Deployment & Families.

Gone are the days when the TA was a weekend drinking club, since the goal posts have been moved it is now a given that all TA soldiers will be faced with the prospect of operational deployment.

TA or Regular Soldier, leaving family behind is never easy. However as a Regular Soldier is it more accepted as the inevitable by the family unit therefore support is unquestionable?

How do you sell the idea of deployment to your family, i.e. leaving them for 6 months/9 months approx (inc pre deployment training)? How do you explain choosing/voluntarily breaking the 9 to 5 normality to leave them?

Faced with the prospect I am coming up against objections from all sides. The idea of it being something I’ve always wanted to do, the sense of achievement, the experience etc etc etc is coming across as very selfish. My other half is ex-reg and signed off for the sole reason of providing a stable environment for our family….yet here I am choosing to leave.

I understand everyone’s personal circumstances are very different but to those that have done it….. how did you sell the idea so that it was win win all round, is that possible? :? :D
If your other half loves you they will understand. It sounds very corny I know, but it is true.

In 2004 I mised both kid's birthdays and a family holiday. I face missing the wife's birthday and our wedding anniversary next year. She seems just to accept that, but I must admit it is more than a little selfish. However there are a lot worse people in the world than those who do their bit.

My advice,....grovel and blame someone else!!!
Don't admit that you volunteered...just act very surprised when the brown envelope falls on your mat.
Another way of selling it (as I am doing to my wife for tour no.2 to Afghanistan) is "think of the money I will be able to save for a new car/holiday/mortgage/post tour baby". Also going on tour will get it out of your system and that you won't need to do it again and keep nagging her about it. If she is ex-army as you say, she should know the score on this.
Same again i just got that brown envelope for the second time for the sand pit i did volunteer and had to act very surprised saying that the money i will save will go on a very big holiday when i get back, she can plan and choose where and how that seems to make her happey
You have to be honest. If they understand you need to go and support you then go. If they don't, then it's time to choose either the TA or your family. Sounds harsh I know, but that is the current reality.

Personally Mrs Strange is OK as long as I don't volunteer - she'll put up with a deployment if there's no-one else who could go but if I volunteer I'll be in the poo. Frankly I'm damn lucky she didn't present me with an ultimatum after the admin fiasco of the last mobilisation.

In my experience the biggest thing you can do to help persuade the other half is to get your financial admin sorted. Work out exactly how much you'll need to claim to cover the extra costs of your absence, and get a plan down on paper. Reducing the uncertainty is the goal. If you've got children it's a lot easier to face the departure of your spouse if you know exactly how much child care to cover their absence will cost and where you're going to go to get it.

Mind you, you may then have to be ... erm ... firm with the admin bunnies at Chilwell to make sure you get treated fairly by the system.
Remember, the system is not there to look after you, it's there to spend as little as possible. Document everything and if possible run it all by your unit prior to going - doubly so if there's anything remotely out of the ordinary or pricy. Most likely they won't have a clue what to do but at least when the grumpy old man at Chilwell starts getting arsey you can cover yourself.
i keep hearing about how we should claim for everything but have no idea what sort of things you should claim for. anyone got any ideas?
fusilier50 said:
i keep hearing about how we should claim for everything but have no idea what sort of things you should claim for. anyone got any ideas?
I don't have the official language to hand but it is basically anything you have to pay for that you wouldn't have done were you not mobilised. Examples would be childcare to cover what you'd do were you at home or for the singly the extra insurance premiums you'd pay for leaving your home unoccupied for 9 months.

However, I am not aware of any feedback to date as to the way this works in practice.

It works extremely well, that side of G1 at Chilwell is swept up.

Mate of mine went throught and clickety click 'Ooh, did you know you were entitled to a £1250 LSSA bonus?', clickety clickety click, 'You've got it', clickety click 'After 12 days in Iraq you'll get another one'.

It's well explained in both the admin pack and while you are there.

Don't forget to claim for the gardener too!

msr said:

It works extremely well, that side of G1 at Chilwell is swept up.

Mate of mine went throught and clickety click 'Ooh, did you know you were entitled to a £1250 LSSA bonus?', clickety clickety click, 'You've got it', clickety click 'After 12 days in Iraq you'll get another one'.

It's well explained in both the admin pack and while you are there.

