Army reservists are suffering 'outrageous' discrimination'

#1
Army reservists are suffering “outrageous” discrimination from “despicable” British employers who are refusing to hire them because of their service in the armed forces, according to the former head of the Territorial Army.

The Duke of Westminster, who as a two star major general quit as the army reserve’s commander earlier this month, said that foreign firms were much more likely to release staff to serve with the Army Reserve than “English companies”.
In his first interview since leaving the TA after 42 years’ service, the Duke also suggested there should be new National Insurance tax breaks for companies which employ reservists.
He also shed light on his plans for a £300million rehabilitation centre for wounded soldiers in the Midlands, disclosing that it could also include a new Government centre to research how to private sector back to work more quickly after illness.
The army is facing its biggest overhaul for decades, with 20,000 regular servicemen losing their jobs by 2020 and the loss being in part made up by a big boost in the number of TA battle ready soldiers, up to 30,000 from 20,000 today.
However, attempts to recruit are being hampered by employers which are discriminating against new recruits because of concerns about time off to train or to be deployed overseas in Afghanistan for months at a time.

The Duke told The Daily Telegraph in an interview on Monday: “There is undoubtedly positive discrimination against someone who at interview says he is in the Territorial Army.”
Application forms routine asked “Are you in the Territorial Army”, when employers were not allowed by law to ask if an applicant was pregnant, black, white or a Muslim.
He said: “Why is it there? It is the most outrageous form of discrimination. It is like asking – ‘do you play golf at weekends?’ It has been mentioned to me by my soldiers on more than 100 occasions.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/pol...itish-employers-says-Duke-of-Westminster.html
 
#2
It would be much better if there was
1. A form of National service
2. Regular Reserve
3. A professional military service with a proper structured career path and benefits

But as usual no party has the balls to do it (or anything) outside of the box
 
#3
It would be much better if there was
1. A form of National service
2. Regular Reserve
3. A professional military service with a proper structured career path and benefits

But as usual no party has the balls to do it (or anything) outside of the box
 
#4
Yes, it's outrageous that an employer is interested in whether or not a prospective employee engages in other employment, and may disappear from time to time leaving the employer managing a critical capability gap.
 
#5
It all comes down to money....I do not blame employers for being shy of employing some one who may not be there for 6 months at a time.

What I do blame is a government who is seeing a way to have an army on the cheap

The TA was never meant to cover large operational gaps in Peace time and whilst this has now being happening successfully the penny has dropped...lets slash the regulars and do a bit of delete insert.

It will not work civilian companies cannot afford it and the regulars will gradually rap.

The Duke of Westminster can afford a bit of time off as he pleases as he like others who are self employed can have their cake and eat it.

The way I see it the TA get shafted by the civilians and the state so my hat goes off to them.
 
#6
Frustrating it is also!.

Trying to get a day off is hard enough at times, but tell my gaffer I want 2 weeks off...
Well, there went my promotion prospects... And as for me deploying on herrick, (you can guess..).
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#8
He doesn't understand a lot of things.

He has been told many times that the biggest hurdle to getting people to join the TA is the total cake and arse party known as the TA recruiting system. Unfortunately, that doesn't make for such an attention grabbing soundbite.
 
#9
As soon as the requirement came to tell employers about TA service we lost one guy who was going for a job interview, and knew it would count against him.

Family, job, TA; without spending money any attempt to change that order will result in fewer recruits. Only a politician would think otherwise.
 
#10
Funny old world; I remember the Duke scoffing at a number of us who had lost jobs as a result of Telic1 mobilisation, and/or were aware of recruitment discrimination against TA. Apparently the legislation at that time was perfectly adequate and any discrimination was all in our fevered imaginations...
 
#12
Whilst I don't agree with the discrimination (being ex-STAB) I can see employers' main issue, they don't want to hire someone on the proviso that at some point they will have to gap the post for a year at least, more if the serviceman is wounded or injured when there is a similar candidate who plays golf on a weekend and will be available all year round.

