Many employers are extremely supportive of their Reservist employees. However, even they may have some legitimate concerns about the effects on their organisation of your being away for a long period of time, especially if you work for a small company or one that has not had to deal with a Reservist employee being mobilised before.
Make it as easy as you can for your employer
The best way to do this is to arrange a meeting with your employer, usually your direct manager, where you can discuss your mobilisation. The more helpful you can be in addressing their concerns, or by putting them in touch with someone else who can help, the easier you’ll make it for your employer to support you.
Prepare for your meeting
Read through your mobilisation paperwork including the section concerning your
employer’s rights and obligations, as well as their right to apply for your mobilisation to be cancelled or postponed. They also have the right to seek financial assistance. If you need further information, you can always look on this website, ask your unit, or call the SaBRE helpline on 0800 389 5459.
Have details of the SaBRE website and helpline ready to give to your employer;
Check whether your employer has a formal policy on employing and supporting Reservists. If they have, take a copy of it with you;
Think about how your employer could best cover your position while you’re away. For instance, could a project be brought forward so you can complete it before you go, or could you train up a colleague? Your employer will appreciate your efforts rather than just leaving it as a problem for them to sort out;
Think about what you’ll be doing while you are mobilised and how you can describe it to your employer in a simple jargon-free way. Try to bring out the
benefits to your employer in terms of your personal development; If your organisation has a Human Resources department, check with them whether they wish to attend the meeting with your manager or would prefer a separate meeting.
At the meeting
Remind your employer that:
They will not have to pay you while you’re away as your salary will be met by the Ministry of Defence;
They can claim
financial assistance to cover the costs of finding a temporary replacement for you, such as for advertising and agency fees, extra overtime payments for existing staff, and possibly retraining you on your return; Show that you’re committed to your job by asking for information such as staff newsletters to be sent to you on tour so you can keep in touch with what’s going on;
Give your employer an estimate of when you’ll be able to
return to work, but explain that you’ll have a period of leave following mobilisation so you can readjust to civilian life first. Tell them you’ll write to them during this period to let them know the exact date you’ll be free to return to work; If your employer seems uncertain that they can hold your job open for you, then it’s worth reminding them of
your legal rights to reinstatement. You are entitled to return to your job on the same terms and conditions. If your original job no longer exists by then, you’re entitled to be offered a reasonable alternative. A Reinstatement Committee has powers to instruct your employer to re-employ you and/or pay financial compensation if your legal rights are not upheld; Finally, always remind your boss that you‘ll be bring back
valuable skills and experience that will prove very useful in your organisation. Your organisational, team-working and communication skills are likely to be significantly improved because of the development opportunities and personal feedback you’ll receive on active service. After the meeting
Email or write to your manager/HR department confirming your mobilisation arrangements;
Make sure you thank your employer for their support – even if that support has been given grudgingly.
Remember to stay in touch during mobilisation
While you’re away, try to stay in touch with your employer. Even an occasional short email or letter will help to show your continuing commitment to them.