A step by step guide to mobilisation
As a Reservist you’ll have made a commitment to the possibility of being mobilised.
Each of the Armed Forces follows a strict procedure when mobilising Reservists. This includes notifying both you and your employer of the date when you’re required to report for duty and period of pre-deployment training. Everyone realises that both you and your employer will need time to put your affairs in order before mobilisation, so, wherever possible, the MOD aims to issue call out papers with at least 28 days' notice. These are the steps:
As soon as you receive a call-out notice, you should talk to your employer about your mobilisation. Your employer should also receive an information pack, which sets out the date and possible duration of mobilisation as well as their statutory rights and obligations. Both you and your employer have the right to apply for financial assistance and under certain exceptional circumstances an exemption or deferral of mobilisation.
How much notice will I get?
Where ever possible the MOD aims to give at least 28 days notice of mobilisation, although for operational reasons it can sometimes be less. There is no statutory requirement for a minimum notice period of mobilisation.
Called up for service
The call-out notice for both you and your employer will include details of the financial assistance you can apply for and details of how to apply, together with timescales. Your employer does not have to pay your salary while you’re mobilised as you’ll be receiving military pay.
- If your civilian salary is greater than your military one, you’ll be able to claim for the difference.
- You can also claim for the cost of replacing benefits that are suspended by your employer whilst you are mobilised, such as health insurance or medical care.
- The cap for claiming the difference between both of these elements combined is £548 per day.
For your employer
Your employer can claim for:
- the cost of finding a temporary replacement for you while you’re away. This includes expenses such as advertising and agency costs, which are uncapped.
- any additional salary costs incurred over and above what your employer would usually be paying you to carry out your role.
- Certain retraining costs for you on your return.
What happens during mobilisation?
You’ll need to report to your mobilisation centre on the date specified in your call-out notice. Here you’ll be given pre-mobilisation training, as well as a medical examination, before being accepted into full-time service. This whole process can take up to four weeks. You’ll then join a Regular Unit for the duration of your tour of duty. This is usually abroad, but there’s a small possibility that you could serve in the UK.
Why it really helps to stay in touch
Both Reservists and employers say it’s a great help to stay in regular contact throughout this time. Not only will it be good for people at work to better understand what you’ve been doing but you can also be kept up to speed with developments back at the office. If you get to see company newsletters and emails, for instance, this can help make your reintegratation back into civilian life that much easier on your return.
The Armed Forces have a series of procedures in place to help you readjust to civilian life after the end of a tour of full-time service:
Before returning home you’ll be given a few days to ‘wind down’ with your unit in a controlled environment
On returning to the UK you’ll go to your demobilisation centre where you’ll receive further briefings and go through various admin procedures
You’ll then be formally demobilised and free to start a period of post operational leave
Last day of service
It is after your last day of full time service that you’ll need to write to your employer to tell them that you’re available to return to work and agree a start date. There are specified timescales for this within the Safeguard of Employment Act.
Regular contact with your employer during your post-operational leave will help ease your transition back to work. Most Reservists find it really useful if their managers and colleagues are kept informed during this period, and to have an informal interview with their boss on their return. This will give you the opportunity to talk about your experiences and for your employer to update you on what's been going on in your absence.
What you can do
Work colleagues will be interested in your experiences of mobilisation, you could consider explaining things to them or giving a presentation when you return.
You’ll also need to be aware of the timescales you have to adhere to when applying for reinstatement back at work. You can find out more about both you and your employer’s rights and responsibilities on this website, and from your chain of command. Your Regional SaBRE Campaign Director is also there to help with any questions you may have.
What your employer can do
See return to work from an employer’s perspective and find out what they should be aware of
Help about returning to work
A great deal of information as well as help and advice is available for employers and Reservists alike.
Returning to work