Don't forget to claim for the gardener too!

I'm very glad to hear that. When I went through for Veritas it was more "we don't care how much you lose" silence "are you still here ?"
Same detail on return to0. One of my guys did not realise his LSSA had stopped after his R and R. De-mob time "Oh your LSSA stopped 10 weeks ago, we'll get that back" click click. Ta very much. Psst don't tell the wife.

• The new regulations are the result of a comprehensive review of the financial assistance given to reservists and their employers that started in July 2004. They were made on 21 March, laid before Parliament on 23 March and come into effect on 14 April 2005.

• Reservists whose civilian pay is higher than their service pay will now receive an additional payment to make-up the difference between the two. This will be subject to an overall cap of £548 per day (equivalent to around £200,000 a year). For those serving as Medical Consultants the cap is £822 per day (equivalent to around £300,000 a year).

• Reservists will also be able to claim the cost of replacing certain benefits in kind where these are suspended by their employer on mobilisation, such as health insurance or educational fees for a dependent child. Any payments to the reservist for these purposes will count towards the cap of £548 per day (or £822 for a medical consultant serving with the Defence Medical Services as a consultant).

• Where a company car is withdrawn by an employer and that car was available for use by the Reservist’s spouse, partner or dependants, and no other car is available, then the Reservist can claim flat rate allowance of £10.70 per day. This sum also counts towards the cap.

• Reservists can also claim for certain additional expenses that they incur when they are mobilised. These include, for example, costs associated with childcare and the care of dependent relatives. They are not included in the payment cap.

• Employers of reservists will also be able to claim the additional costs associated with employing a temporary replacement, subject to a cap of £110 per day (equivalent to approximately £40,000 a year). In addition they will be able to reclaim in full any one-off or non-recurring costs of replacing a Reservist, such as agency fees. A re-training payment can also be claimed if the reservist needs to regain or maintain skills required in their civilian employment, that have been lost as a result of their mobilisation. There is no payment cap on these awards.

• To avoid the value of the caps on the payments to Reservists and employers being eroded over time, they will be subject to annual review from April 2006.

• The new system will have simpler and clearer procedures for claiming. The previous system required Reservists whose civilian earnings exceeded the maximum threshold for their rank to produce details of their outgoings in order to claim a Reservists’ Hardship Award, requiring a lot of information to be provided in a short period. The new scheme will require simple proof of earnings, of benefits in kind and expenses incurred, and will be supported by a simplified form.

• The previous scheme for employers was also complex and only allowed employers to claim for non-recurring costs up to the lesser of £2,400 or 6% of the Reservist’s annual earnings and for recurring costs of up to £31 a week or 4% of weekly earnings. Only if an employer incurred costs of 1½ times these limits could s/he claim an Employers’ Hardship Award. The training award was also narrowly defined.

• The new scheme allows claiming for non-recurring costs, additional costs of replacement in excess of the salary previously paid to the Reservist up to £110 per day and a training award on production of appropriate evidence and will use a simplified claim form.


Q1. Why are the regulations changing?
Experience since the previous regulations were introduced in 1997 has shown that changes were needed to make the scheme fairer, easier to use and less intrusive and complex.

Q2. Where can I find the new regulations?
The new regulations are called the Reserve Forces (Call-out and Recall) (Financial Assistance) Regulations 2005, Statutory Instrument 2005 No.859. They can be bought from HMSO (price £3.00) or can be viewed at:

Q3. What do the new regulations provide?
For a Reservist who is called out and whose civilian earnings are more than his/her Service pay then the MOD will make up the difference up to a cap. Reservists will also be able to claim for replacing certain benefits in kind if they lose these. These payments will count towards the cap. They may also claim certain additional expenses arising from mobilisation. These do not count towards the cap.

Q4. When do the new regulations come into effect? What happens if a Reservist is in service on that date?
14 April 2005. If a Reservist is in permanent service (“mobilised”) on 14 April, then the Reservist or his or her employer will be able to claim under the new regulations, but only in respect of service for the period on or after 14 April 2005. Those in service before 14 April 2005, and their employers, will remain eligible to claim under the previous regulations. Those who are entitled to claim under those regulations may opt to continue with that award, or claim under the new regulations for the period from 14 April 2005.

