Herores Sacked - TA soldiers sacked by employers

#1
I know it's the Mirror, but I don't think they've faked this article!

http://www.sundaymirror.co.uk/news/...objectid=17890945&siteid=62484-name_page.html

8 October 2006

HEROES SACKED

By Rupert Hamer Defence Correspondent, Rory Smith And Simon Wright

VOLUNTEER soldiers are being sacked from their day jobs while away fighting on the frontline in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Few of Britain's Territorial Army reservists expected to be called up to active service when they volunteered as part-time soldiers.

But chronic troop shortages mean more than 13,000 have been sent to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. And a Sunday Mirror investigation today reveals that around 100 have returned to Britain from their tour of duty fighting for their country to find they have been sacked by their employers.

Last night a TA officer said: "We are looking at more than 100 sackings. That is disgraceful. The attitude of some employers has caused us real problems. Often, when a TA soldier threatens legal action or press coverage they will back down - but by then the damage is done and we have lost them. They won't come back again."

Territorial volunteers usually combine occasional weekend military training with full-time jobs completely unconnected to the Army. Among those called up to fight in Iraq have been accountants, bus drivers, double-glazing salesmen and engineers.

When they fight alongside regular troops, facing death and bloodshed every day, their jobs back home are meant to be kept open for them on their return. It is the least the soldiers - who come from all walks of civilian life - should expect.

Of the 100 or so dumped by their firms, 29 have had to launch costly legal battles in an attempt to get their jobs back.


They are the tip of the iceberg, according to experts, who fear dozens more have been made to suffer for their patriotism.


Many haven't had the time, money or know-how to fight their sackings. Or they have found themselves unable to raise industrial tribunal claims because of red-tape.
 
#2
AXED A WEEK BEFORE SHE CAME HOME

BOSSES' BETRAYAL OF THE T.A.

CORPORAL Jean Taylor found herself sacked after finishing a gruelling year-long tour of duty in Iraq.

Bosses told Cpl Taylor she was out of her admin manager's job just a week before she was due to fly home from Basra.

She had to sell her house and drain her life savings as she battled in court to get her job back.

She was so desperate for work she had to take up a TA offer of another six months on the front line.

Cpl Taylor, 31, from Liverpool, said: "That's not the way to treat someone who has risked their life for their country."

She had been working for Gwynedd Shipping, in North Wales, for seven months when she was called up in March 2003.

A tribunal awarded her a paltry two months' wages in compensation - but that was wiped out by legal fees she had run up.
FORCED TO SURVIVE ON BENEFITS

BOSSES' BETRAYAL OF THE T.A.

ENGINEER Kevin Mervin praised by his bosses as "patriotic" for being in the TA was sacked three weeks after being called up to fight in the Iraq War.

TA veteran Kevin, 40, did a six-week tour of duty in March 2003 with the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment.

Back home in Kettering, Northants, with his wife and three children he'd no job and survived for months on benefits and a credit card.

Kevin, in the TA since 1995, said: "It felt like a massive kick in the teeth."

He was called up after just 10 weeks as a truck engineer for a haulage firm - three weeks short of gaining job rights.

"They wrote saying my probationary period had been unsuccessful. I found out that it was because I was going away to fight."

He now drives lorries on £5,000 less, adding: "It was a big strain on my marriage. We separated. My life has not been the same since."
INJURED IN ACTION THEN DISMISSED

BOSSES' BETRAYAL OF THE T.A.

WHEN former TA soldier Steven Spence was called to serve his country for six months in the Iraq war he agreed - as did his bosses.

Engineer Steven, 40, of East Kilbride, joined the Royal, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, 104 Battalion, in February 2003.

After a few weeks he injured his knee during an air raid warning and was sent back home to telecoms firm Nessco, where he'd worked for three years.

Weeks after returning to his £17,800-a-year job Steve was "devastated" when told the post was being axed - but he discovered his job was given to someone else.

He won a compensation fight that he had the right to keep his job for 52 weeks on his return.

But he was awarded nothing by the tribunal because he had found another job by then.

The dad-of-three said: "I felt it was important to stand up for my rights."
 
#3
The Reserve Forces Act means nothing to a rogue employer, there are simply too many get out clauses that allow the employer to circumvent the legislation.

Ma TA soldires who are mobilised simply hand their notice in because they know they will not have a job when they return, and of course who wants to employ them upon return from Iraq with the possibilities of further mobilisation.

The simple answer is for the government to properly compensate the employer for firstly employing members of the reserve forces and secondly supporting them during deployment. Dismissal should be outlawed.
 
#4
There should also be a name and shame campaign launched against these employers. Hit them in their profits or start Shareholders asking awkward questionsat the AGM and they will soon change their policies.
 
#7
shoot the *******
or just phone them up in the night" the lad you sacked seems to have walked out of the armoury with a gat he did'nt seem to be very happy"
you do have good door locks don't you
oh you want us to do something well we'd love to help but defence cuts limits
what help we can offer .
yes hiding under the bed would be a good idea :twisted:
 
#8
Its a simple choice. You either work as a responsible person abiding by the rules of your employer or you leave and in order to go and play soldiers for a few months.
Why should employers have to put up with people taking extended holidays for months on end ? Its certainly not something I would put up with.By all means these people should be allowed to go and have a go at being real soldiers if they so wish and I admire thier commitment but it is a tad unreasonable to expect thier employers to sit around tapping thier fingers for 6 months or whatever it is waiting for them to return.
 
#9
Be interesting to see the faces at the AGM when the demonstrators turn up in uniform, clutching their required one share certificate..
 
