Phillip Hammond (the Defence Secretary) has announced a consultation on the future of the reservists. We previously wrote an article on the law and reservists which can be found here. The consultation makes a number of suggestions and proposals. However, the ones of interest to employers are as follows:
- A proposal that employers who show willingness to employ reservists could receive tax breaks or other financial incentives. They could also be provided with a “patriotic employer” kite mark.
- A proposal to increase the training requirements for reservists to 40 days per year. There is no legal obligation on employers to give employees who are in the reserves either paid or unpaid leave to engage in their training and the consultation does not propose this. However, some employers may decide to grant additional leave on a voluntary basis and the increased amount of training may impact on this.
- A suggestion that more notice is given before employees are deployed on active service in the reserves.
- The introduction of possible legislation to prevent employers discriminating against employees who are in the reserves.
The consultation closes on 18 January 2013 and the Government’s response will be set out in a white paper which is to be published next year.
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