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Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom)


I am a big fan of the Territorial Army |(TA) but to few employers have actually heard of the organisation behind an supporting employers whose staff are member’s of the TA them: SaBRE Supporting Britain’s Reservists and Employers)


The government recently announced some significant changes to the Armed Forces. They plan to increase the number of trained reservists by some 19,000 which will have a natural knock-on effect on employers.


SaBRE is a Ministry of Defence marketing and communications campaign. It was created with the belief that if an employer understands the role of Reservists and is aware of the skills they develop their support for their Reserve Forces employees will be that much greater.  Now., it seems that our country needs more TA members (and therefore employers)  than ever before; your country needs you!


To make this successful, the government plans to create a new open relationship based on better communication and mutual benefits. Sounds good, but will it deliver?


The government has introduced a series of initiatives that they hope will make the process of employing a reservist easier. They understand that accommodating a period of mobilisation can be tougher for smaller businesses, so they will be giving SMEs (firms with less than 250 employees) £500 for each month that a reservist employee is away on a tour of duty.


However, all sizes of employers will benefit from many of the other changes. In future, employers will be notified well in advance of upcoming training events and will be given several months’ notice of mobilisation where possible, which will help both employer and reservist to plan more easily.


According to the CIPD “there are also some new protections for reservists that employers need to take note of, such as legislation in the pipeline to make sure that a reservist doesn’t need to wait until completing the full two years’ service with their employer before they are able to bring an unfair dismissal case before an employment tribunal. However, it is important to note that this will apply only in cases where a reservist feels the reason for their dismissal is related to their reserve service.”


As an employers I have witnessed first hand the benefits of having employees who are serving members of the TA, benefiting from training to well-known industry standards and trade bodies.


This should prove to all employers with research endorsed by the Chartered Management Institute finding that an employer would have to purchase more than £8,000 of commercial civilian training to provide the same amount of development that an average reservist’s military service provides in a year (this research relates only to the skills that are relevant to the civilian workplace).


These are just some of the initiatives stemming from the Reserves in the Future Force 2020 white paper. Once in place, they could make the difference between employers wanting to support their reservist employees and being able to do so.


More information on employing reservists can be found on the SaBRE website.