In the wake of Covid-19, some reservists from our region could be called upon in the coming weeks to help support essential workers. Our dedicated Employer Engagement team can provide advice and support to employers if that happens.
1. We can explain the process of mobilisation
That’s when Reservists are called out under the Reserve Forces Act 1996 to support a Defence operation. Reservists may be mobilised for anything from a few days up to a maximum of 12 months.
Wherever possible, the Ministry of Defence will give at least 28 days’ notice for short notice call-outs. The circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic are likely to reduce that notice period down to only a few days.
Both the employer and the reservist employee receive a call-out notice containing key information, including the call-out date, expected duration and details of how to claim financial assistance or appeal against the mobilisation.
If the employee is already a key worker, they will not be called up.
2. We can explain what’s included in the call-out pack
It’s usual to worry about the costs of recruiting, training, maybe uniforms and overtime too. But the call-out information can be supplemented by reaching out to our Employer Engagement team with any questions.
We’ve helped businesses through the process of applying for the extra costs they might incur when a reservist employee is mobilised.
If an employee’s absence would come at a time that would cause serious harm to the business, then employers have the right to seek exemption or deferral of the call-out order. The call-out notice pack provides details about how to appeal.
3. We can give advice on returning to work
The reservist must write to their employer by the third Monday after their last day of military service, making their request to return to work and suggesting a date which should fall within 6 weeks of their last day of full-time service.
An employer has an obligation under SOE 85 to reinstate the reservist, where possible to their former role, or to a mutually acceptable role on the same terms and conditions.
Kristina Carrington, our Employer Engagement Director for East Anglia, offers advice and support on behalf of the Ministry of Defence to employers. She said: “When a reservist is mobilised, their employer receives a mobilisation pack from their Service Mobilisation Office containing all the information and forms they need to either appeal, or support the mobilisation.”