’ (pre change) Ebeneezer Scrooge. We are all grown ups and should be treated as such and NEP is not a grown up system.

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I wonder if with the removal of the military aspect of the commission this will change. Now that we’re recognised for being what we are, volunteers not reservists or employees, I cannot see how it’s enforceable any longer (I know it applies to NCOs and they weren’t reservists).

i have also seen periods of “leave” granted as described by @papa_november, @Farriersaxe and @sarge

These have been short term <3 months due to pressure from work or personal. I saw one for someones wedding, another for a bereavement in the family (CFAVs parent) and another due to a change in employment and wanted to get settled in the role without the distraction and pressures of Squadron.

they all worked really well and far better than NEP. An agreed “period of absence” for a volunteer seems a fair and sensible approach to me

In the absence of a period given over 3 months however, would it be best to apply for NEP or simply walk away? I’ve seen people burn out before and is this a way to manage that or is it a delayed calling of time?

But why can’t it just be managed by sqn cdrs?

Why does any of this have to be under the auspice of Wing, Region or HQAC?
IF we were employees and paid for being here, fair enough, but we aren’t and never have been.


And if the squadron commander wants / needs time off?

He speaks to his staff, tells wing just as a courtesy and that’s that. Wing aren’t going to put someone in. Like anywhere managers are expendable, or workplace operates much better when managers aren’t in. Sqn Cdrs responsibilities have been eroded faster than a clay cliff in a winter storm, except when they want to point the finger at someone. Plus in this day and age what with social media and so on many sqn cdrs do not take proper holidays unless they force themselves not to use devices.
I’ve known squadrons commanded by people who worked on oil rigs and abroad for weeks at a time and they are fine.

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