As of the 1st October 2014, a number of changes will come into effect which aim to revitalise the Reserve Forces, and enable them to have a more prominent role within Future Force 2020, as well as ensure greater employment security.
1. The TA is being renamed as Army Reserve, in order to better reflect their future role, integration with Army 2020 and the Whole Forces concept.
2. There will be additional payments to SME employers of Reservists and people carrying out business in partnership with Reservists.
3. Additional employment protection will be offered to Reservists.
4. Call-out Powers will be broadened, enabling a call-out order to be made when it is desirable or necessary to use Reserves for any purpose for which Regular forces may be used.
5. An annual report will be provided on the condition of the volunteer Reserve Forces.
These changes will have an impact on both Reservist and their employers, and will address employer concerns surrounding the employment of Reservists
How will these changes affect me or my employer?
Changes to mobilisation powers:
There will now be additional powers to mobilise the Reserve Forces if they are required. This has been introduced to ensure that Reservists are able to contribute to the full range of future military tasks open to them, both at home and overseas.
These new powers will allow a call-out order to be made to use Reserves for any purpose for which regular forces may be used. These changes also mean that Reserves called out under the new, broader powers can serve for up to 12 months, rather than the current limit of nine. However, Reservists will not be mobilised solely for training, professional/personal development activities, or to provide training support.
The broader call-out liability will automatically apply to those who volunteer for the Reserve Forces on or after 1st October 2014. Existing members of the Reserves will have to elect to have the new call-out powers apply to them. If Reservists do not choose to do this, they will continue to be subject to previous mobilisation powers.
Reservists will now be exempt from the two year qualifying period in bringing unfair dismissal claims to an employment tribunal if the reason, or primary reason for dismissal, is their being a Reservist.
Improved financial support for employers:
The changes which come into effect on 1st October 2014 give businesses financial incentives worth up to £6,000 a year, per mobilised Reservist. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and equivalent sized charities will be able to claim up to £500 for every month their Reservist employee is mobilised. These measures have been put in place to ensure that employers continue to be supportive towards their Reservist employees. The financial incentive is in addition to the existing Employer’s Award, which covers additional costs of replacing a Reservist when they are mobilised.