As Britain’s armed forces get involved in another conflict in the Middle East, it is perhaps timely that the Government is introducing additional protection for reservists who are dismissed because of their membership of the Reserve Forces.
With effect from 1 October 2014, the statutory qualifying period for unfair dismissal will not apply where the dismissal is connected with the employee’s membership of the Reserve Forces. This does not mean that a dismissal that is in connection with the employee’s reservist duties will be automatically unfair; it is simply means that the requirement for the employee to have two years’ qualifying service is not required.
In addition, there will be some additional financial recompense for some private employers whose employees are called up. Small and medium sized employers, which in most cases means less than 250 employees, will be entitled to an additional monthly payment of £500 for each full month that a mobilised reservist is absent from work, assuming that they are on a full time contract and work at least 35 hours a week. The amount is pro-rated for periods of less than a month and where the reservist is contracted to work less than 35 hours a week. This payment is intended to cover the additional costs for the employer of employing a temporary replacement, including agency fees, advertising and training costs.
If you would like to talk through a situation you are dealing with, or if you need advice on any aspect of employment law, please contact any member of the Pure Employment Law team (01243 836840 or [email protected]).
Please note that this update is not intended to be exhaustive or be a substitute for legal advice. The application of the law in this area will often depend upon the specific facts and you are advised to seek specific advice on any given scenario.