In most circumstances, you have the right to be reinstated in the same type of job you were doing before you were mobilised, but it’s vital that you follow the correct procedure when applying to be reinstated.
- The Reserve Forces (Safeguard of Employment) Act gives you the right to be re-employed by your former employer in the same type of job on equally favourable terms and conditions as before;
- If this is not reasonable and practical, you should be re-employed in the most favourable job and on the most favourable terms and conditions available;
- As long as your application is in force, your previous civilian employer must re-employ you as soon as they are reasonably able to do so from the date you say you’re ready to return to work;
- Your employer should continue to employ you for a set number of weeks, or for as much of that time as is reasonably and practicably possible, depending on how long you were employed by them before you were mobilised:
- If you were previously employed for up to 13 weeks: you should be reemployed for no less than 13 weeks on your return;
- If you were previously employed for at least 13 weeks but less than 52 weeks: you should be reemployed for no less than 26 weeks on your return;
- If you were previously employed for 52 weeks or more: you should be reemployed for at 52 weeks on your return.
How to apply for reinstatement
You’ll probably have a period of post operational leave to take after your demobilisation. If you want to return to work before your leave has finished you must first get permission from your Commanding Officer or the Demobilisation Centre. Your employer can’t force you to return to work before your leave finishes (or your last day of full time service).
- As soon as you’re demobilised you should write informally to your employer to let them know that you can return to work. If you agree a date for this with your employer and are happy with the terms, then you need take no further action.
- If, by the end of your mobilised service, you have not been offered a job which you are happy with, you must formally write to your employer stating when (in the next 21 days) you are available to return to work. You must write to them no later than the third Monday after your last day of whole-time service in order to meet the requirements of the Safeguard of Employment Act and so that your rights are protected.
- If, after this, you agree a date with your employer for returning to work and are happy with the terms, then you need take no further action.
- If, after writing formally to your employer, you’re offered a job which you aren’t happy with, or they tell you they won’t re-employ you, or you hear nothing for three weeks after writing to them, you should apply to a Reinstatement Committee to secure re-employment with your employer.
Find out what to do if you have problems and how to apply to a Reinstatement Committee here.
Key points to remember
- Make sure you keep a copy of everything you send to your employer and everything he/she sends you (keep notes of telephone conversations, etc).
- Make sure that your former employer has received your letters. For a small charge, you can send them recorded delivery.
- Write formally to your employer no later than the third Monday after your last day of whole-time service if you have not already been given your job back.
- If you are not sure about anything ask your unit. Alternatively contact the SaBRE helpline or your Regional SaBRE Campaign Director.