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Shorter tours = more volunteers ?

The Army (via the last ACDS) has made it clear that it regards the relationship between a reservist and his employer/family as a matter for that reservist to resolve - it does not want to get involved. Whether that is a highly sensible position or an utter cop-out, you can debate.

However, whilst that position remains, it will always be extremely difficult for quite a large number of reservists (particularly the slightly older ones) to volunteer for a 12 month absence more than once in any given job/marriage.

Short tours in numerous posts are easily acceptable - GOCs often do them, for instance. I was led to believe that the standard 6 months formation tour was partly down to the cost of moving that formation across the world. Conversely, 6 months is required in other posts, and even longer in a limited number of specialist positions (9 - 12 months).

If the Army wants more reservists, two obvious choices are to:

1. Intervene in the relationship decsribed above through call-up,

2. Allow some flexibility that will make the reservist better able to manage that relationship himself eg short tours.

We would not seem ot be in the position where either are needed just yet.

As for the Last_Provoker's posts on MATTs - he may wish to read-up on the concept of the Military Covenant and reflect on those parts that apply to the reservist.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
ViVictaVis said:
No, I wouldn't be 'punishing' someone to go on a tour.
Perhaps I'm making too much out of this (and I'll make this my last comment on this), but how else does one interpret your earlier comment:

Oh, I am also a employer too and I'd engineer some way to sack a TA punter who volunteered for compulsory ops
To my reading, that sounded pretty punitive. Way and beyond the "sorry mate, I can't hold your job open for you" sentiment that we've acknowledged is a fact of modern business.

Moving back on thread, I'm guessing that your current employer's attitude makes it unlikely that you will be able to mobilise for any length of time. Do you think a shorter absence would make a difference to him? I imagine if I had a boss like yours, it would be a disincentive to volunteering for any kind of deployment.

My point being, are shorter tours really an answer for people who want to mobilise, but have bosses/jobs like yours? They'd be ideal for people like me, who have absolutely no guarantee of any income when they return.

Dilfor, ref your:
1. Intervene in the relationship decsribed above through call-up,
if an employer like VVV's was faced with such a situation, would he have hired VVV at all? At least at present VVV is still able to serve in the TA at home. Compulsion's all very well, but it's kind of a one shot deal isn't it? After an employer has been "robbed" of his employee once, how long before he/she views service in the Reserves as incompatible with employment in their company and moves to resolve that?
 
Is not the answer that some degree of flexibility, e.g. shorter tours, will be of interest to some (not all) members of the TA, just as longer tours will be of interest to some (not all) members of the TA?

In spite of the One Army concept, there will always be differences between the Regs and the TA, simply because of the realities of full time v. part time, therefore the one-size-fits-all solution won't, so:

a - recognise that individuals whose circumstances make operational tours. unlikely can still contribute to the services (e.g. within the domestic training role).
b - remember that the primary role for many TA pers is support to civil authority, which is what, primarily, they train for.
c - keep the 6/12 tours (with no repeat within x years)
d - increase options for shorter tours (with no repeat with y years).

What is needed is not the avoidance of longer tours through use of shorter tours, but an additional option for those who circumstances mitigate against longer tours.
 
RP578 said:
Dilfor, ref your:
1. Intervene in the relationship decsribed above through call-up,
if an employer like VVV's was faced with such a situation, would he have hired VVV at all? At least at present VVV is still able to serve in the TA at home. Compulsion's all very well, but it's kind of a one shot deal isn't it? After an employer has been "robbed" of his employee once, how long before he/she views service in the Reserves as incompatible with employment in their company and moves to resolve that?
That is exactly the reason why the Army is choosing not to go this route at the moment. Whilst even greater intervention (in terms of employment protection legislation etc) would seem to be an obvious answer, the prevailing MoD view seems to be that, despite outward appearances to the contrary, this is not all it is cracked up to be in the States (where the whole structure is different in any case) and would not necessarily be that good here either. I suspect a major reason is actually political, especially with unpopular wars. I also think there is still a certain amount of naivety about the attitudes of employers; this was definitely the case with NELC (prior to Sabre), where the Army spent all its time dealing with those who were already on board rather than those who were not, and I suspect there remains some lingering denial that most employers are heartily selfish and couldn't give a stuff about defence matters. However, compulsion still remains as an option if required.

As for a number of colleagues, I am gagging for another tour (and have some pressure being applied to do so). However, it took months of shaping operations at work to get the last one off the ground (they never found out I volunteered) and I still nearly lost my marriage/house etc. If I am to be responsible for resolving those elements myself, then I will have to do so in my own good time.
 
