SaBRE Helpline

Allow me to introduce myself …

SaBRE_helpline is a user set up by the SaBRE campaign HQ in London so that we can provide information and advice on any employer issues which are raised on ARRSE.

The answers to most common questions can be found on our website ( but if any Reservist or employer needs more information you can email us through the website or call our helpline, 0800 389 5459.

We will also respond to any PMs sent to SaBRE_helpline. We know that some Reservists are concerned about contacting SaBRE directly in case information is passed to their employers or back through the chain-of-command (neither of which will ever happen except with your specific agreement). The PM system on ARRSE provides you with a way of contacting us for advice anonymously.

Many thanks

Good to see you on here Sabre. Feel free to butt in on threads when we start getting all het up about the latest untrue rumours on mobilisation rights etc too!
I was injured in Iraq on Op telic 3 by a roadside bomb, although i took out personal insurance they seem unwilling to part with any cash. This situation has been going on for over three years now. Would you be able to help, or do you know any organisation that could.

Sorry to hear about your misfortune but SaBRE's remit only covers issues with employers - which it doesn't sound as if this is.

If it is a dispute between you and an insurance provider then the Financial Ombudsman is probably your best bet (
Sabre Helpline - welcome to ARRSE. Good initiative to have exposure through these boards. My guess is that it will help clear up some of the misconceptions that people have. I am surprised however that it has taken three and a half years for Sabre to act proactively in this way. Whilst understanding that Sabre's remit is towards employers moreso than the TA soldier himself, could you give us some examples of the lines of communication that Sabre have had with TA soldiers since TELIC commenced?

Thanks for the welcome.

The SaBRE website has always included information for Reservists and the helpline has always been open to Reservists to call. However, as you say, SaBRE’s direct communication is mainly aimed at employers - primarily through direct mail, media relations and face-to-face meetings - which, in turn, benefits Reservists working for those employers.

The prime source of direct support for Reservists has been, and continues to be, the chain-of-command including the Unit Employer Support Officers (who exist in various guises as well as UESO, including RRRWO). UESOs work closely with SaBRE’s full-time representatives in each region and SaBRE provides a variety of support materials, advice and information to them.

The Defence Directive on Employer Support (JSP 766, March 2005) is the document which sets out who has responsibility to do what, from which an excerpt is below. There's also a link to a pdf of the document.

I hope this helps clarify the situation.

----------------------------------------------------------------- Directive.pdf

"The Chain of Command has primacy in the provision of direct support to Reservists in their relationship with their employers. This support is principally provided at Unit level although there are also dedicated staffs at higher levels of the Command chain. A CO has two interests in Emp Sp: the welfare of his Reservist and the availability of that Reservist for training and mobilization. Maintaining durable Emp Sp relations is, therefore, a vitally important task for COs who are to appoint a Unit Employer Support Officer (UESO). …… the main role of UESOs is therefore to provide Reservists with the information, guidance and assistance they need in support of their relationship with their immediate line manager."
Many thanks for the response. I'm sure I'm not the only person who posts on these boards, who has a had less than a good experience in relation to the employer / employee / CoC / Sabre relationship and areas of responsibility, etc. I'm sure you'll be at pains to point out improvements in the way these areas are now processed, but, anecdotally at least, the system has not done what it says on the can for a number of reservists.

I (and I guess many others) would be interested to know just how much weight Sabre actually has, when employer / reservist relationships go sour? This isn't a criticism, but Sabre appears to be little more than a PR unit of the MOD, selling the concept of "the better employee, through the employee's reservist employment" - all very good stuff. My question directly is; If Sabre is made aware of an employer who discriminates against a reservist in their employ, what action does Sabre take?

This is not a wah, but a brief look through several of the threads on this board will give a clear picture of the issues that reservists have suffered, and there seems to be little clear direction on which organisation is responsible for ensuring that RFA96 is being adhered to by employers.
If you suspect that your employer has infringed his/her legal obligations, the legal options open to you vary according to which provision you are talking about – but they are set out on the SaBRE website.

If your employer is staying within the law but being difficult, the only option open to you is persuasion.

You have several sources, described above, that you can turn to for general advice and information to help you make your case to your employer.

If you want further assistance, it is your chain of command or UESO you should ask for help (see JSP 766). They have access to a range of other resources (such as senior members of your Unit, the SaBRE representative for your region and other employers) who can be involved as your C-of-C / UESO see fit and agree with you.
SaBRE_helpline said:
If you suspect that your employer has infringed his/her legal obligations, the legal options open to you vary according to which provision you are talking about – but they are set out on the SaBRE website.
Thank you - but your response does not answer the question. Let me repeat it here, so that it is clear:

If Sabre is made aware of an employer who discriminates against a reservist in their employ, what action does Sabre take?

