Army reservists are suffering 'outrageous' discrimination'

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by cavemandave, Sep 24, 2012.

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  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.”
  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.
    • Like Like x 1
  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.
    • Like Like x 3
  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..).
  7. He doesn't understand what positive discrimination is, for a start.
  8. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    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.
    • Like Like x 5
  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...
    • Like Like x 2
  11. 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.
    • Like Like x 2
  12. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    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.
    • Like Like x 4
  13. 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.
  14. Subsunk

    Subsunk War Hero Book Reviewer

    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.