Military Reserves in the Workplace – HR Considerations
It was estimated that up to 4 billion people worldwide watcher Queen Elizabeth II funeral. What most will have noticed is the exceptional part the British Military had to play in the nation’s goodbye to their Monarch.
Fewer people will know what part everyday employers have in contributing to the British Military in the form of the Armed Forces Reserves in the workplace.
According to the MOD (Ministry of Defence), as of 1 July 2021, there were 37,300 Volunteer Reserves in the UK.
The Reserve forces play a crucial role in national security from countering security threats, peace-keeping and humanitarian efforts abroad to supporting communities at home.
Armed Forces Reserves
The majority of Armed Forces Reserves will be found in the workplace working every-day jobs and attending military training in their spare time.
Does an employee have to announce to their employer they are a reserve in the Armed Forces?
It would depend on their contract of Employment. If there is a specific clause requiring an employee to make aware and or seek permission from their main employer then yes it would be prudent for them to do so.
So, what does an employer have to do?
For the most part, very little. Reserve Forces only need to provide at least 27 days of their time for training (In some cases less). This is usually made up of 2.5 hours training one evening per week, weekends away and an annual 2-week training camp which would normally come out of an employee’s annual leave.
What benefit does the employer receive?
The British Military trains leaders at all levels from across the globe and those leadership skills can be taken advantage of by any employer at no extra cost to the business. Further to this the reservists are subject to similar fitness standards as their regular counterparts. Consequently, reservists are less likely to take sick leave due to ongoing health concerns caused by a lack of exercise. Not least of all you know you will be employing some of the most professional and disciplined individuals available.
Do I need a military reserve policy?
No, but an employer can benefit from offering enhanced leave as part of a policy whether it be paid or unpaid for an employee to train. This can further gain recognition from the British Armed Forces in the form of the Armed Forces Covenant through the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme which likely to enhance and employer image in the business and public community.
What if your employee is called away e.g. “mobilised/deployed”?
There is financial assistance available to employers to cover the extra costs of finding and training a replacement and for extra support during the mobilised period and for when the Reservist returns to work.
What if I don’t want my employee to join the reserves? How can I support my employee/s more with their reservist activities? Can I terminate my employee for being in the reserves and or for being deployed?
There are a host of questions in respect of the Armed Forces Reserve and Nori HR-Employment Law can assist with all your needs
If you would like more detail, policies or support and advise, contact our team on 01254 947829