SaBRE_website said:
If your employer terminates your employment without your consent, and does so solely or mainly because of your liability to be mobilised for military service, your employer is guilty of an offence (s17). A court can order them to pay you compensation (s18), as well as levying a fine (s17).

SaBRE_website said:
You must apply for reinstatement within six months of the end of your Reserve Service (s1(4)(b)). You must write (s3(1)) to your employer within the period (s1(2)(a)) between the end of your whole-time service and the third Monday after that date, at their present or last known address (s1(5)), asking for reinstatement to your former job. If, owing to sickness or other reasonable cause, you are prevented from making the application until after the expiry of the third Monday after the end of your whole-time service, you must write as soon as reasonably possible after that third Monday (s3(3)).

You must also write to your employer at the same time, or within 21 days of the third Monday after the end of your whole-time service, to give the date on which you will be available to go back to work (s4(1)). Note: that date must be no later than the 21st day after the third Monday after the end of the period of whole-time service. If, because of sickness or any other reasonable cause, you are not available for work until after the 21st day, then you must write to your employer, notifying an alternative prospective start date as close as reasonably possible after the 21st day (s4(2).

If your employer offers other work (s1(2)), and you are dissatisfied with the alternative offer, you must inform your employer immediately in writing, stating why there is reasonable cause for you not to accept it (s1(4)).

If you believe their response to that submission denies your rights, you can apply to a Reinstatement Committee for assessment (s8(1)). The Reinstatement Committee will consider your application and, if they accept it, will make an order (s8(2)) for reinstatement and/or compensation.

There is a procedure through which your employer can appeal against the decision of the Reinstatement Committee (s9) and, subject to any prescribed time limit, they can make further appeals to an Umpire (s9).

If your employer does not conform to an order, you can go to a magistrates' court for payment (s11) or compensation (s10(2)).

Your application for reinstatement lapses at the end of 13 weeks from the day it was made. To maintain your rights, you must make a new application, in writing, before the end of the 13 weeks. That new application remains in force for another 13 weeks. Each further renewal must be done in writing within 13 weeks from the date that it was last reviewed.
There are lots of courses of action depending on the employers action. I cannot see any reference to how Sabre get involved and what their responsibilities are. In relation to your earlier answer about talking to the CoC; I did, they directed me to Sabre. Sabre directed me to the Sabre website.

Possibly, you could supply some numbers, for the number of reservists that have been through the processes you mention, and how much input these regional reps had in the process. My understanding is that a number of reservists, have had to do all the work themselves, with no support from Sabre or the Chain of Command.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to clarify SaBRE’s role.

Firstly, I would refer anyone reading this to the Defence Directive on Employer Support (JSP 766, March 2005) Directive.pdf which sets out the roles and responsibilities of the various organisations involved in Employer Support in considerable detail.

SaBRE is not a law-enforcement agency, nor is it the sole MOD provider of Employer Support. As the Chief of the Defence Staff puts it in his foreword to JSP 766:
“Reservists play a pivotal role in gaining and maintaining the support of their employers but Employer Support is also a welfare, recruiting and retention function and, as such, primary responsibility for direct support lies with the Chain of Command. Nonetheless, the Chain of Command relies on the assistance of various other agencies to deliver Employer Support. It is important, therefore, that all the agencies involved in Employer Support understand where they fit within the overall framework and act in a co-ordinated, complementary way.”

JSP 766 goes on to explain:
“The SaBRE Campaign is a MOD funded, branded marketing campaign … it is not focussed on direct support to Reservists but on engaging with employers and establishing a dialogue with them. At national level, SaBRE uses commercial techniques to inform the employers of Reservists of their rights and obligations and to promote the benefits of employing Reservists through such mechanisms as direct mail, PR, advertising, a website and a freephone helpline. The national SaBRE team also includes a National Relationship Manager whose role is to engage with the head offices of large private and public sector employers in order to recruit policy support for the employment of Reservists. At national level, SaBRE attempts to develop an environment within which regional activity can flourish. During mobilisation, SaBRE’s main aim remains unaltered but it will include relevant information on its website, increase the resources on its freephone call centre and tailor its messaging to fit the situation.”

The SaBRE Campaign is founded on the principle that the better informed employers are, the more supportive they are likely to be – a principle borne out both by extensive research and by anecdotal evidence. This information broadly falls into three categories: the benefits, rights and obligations associated with employing a member of the Reserve Forces. The purpose of providing a presence of ARRSE is to help ensure that accurate information is available to Reservists when they are in discussion with their employers.

I hope this clarifies matters and we can now focus our time on assisting Reservists with specific issues they are trying to resolve with their employer.
I am about to Deploy on Telic 9
And Have been told that the job I was in has been changed and the Crew I worked with have been split up....
The Reason give to my former workmates were that "there Was Problems" with our Crew....I Work for a Local Council and was given no notification of these changes to my working conditions,but i am still sent monthly team brief by post to my home!
I had no verbal or written warnings of any kind before Chillwell
I was also put forward for Employee of the year (Why I Will never know!) but because of my sevice in Iraq pending this was rejected on the grounds of council policy about operations there...this all happened with out my consent.
A brief was then held and my name was raised when the Employee of the year thing was covered and the reason I was rejected!
This was told to the whole I am a Reserve Team Leader
I feel this will affect my standing in the workforce..:(
Where do I Stand?
(Not worried about being Top Employee! more worried about changing job spec and my name being used when not there to defend it!)

