Since 1 April 2004, an automatic system known as Employer Notification (EN) has been in place which enables your unit, on behalf of the Ministry of Defence (MOD), to write directly to your employer (except Northern Ireland where this does not apply).
What is it?
EN ensures that your employer is aware that they have an employee in the Reserve Forces and to tell them about the associated benefits, rights and responsibilities.
Why is Employer Notification important?
EN is designed to encourage an open and honest relationship between you, your employer and the MOD. It should help minimise the possibility of any problems whenever you need leave for training or in the rare event that you’re mobilised. It should also help make your employer aware of the additional value you can bring to the workplace through your Reservist training.
How does it work?
Anyone joining the Reserve Forces or seeking to re-engage must give permission for the MOD to contact your employer directly. You must also inform your unit when you change employer.
A temporary waiver, up to 12 months, may be granted so that your employer is not contacted.
You should make an application for a waiver to your unit Commanding Officer, based on reasonable grounds. Reasonable grounds for a waiver are particular circumstances at work that might place you at a disadvantage should your membership of the VRF be made public. Your unit Commanding Officer may ask for advice from the appropriate higher authority about other reasonable grounds for granting a waiver.
You also have the right of appeal to the relevant higher authority if your application is unsuccessful.
If a waiver is still required after 12 months, you must apply for a renewal.
If you are called up for mobilisation, your employer will be notified, even if you have been granted a waiver.
What you need to do
When you know that your unit is going to notify your employer, make sure you know:
- what your unit is going to tell your employer; and
- what you could say to your employer to help gain their support.
When you are prepared, your three action points are to:
Talk to your unit
It is in your interest to ensure that the details held about you are accurate and up to date. Keep your unit up to date with details of your occupation status: whether you are employed, self-employed, unemployed, or a student.
If you change jobs, or start a job, the MOD will notify your employer about your membership of the Reserve Forces. If you have been offered and have accepted a job, but you have not yet started that job, you are regarded as an employee of that organisation.
Discuss any concerns you may have about gaining your employer's support or to apply for a temporary waiver so that your employer is not contacted. See support available to you.
Talk to your employer first
It is recommended that you have a one-to-one discussion with your employer about your membership of the Reserve Forces. It gives you the opportunity to explain what it involves, your commitments and the training which will benefit you and your employer.
You will have four weeks from re-engagement or joining the Reserve Forces to tell your employer before your unit writes.
Keep your employer involved
Employers react favourably if they know you have been honest about telling them what you're doing and why. Gain their support by being open as an employee.