The government Defence Secretary, has unveiled plans to afford civil servants at least ten paid days for Territorial Army (TA) duties per year, and is encouraging other employers to follow suit.
Further to our news article of 17 August 2012 in which we reported the government’s plans to increase the use of reservists in the armed forces, the government Defence Secretary, Phillip Hammond, has unveiled plans to afford civil servants at least ten paid days for Territorial Army (TA) duties per year, and is encouraging other employers to follow suit.
The government is currently trying to increase membership of the TA from 20,000 to 30,000 to coincide with measures to dramatically shrink the size of the armed forces. Given that this means the UK will have to rely more heavily on reservists in future, the Defence Secretary believes that it is essential that employers give reservists sufficient time off to train.
However, the government has concerns that its recruitment drive is suffering as some employers are reluctant to hire reservists because they may have to give them time off for training, or they may have to be deployed at short notice.
We previously reported that the government was therefore considering measures aimed at preventing employers ‘discriminating’ against reservists by precluding them from asking applicants if they are reservists during recruitment. It has now been suggested by some commentators that employers should be incentivised to take on reservists by, for example, offering new National Insurance tax breaks for companies that employ them.
Just Employment Law will keep you updated on any further developments.
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