SaBRE being on this site is a great Idea for getting good advice,Well done!

Firstly, on the changes to your job, the key piece of legislation is the Reserve Forces (Safeguard of Employment) Act 1985, which covers an employer’s obligations to reinstate you after demobilisation.

Section 1 of the Act says:
[The employer shall] be obliged to take the applicant into his employment –
(a) in the occupation in which the applicant was last employed by the former employer before the beginning of his whole-time service and on terms and conditions not less favourable to his those which would have been applicable to him in that occupation had he not entered on such service; or
(b) if it is not reasonable and practicable that the applicant should be taken into employment in that occupation and on those terms and conditions, in the most favourable terms and conditions which are reasonable and practicable in his case.

This means, in effect, that you should be treated the same as you would have been if you had not been mobilised. Section (b) above covers circumstances where it is impossible for someone to be given exactly the same job back after being mobilised (as a result of, for example a company reorganisation or a factory closure). More details are at

From what you’ve said, it sounds as if the changes to your working arrangements as a result of your crew being split up would have happened whether or not you had been mobilised - so your employer is within their rights. If, however, when you return you are only offered a poorer role when they could give you something similar to the job you've just left, then your employer is in the wrong and you can take action if you want to.

On the Employee of the Year award, although the way this has been handled sounds like poor management, such awards are entirely up to the employer how they are decided upon and organised – so I’m afraid that there is nothing you can do.

Finally, I would reiterate our general advice for all mobilised Reservists.

1. Keep in touch with your employer while you are away – don’t just disappear off the face of the planet until you have been demobilised and want your job back. Sending an occasional short email keeps you in mind and provides some small understanding of what you are doing.

2. Similarly, if there are things such as employee newsletters which can be posted or emailed to you while you are away, ask for them to be sent to you. This shows an interest in your employer and helps you to follow any changes which will affect you when you return.

3. Brief your unit (your normal TA unit, not the one you are being posted to) about your employer and any action you want taken (or not taken) while you are away. There should be someone coordinating relations with employers while you are away (a Unit Employer Support Officer or someone else covering that role) and you should make them aware of any issues with your employer and whether you want them to contact your employer with any updates or invitations to events etc.

4. Particularly if you are having difficulties with your employer, encourage your UESO to speak to the Regional SaBRE Campaign Director for your region. Particularly if there are other Reservists, possibly from other units, working for the same employer the RSCD may well have information about the employer or useful points of contact. The RSCD also organises a range of events (even including some employer visits to Iraq) and other activities which your unit can use to help generate good relations with an employer when appropriate.

Hope this helps - and good luck with the tour.
We've been running, on average, about four visits a year to Iraq and we also run quite a few others to training in the UK and overseas.

The number of places is obviously limited, so we can't guarantee to accommodate everyone who would like to take part and priority goes to the employers where there is likely to be most payback in terms of increased support.

If you or anyone else (mobilised or not) thinks that your employer would be interested in taking part in a visit of some kind, you should ask your Unit Employer Support Officer (UESO) - or Adjt if you haven't got one - to pass their details to your Region's Regional SaBRE Campaign Director (RSCD), letting them know what type of visit you would like them to be considered for and any other useful background.
Nice to see you on site, as a UESO I Will certainally be looking forward to getting help and direction from you (I Am in contact with SaBre in my region and very helpful they are as well)
just a point are there any courses that UESO can utilise while in post

There aren’t any courses specifically for UESOs but there is a detailed handbook (JSP 811) which you can download from the publications section of the SaBRE site (

You should also subscribe to the UESO e-newsletter published by SaBRE which you can do by sending your name, unit and the email address you want it sent to to This will ensure that you are up-to-date with any new developments. (To other readers: you don’t have to be a UESO to subscribe to this if you want to, although this is the audience it is aimed at.)

Finally, do keep in contact with your RSCD who will be able to give you advice when required and willl also know of any regional meetings of UESOs you might find it useful to join.
First off, apologies for the delay in getting back to you , been a bit hectic here latley As our soldiers are getting ready to come back. and being indirectly invoved wih the latast casualty in Basrah.
Many thanks for the invaluable info I wiil certainly get that up and running.just for info I am also the assistant Unit Welfare Officer for my unit so if any one thinks I can help pleae PM me, I cant promise to give the right answer right off , but I will certainly help one way or another.
All the Besst
p.s. I am not on the internet at work so please be patient and I wiil get back to you.

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