Many soldiers have been defending Ukraine since the first day of Russia’s full-scale invasion. Rest is crucial for any task, especially in military service. We explain when military leave is granted to servicemen and how to apply for it.
Even during a state of war, military personnel have the right to several types of leave, although their duration is shorter than in peacetime. The procedure for granting military leave is defined by the Law of Ukraine on the Social and Legal Protection of Servicemen and their Families.
Types and durations of military leave in 2024
Certain changes to the conditions and durations of leave were introduced by the Verkhovna Rada, Ukrainian Parliament, on June 29, 2023, adopting Bill No. 9342, amending certain legislative acts of Ukraine regarding specific issues related to military service during a state of war.
Currently, during a state of war, military personnel can receive:
• A portion of the annual main leave.
• Leave for family circumstances and other valid reasons.
• Leave for childcare.
• Leave due to illness or for treatment after a severe injury.
Female soldiers, in particular, have the right to leave:
• Due to pregnancy and childbirth.
• For the care of a child up to three years old, and if the child requires home care, for a duration determined by a medical conclusion, but not exceeding six years (if both parents are servicemembers, this leave is granted to one of them at their discretion).
Currently, the following leave terms are available for military personnel:
• Mobilized military and contract soldiers: 30 days of the annual leave portion.
• Cadets: 10 days winter vacation and 20 days summer vacation.
• Conscript soldiers: 30 days of leave.
Leave application rules for military personnel
The Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on National Security, Defense, and Intelligence is working on a new bill, 10313, recommending its inclusion in the agenda for the tenth session of the Verkhovna Rada. This bill proposes changes to several articles of the Law of Ukraine on the Social and Legal Protection of Servicemen and their Families.
Until the bill is passed, the current rules will apply. Legal expert Iryna Pidreza, from the Legal Hundred, provided detailed information about them to NV.
Military personnel can apply for annual main leave under the condition that the simultaneous absence does not exceed 30% of the total number of servicemembers in a specific category within the corresponding unit.
The duration of such leave cannot exceed 15 calendar days at once, excluding the time required for travel within Ukraine to and from the vacation destination. The travel time to the vacation destination cannot exceed 2 consecutive days. The military personnel’s financial support is maintained during the leave period.
The process for obtaining leave is as follows:
1. The servicemember submits a report directly to their immediate commander.
2. The commander forwards the report to the unit headquarters for the unit commander’s consideration.
3. The unit commander makes a decision regarding the approval of the leave.
Leave for medical treatment – Special features
According to changes effective from Sept. 6, 2023, outlined in point 11 of Article 10 of the Law on the Social and Legal Protection of Servicemen and their Families, military personnel, based on the conclusion of a military medical commission, are granted leave for medical treatment due to illness or leave for treatment after injury (concussion, trauma, or mutilation) while maintaining financial and material support.
The duration of such leave is determined by the nature of the illness, injury (concussion, trauma, or mutilation). The leave is granted without considering the time required for travel within Ukraine to and from the vacation destination, but not exceeding two days at a time.
The total uninterrupted time a servicemember spends in healthcare facilities and on medical leave due to illness or medical leave after injury (concussion, trauma, or mutilation) should be at least one week and not exceed a total of four consecutive months (except in cases where the legislation provides for longer periods of treatment). In the case of sending a servicemember abroad for medical treatment in the order established by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the total time spent on treatment abroad, including travel time between foreign healthcare institutions and waiting time between planned surgical interventions, cannot exceed twelve consecutive months.
Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine