Iraq reservist sacked on his return

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by msr, Feb 18, 2006.

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  1. msr

    msr LE

    AN EMPLOYER accused of refusing to give a Territorial Army soldier his job back after he returned from an operational tour of Iraq is being prosecuted, in the first case of its kind.

    Sadly, the message it may send out is 'don't employ reservists'.,,175-2045882,00.html

  2. It should have been done after Telic 1 when several Germany based TA soldiers lost their jobs when German employers refused to acknowledge that under european law, protection for reservists of one EU state has to be accepted by another.

    Greek men had won cases where they had lost their jobs after being called up for national service. If the Army had backed the Germany based soldiers with legal support, rather than just offering them FTRS until they could find another job, the wrong signal wouldn't have been put out to the employers and it probably whould have cost the army a lot less.

    Not to mention showing that the army support TA soldiers even if they live in another country.
  3. It's good to see this happening, and hats off to the system for finally catching on and looking after the soldier. However, a quote from the article:

    "The CPS said that the maximum penalty for breaching Section 17 of the Act would be a fine of £1,000 for each defendant and compensation to the reservist amounting to five weeks’ salary."

    That amount of money is not a deterrent. By way of comparison, a bog standard industrial tribunal has a max payout of 50 grand (ish) or unlimited for things like race and sex discrimination. For long service employees five weeks salary is less than you'd pay them if you made them redundant. So a canny employer could save money this way.

    Forgive me if I don't see this as the answer to all our troubles.
  4. Post Timor/Iraq deployments this happened to quite a few reservists out here that I know, either through working with or they are the partners of people I know. There were also several individuals whom went to the media to attempt to get a response. After the initial "oh dear how frightfully unsporting old bean, tut tut" comments from the Federal government b-all was done to help them. The employers were not forced to do anything, even though there are provisions in Federal and State legislations preventing this very thing, because the employers either recategorised the employees as "casual", trotted out some trumped up reasons for the sackings or the official response was "well you didn't sign it specifically in your individual workplace contract so they can do what they like". Makes one wonder why the legislation was gazetted if it is not even as good as the paper on which it is written. The majority of good employers whom follow the legislation or even encourage their staff to join up to make a contribution to the country are precisely the ones whom do not need to be regulated.

    The individuals' only recourse in the cases of which I am personally aware was to take it to court and most of them were unable to do that financially or because, in a couple of cases, direct threats of "you won't ever be able to work in the industry again if you push this" were made. Many employers are happy enough about reservist duties as long as it isn't going to clash with rostering etc. Some of the biggest whinging I have seen is about how "lucky gets to get out of work again" by taking reservist leave. "Lucky" happens to be protecting you by putting themself on the line not trotting off on a cruise. There is not much point in having a legislation that states "sacking is a big no no" if when they do it nothing detrimental occurs as a consequence. It merely reinforces the idea they have the ability to sack if it suits them.
  5. I have raised this point to at least two Generals at Sabre receptions before and they have bascially said they have no wish to upset employers by including this is an amendment to the RFA or Employment Acts - more likely they do not want to ask the idiots in Government to tip the scales our way in case they turn ot around and remove any protection that exists.

    Further, when the idea that the army speak to the HR people directly at their annual conference was raised to the Assistant CDS, some nodescript colonel appeared, took my name and bluffed about 'good idea and we'll ask your views' no visit - surprise, surprise? Yet get HR people on side and they can tell employers the implications of their actions before they take them and, as they often hold training and recruiting responsibilities what the benefits of the TA are. But then what would I know with my 12 years in HR and 15 in the TA (oh I know, it was not suggested by an officer! :evil: ).
  6. The case was adjourned until April 20. The CPS said that the maximum penalty for breaching Section 17 of the Act would be a fine of £1,000 for each defendant and compensation to the reservist amounting to five weeks’ salary.

    It almost encourages employers to sack those on deployment to save money.
  7. As has been pointed out seceral times, even if this case goes the distance (see perceived opinion of RFA96) the punishment will be no more than a rounding error in a decent-sized company's turnover.

    It now seems that the legislation supposedly put in place to protect the reservist has the unintended effect of providing a very cheap and attractive method of getting rid of staff. What other conclusion can be drawn from these facts?

    When will govt legislators learn that if they really want to defend reservists they need look at measures that might realistically deter potential defendants rather than random figures? But then again, there is the far-fetched and faintly ludicrous possibility that they might only want to appear to defend reservists without actually upsetting employers.

    Imagine that.
  8. If anyone knows the lad involved I can employ a mechanic in the Stafford area and (for some inexplicable reason ;)) my firm is very reserve friendly. (Although the mechanic in the Inverness area who told me he was being compulsorily mobilised for Bosnia was surprised to find out just how well informed I was on the subject. And is now a very relieved young man with protected employment rights, retained DIS Benefit, etc. :D)

    So anyone from RMLY who knows LCpl Wright please pm me.
  9. I remember reading in the papers a couple of years ago about an RLC driver who was sacked for being deployed. It was most strange, as she was a civi driver employed by the MoD. Then again why should tis be considerd strange?