Q5. What are the caps?
For most Reservists the cap is £548 a day. This is approximately £200,000 a year. The cap includes Service pay, payments making up the difference between Service and civilian pay, and for replacing benefits in kind or loss of a company car. For accredited medical consultants serving with the Defence Medical Services, the cap is £822 per day. This is approximately £300,000 a year.

Q6. What happens if a Reservist earns more than the cap?
There are no payments above the cap. If a Reservist’s civilian earnings are more than £200,000 a year (or £300,000 a year in the case of an accredited medical consultant serving as such with the Defence Medical Services) and this would cause hardship when mobilised, then s/he may apply for exemption from call-out.

Q7. Can a Reservist claim for benefits in kind?
Reservist can claim for cost of replacing benefits in kind where these were paid by the employer and are withdrawn by the employer on mobilisation. The regulations recognise the following benefits in kind:
(i) Health insurance or medical care.
(ii) Life Insurance paid by your employer.
(iii) Accommodation provided by your employer
(iv) Educational fees for dependent children
(v) Other benefits provided by your employer

Q8. Can a Reservist claim for loss of a company car?
If the employer provided a car that was available for use by the Reservists spouse / partner / dependants, and it is withdrawn and no other car is available, you can claim £10.70 for each day mobilised. (This is about £325 a month.) This is a flat rate payment. This counts towards the cap.

Q9. Can Reservists claim for extra costs arising from mobilisation e.g. childcare?
Yes – Reservists can claim for certain extra costs where these arise out of mobilisation. There are five additional costs recognised by the regulations:
(i) Costs for care of a dependent child.
(ii) Costs for care of a dependent relative.
(iii) Costs for care of a pet.
(iv) Extra insurance for leaving the Reservist’s home empty.
(v) Essential maintenance on the Reservist’s home.
These are only payable where they are not already being paid and arise directly from mobilisation.

Q10. What do the new regulations mean for employers?
Employers can claim using a new simple procedure for the following:
(i) Non-recurring costs of advertising or agency fees for recruiting a replacement. There is no cap on this.
(ii) The extra cost over and above your salary for paying a temporary replacement for you while you are mobilised, up to £110 a day (this is around £40,000 a year)
(iii) The cost of any retraining you may need on demobilisation as a result of your absence. There is no cap on this.

Q11. How do the self employed benefit?
The self-employed can claim as a Reservist for loss of earnings from your business. They can also claim the same amounts as an employer to replace themselves while mobilised.

Q12. How do they claim?
When a call-out notice is received individuals will be sent a claim form. This will include instructions on what to do. Normally this should be brought to the mobilisation centre or other point. The claim will be considered by an Adjudication Officer (AO) who will provide a written letter containing his/her decision and showing how the claim is calculated.

Q13. What happens if a Reservist or employer is dissatisfied with the amount paid?
As at present they will have the right to appeal to an independent Reserve Forces Appeal Tribunal (RFAT). They will be told how to do this in the letter notifying them of the decision on their claim.

Q14. When can a claim be made?
Most claims can be made at any time after the start of period of mobilised service. Claims can be made at any time up to four weeks after are demobilisation. However, the earlier a claim is made the earlier it can be paid. This will avoid loss of income during mobilisation. An Adjudication Officer can make an interim award, so individuals can claim even if they are not able to provide all the evidence required.

Claims for the training award by an employer must be made within 8 weeks of the training being undertaken. Normally training must be undertaken within 6 months of the reservist return to employment. However, if relevant training is not available within this period, then the training can be undertaken within 12 months of the reservist returning to employment, but the employer must give written notice to the Adjudication Officer of his or her intention to do this within the initial six months.

Any claims under the old regulations must be made under the time limits applicable to those regulations – generally within four weeks after mobilisation.

Q15. Can a Reservist remain a member of his/her employer’s pension scheme while mobilised?
Yes. The new regulations, like the previous ones, allow any Reservist who wishes to do so to remain a member of his/her employer’s pension scheme. MOD will where necessary pay the employer’s contributions, provided the Reservist pays any employee’s contributions.

Q16. How do individuals find out more?
This internal communications brief is only a guide, and should not be used as the basis of any financial decision. To find out more, visit Volunteer Reservists should ask their unit’s Administrative Officer.

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