The main issue is that whilst there maybe 20,000 reservists on the books, this equates to maybe 20% of that number actually parading and even fewer turning up on training weekends that don't involve sitting in the classroom or bar. The TA needs a massive overhaul, however the MoD are in the process of gutting the regular Army and no one has the stomach to impliment massive sweeping changes over the reserves just yet. The figure of 30,000 is a joke; you'd get 7000 able to be mobilised if the balloon went up.

The country's culture towards defence would need to change also - at the moment, with a professional regular Army defence isn't society's responsibility (and nor should it be) however with a more reserve based military we need to adopt a more American or European approach to it. I definitly believe that a form of National Service, of which the military is one option, would help the civilian world understand that you have to contribute to society, rather than just take.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#13
I think (apart from its cost an impracticality) NS would often have exactly the opposite effect - "I've had two years of my life wasted, I'm jolly well going to look after myself now."

Surely the heart of the Reserves problem is that it is no longer about defending the country in an emergency, it's about people risking their jobs to go soldiering (or sailoring) for something that is nothing to do with our national survival, just the getting of international political brownie points for the PM. Of course some people do want to be a part-time soldier, but expecting employers generally to take a hit as a result is a bit rich.
 
#14
Surely the heart of the Reserves problem is that it is no longer about defending the country in an emergency, it's about people risking their jobs to go soldiering (or sailoring) for something that is nothing to do with our national survival, just the getting of international political brownie points for the PM. Of course some people do want to be a part-time soldier, but expecting employers generally to take a hit as a result is a bit rich.
If employers vote for vain, vacous idiots who pose and preen on the international stage and committ the forces to such adventures. Then tough f**king tits.
 

Subsunk

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#15
I'm out soon. At my first job interview I was asked about intentions ref. reserve service. All 3 panel members were ex-forces and the company looks favourably at veterans as a result. The comment I remember was 'you need to decide who your employer will be.' I did. There will be a lot more of this regardless of what employment law says.
 
#16
That´s nothing new and not restricted to the UK. I used to be a member of the German THW (Technisches Hilfswerk, heavy rescue branch of the German civil defence, think of it as a TA sapper unit without the guns) for 20 years. When the whole unit was called out for a deployment of a few weeks due to floods at the river Oder (which forms the border between Germany and Poland) to fill sandbags and re-inforce dikes, my former boss (a Brit) told me that either I was working for him or for the civil defense and that, if I obeyed the order to deploy, he would find a reason to sack me. I told him that as per German law, he had to let me go (as the company was being compensated by the government), but he said he didn´t care and I know a boss will ALWAYS find a reason to sack somebody, no worker is perfect.
I brought the topic up with my platoon commander and he told me that he would excuse me from participating, because at the time of high unemployment back then one wouldn´t risk one´s livelyhood.
In the end I had to leave the civil defence because I couldn´t get my duty there to agree with my commitments at work.

Edit:
This also applies to many of the volunteer firemen, who make up most of rural Germany´s fire service.
 
#17
I'm out soon. At my first job interview I was asked about intentions ref. reserve service. All 3 panel members were ex-forces and the company looks favourably at veterans as a result. The comment I remember was 'you need to decide who your employer will be.' I did. There will be a lot more of this regardless of what employment law says.
Thats fine if you have the luxury of choosing employers - and of course many service leavers will be heading into defence firms run by other service leavers - but the reality is that the majority of civvy street has no management with empathy towards reserve service, and I include managers who are themselves ex-services but who now have to think in commercial terms.

The basic problem is the same as everything else in this benighted socialist country - the Government is simply trying to pass the cost of the regular armed forces onto private taxpayers by cashing in regular soldiers and replacing them with someone else's employees. No-one is fooled.
 
#18
I thought the CBI had an agreement where their members would allow personnel to join the reserves?

Or is it just a back-door method of reneging on the agreement by not employing reservists in the first place?
 

Subsunk

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#19
4 T, agreed. My point was that 3 veterans could not support reservists in their company, so I had to choose on the spot to bin any future connection with the reserves. Even those employers who are well-disposed to reserve forces view it as a risk to their business.
 
#20
Nothing new in this, my old Dad was sacked by his firm when he was called up while in the TA in 1939. Mind you he did work for Mercedes Benz in Stuttgart.
 

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