Changes to work's Policy

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by Beeblebrox, Aug 20, 2013.

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  1. So my company has decided to change it's approach to Reserve T&Cs...

    Lost any mention of unpaid time off - 'employees are expected to us their holiday entitlement'

    No option to continue pension benefits (for example, one of our competitors gives the chance to pay 102% of your usual pension contribution and the company will continue).

    Anything over 7 days out means losing holiday accrual and pension contributions for voluntary mobilisation (but doesn't clarify whether it's the same for training)

    And best of all they've called it the 'Special Forces Policy'. Which sounds really ally but demonstrates a moron wrote it.

    I've written to my MP and sent off a load of snotty emails... but new laws sorting this out can't come soon enough. Really puts being part of the Reserves into question, or long term employment at this firm. Bloody idiots. :x
  2. If you actually want to change things, rather than have a good moan, then you need to ask yourself why the company should treat you differently. What can you offer them that justifies the cost ? And once you've worked that out, take a deep breath and ask them politely to reconsider.

    Businesses make decisions that way, they don't see themselves as existing to support the MoD when they can't be bothered to fund ops properly.

    If however you turn up ranting they'll chin you off, politely or not.

    For the 20 years I was in I was careful to pick employers who were relatively TA friendly. If yours isn't then either work on them to change or move. Sorry to be blunt, but that's life.

    Finally, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for legislation unless you're aware of something on the Parliamentary timetable that I'm not.

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  3. chrisg46

    chrisg46 LE Book Reviewer

    I am about to start at a SME that has no experience of employing reservists and therefore no policy. I am obviously therefore keen to influence them to implement one that will be mutually beneficial!
    I recall seeing somewhere that businesses will be able to claim for when staff are away - does this refer to mobilisation only or to camps as well?
    Has anyone got experience of getting a good reservist policy and advice for the kind of carrots i can dangle in front of the boss?
  4. Yeah, good points. Basically I've asked the higher ups why they've changed the policy and my HR reps to clarify exactly what it'll mean (especially as I've already planned & agreed this 2 week camp as being a mix of paid & unpaid).

    I was definitely polite, a little bit ranty in parts, but I'll bear that in mind in future conversations with them.

    What does piss me off though, is that the American employees keep all benefits and get 2 weeks paid leave for Reserve forces. I know that's probably legislated, but still.

    I can make a better case than most for it being beneficial as I'm a professional engineer in the Royal Engineers. It isn't always going to be a brilliant match up for experience, but it'll be a damn site better than most of my work colleagues.
  5. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    Don't rush into it, and try not to rant at people - it is rarely the best way to get them on side. Also, go in armed with what you would like (being reasonable!). Better yet, see if you can find some examples from other employers, especially ones in your field of work. Ultimately though, they can't be forced into doing anything at the moment, so it is all down to negotiation.

    For info, the policy at my place is:

    Volunteer reserve forces
    The company recognises the vital role of Britain’s reserve forces and the valuable contribution that reservists make to our defence, their communities and their civilian workplace.
    • We support membership of the Reserve Forces by our employees;
    • We agree, wherever possible, to be flexible in granting time off to enable you to undertake Reserve Service training;
    • We will support employees who are compulsorily mobilised for service in the Armed Forces;
    In addition, we may, when circumstances allow:
    • Grant one week additional part-paid annual leave for employees undertaking reserve forces duties;
    • Grant additional unpaid time off to allow you to volunteer to:
    o Support the regular forces for up to one month;
    o Support the regular forces for three months as part of a military force on peace support or a humanitarian operation.
    Continuation of benefits for reservists
    You should be aware that our insurers may place some restrictions on cover if you are actively serving abroad with the Reserve Forces. Please consult with HR prior to embarkation and we will advise you accordingly.

    It is pretty good, but you will note that it is still based on "where we can" and "will endeavour" - the needs of the company come first.
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  6. Yeah, that's a good policy overall. I know they're not in business to subsidise HMG, but there's a reasonable shout for a bit of CSR and consistency over the entire company. I've emailed the local SaBRE chap to see what similar sized companies offer.

    The last policy was pretty good, it's the change a week before I go away for 2 weeks has just completely screwed me. No-one has responded either. =(
  7. If you're in a fair sized organisation, and easily covered on your time off, you have room for negotiation.

    I doubt the governments announcement of leaning more on the TA will have helped, and may have lead to your changes of T&C's. I would think if the smaller of the SME's are aware of more reliance they will be less keen to employ TA.
  8. mso

    mso LE

  9. Don't forget that a forced change to your T&C's of employment has the potential of forming a constructive dismissal, and in this case it could be in breach of the reserve forces protections as well.

    I'd be inclined to speak to your union, or a solicitor to get advice, you might want to consider working on under protest and claiming dismissal due to the change, but get advice.
  10. mso

    mso LE

    Or suck it up and remember who pays the mortgage...
    • Like Like x 3
  11. Realistically....if you want an enlightened policy....

    Either go and work for: (1) a very large employer that can afford to lose you for a bit and even likes the PR; or (2) pretty much anything in the public sector.

    SME? Not much chance I'm afraid. Cynical - moi??
  12. It could worse as I have colleagues who have to use annual or unpaid leave
  13. A large percentage (lol) of TA soldiers use annual or unpaid leave for annual camp (or ADE as it is now known fact fiends) I've only ever had one job that gave me extra time off for the TA.
  14. There's a "Developing Reservist Policy" toolkit buried somewhere on the Sabre website.

    Why, oh effing why?
  15. I would speak to your union rep, employers cannot just change T&Cs on a whim, there has to be consultations with the unions in your place, which has to be agreed with said unions. If your not in the union well you could just have a quiet word with the shop steward.