#10
logical_log said:
Why should employers have to put up with people taking extended holidays for months on end ? Its certainly not something I would put up with.
This is meant to be ironic - right?
'Holidays' quotha! This is something up with which we should not put.
I have a mate who did a TA tour in Iraq this year, he has been injured and is not yet fit for work. Luckily he has a strong Union and, because of this, an understanding boss.
Many employers say that they prefer employees with TA experience as it makes them more efficient, more adaptable and more responsible.
 
#11
Why aren't companies required to keep mobilised TA soldiers on their books, at the same wage (plus any reasonable increases) for a year after they return from operations?

No loopholes. No "it's not that we've fired you, it's just your job's been cut - sorry."

The employers would squeal, but it's not that much of an issue from their side - 40,000 TA personnel, out of a total working population of around 30 million?

sm.
 
#13
TA, AR, ANG, CMF whatever were set up for the big one. Employers were generally supportive of compentent people who were prepared to serve. I was CMF/AR and supported by employers. That was in a different era when it meant the big one and not meaningless efforts with inadequate forces in obscure places for no real advantage.

Apologies to those who think I am not sympathetic to what they do.
 
#14
ARRSE wants employers names!

Put what they did and there names on front page of every paper for a week are two and I bet they have a very sudden change of heart on matter.
 
#15
logical_log said:
Its a simple choice. You either work as a responsible person abiding by the rules of your employer or you leave and in order to go and play soldiers for a few months.
Why should employers have to put up with people taking extended holidays for months on end ? Its certainly not something I would put up with.By all means these people should be allowed to go and have a go at being real soldiers if they so wish and I admire thier commitment but it is a tad unreasonable to expect thier employers to sit around tapping thier fingers for 6 months or whatever it is waiting for them to return.
Having read through most of your posts since you have joined this site you have had nothing useful to say!! What is your agenda? Have you been rejected by the Army or feel hard done by? I suggest you keep your pathetic and idiotic comments to yourself and do not bore everyone on this site with them.
 
#16
logical_log said:
Its a simple choice. You either work as a responsible person abiding by the rules of your employer or you leave and in order to go and play soldiers for a few months.
Why should employers have to put up with people taking extended holidays for months on end ? Its certainly not something I would put up with.By all means these people should be allowed to go and have a go at being real soldiers if they so wish and I admire thier commitment but it is a tad unreasonable to expect thier employers to sit around tapping thier fingers for 6 months or whatever it is waiting for them to return.
Unpopular as your views may be with soldiers you are quite accurate in summarising the views of an increasing number of employers.

Like it or lump it Ladies and Gents, businesses exist to make money. Currently employing reservists who are mobilised costs them money. The lack of effective employment protection means that they can sack soldiers easily, and even if prosecuted the penalties are fairly derisory and probably cheaper than keeping them on.

So, if they have no financial or legal incentive to retain reservists what else is there ? Only the moral element remains - and here frankly we're doomed as well. Iraq and Afghanistan are very, very unpopular with a lot of people. And it's peacetime, so why do we need the reserves at all ? Many take the view that of you're daft enough to join the TA to support Tony's daft foreign policy then stop whining when businesses refuse to sponsor you at their expense.

(Not my views BTW, so don't have a go at me)
 
#17
I can understand the frustration from both sides. When I was involved with senior company management there was a big enough problem with people "swinging the lead" in some small local business units, causing problems for those operations. Plus the usual quota of bone idle, badly educated //// that exists nowdays.

BUT we never had any TA members (who had admitted themselves anyway) so I cannot comment. But surely the government should (do they?) give the same support as a minimum as they do to employers who have ladies away on maternity leave?

Or maybe the govt should employ more full time soldiers or just focus on defending Britain and Britain's direct interests, rather than launching foreign jaunts to appease Bush and the UN?

Maybe that is also colouring the view of some employers. The guys and gals in the TA are (viewed as) not doing anything to directly benefit the UK or UK interests per se.

And if there are the rules about remobilisation and they are not being followed, maybe that adds salt into the wound.
 
#18
logical_log said:
Its a simple choice. You either work as a responsible person abiding by the rules of your employer or you leave and in order to go and play soldiers for a few months.
Why should employers have to put up with people taking extended holidays for months on end ? Its certainly not something I would put up with.By all means these people should be allowed to go and have a go at being real soldiers if they so wish and I admire thier commitment but it is a tad unreasonable to expect thier employers to sit around tapping thier fingers for 6 months or whatever it is waiting for them to return.
I suspect you wouldn't employ women of child bearing age for the same reason.

Sorry, I had to bite
 
#19
thegreyman: many companies if they are honest take the same attitude. Partially due to prejudice and partially due to the few women who take the p1ss with maternity leave and suchlike (i.e. use the time to search for a better job, give notice just before m.l. due to end).
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#20
My 2p'worth - how about looking at this the other way for once? >14,500 mobilised, and less than 30 cases even reported? I make that around 0.2%.

I realise that many cases are probably never proceeded with for some reason, but the only facts are that very, very few people have felt the need to invoke the legislation. This must mean something. In my view, it's probably the result of a combintaion of supportive employers, and Reservists using their common sense and all the other things that they need to be a successful TA Member in the first place!

Oh, and the facts: according to a recent debate in the Lords on this, 28 reservists have applied to have their cases brought before a Reinstatement Committee. 14 cases were withdrawn, 6 were settled before a hearing commenced, 5 were won by the applicant and 3 by the employer - this is even less than the 30 that the Mirror claimed - more like 14, which is less than 0.1% of those mobilised.
 

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