Am I wrong to believe SABRE when they say:

“Additional costs - as an employer, you may claim financial assistance to cover the additional costs to you of replacing an employee who is mobilised, over and above their earnings. While the Reservist is mobilised you do not have to continue paying them, and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) will not pay you for doing so. Details of which additional costs you may claim for are included on the claim form.

The additional costs may include, for example:

• overtime if you use other employees to cover the work of the Reservist
• any costs of hiring a temporary replacement that exceed the Reservist's earnings


The maximum amount you can claim for additional costs is currently set at £110 per day, which is roughly equivalent to £40,000 a year. The MOD will pay for every day that your employee is absent by virtue of their mobilised service, and this will normally be paid monthly in arrears.
Non-recurring costs - you may also claim for certain one-off costs that you incur in replacing your employee. These are:

• agency fees, if you use a recruitment agency or employment agency to find a temporary replacement
• advertising costs, if you place a recruitment advertisement by any medium to find a temporary replacement.


There is no cap on the amount you can claim for either of these types of costs, but you must be able to support your claim with invoices or bills.

Training - you can claim if your Reservist employee needs training when they return to work to carry out their duties properly. In order to make this claim you need to be able to demonstrate that the Reservist needs the training as a result of having been mobilised; the MOD will not pay for training that you would have carried out anyway. There is no cap on the amount you can claim for training but you will have to provide evidence of the costs, and show that the Reservist could not reach the required standard by other means, such as workplace experience.”

Surely this is a way to offset the losses described by Vx3?

Not a problem for me, as I am in Local Government, and they are extremely supportive. I am, however, in IT, and the cost of a contractor to cover me may well be double what I cost them, so the SABRE line had better be correct.
 
4th, I take you point and indeed my employer did apply for assistance from Sabre whilst I was away.

He got, I believe, £150.00 whilst I was away. You may wonder why?

1. My industry never uses temps for workforce.
2. It takes around 6 months of training to become anywhere near profitable, so hiring someone to do my job would have a) replaced me completely (which RFA says is wrong) and b) been extremely unprofitable for the company.
3. My industry doesn't do overtime pay (we work on commission).
4. The money was given as payment for a one off advert.

So my previous CoC decided to bite the bullet and wait, this was reflected in his subsequent attitude to further mobilisations. Word of this gets around - articles in the press, industry magazines, trade meetings, friends of friends in the TA. Lo and behold, current CoC knows all Complusory mobilisation is to an extent voluntary and he'll lose loads if he supports it.

To bring it back on thread rather than it just sounding like the 'Why VVV can't mobilise' show, have a 3 month tour (with a shortened optag) meaning a total loss of 4 months rather than nearly 12, would make all these problems about hhmm...1/3 !
 
SigDev_Duck said:
b - remember that the primary role for many TA pers is support to civil authority, which is what, primarily, they train for.
Not sure the Local authorities would need my lot for, Armed car park attendant or Section attack in local Coffin Dodgers home?
 
Fair one Vx3.

Again I'm lucky, being RauxAF, so my trip will be for 4 monhs, which is less of an impact.

Strangely, my unit is Tri-Service, and parented by Army, and the other guys seem to do 4 months as well.
 
4th,
may I ask, is your tour short because of your job ie medic, or is it because you are RAuxAf?
 
As far as I know, all RauxAF tours are 4 months, someone mentioned it somewhere near the beginning of the thread, plus one of my mates has just done his.

No we're not medics, although it may be that the unit operates around short tours for some reason, I'm new to it, so I'll ask this weekend.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
I'd like to throw in a few as well, as an engineering manager I get taken on for short term deliveries such as start something next week and deliver for end of October. These are expensive projects and even compulsary call up would stop these projects being delivered. Now I am involved in some serious spend allied to the Olympics and if the Govt could spend a fraction of this on defence we would all be home sooner.
That said I doubt I would even have a career contracting if I was daft enough to sign up for 2 weeks away this year. These projects are generally in delay before they start so I couldnt go having started to deliver a new project. Yes I could be replaced and that is the problem, its bad enough putting 6 months out of work, by imaginative use of dates and some private work, on your cv but to explain away the same period every 2 or 3 years in a sandpit well I'd be better off volunteering for landmine clearance in Africa!
 
4th_of_foot said:
As far as I know, all RauxAF tours are 4 months, someone mentioned it somewhere near the beginning of the thread, plus one of my mates has just done his.

No we're not medics, although it may be that the unit operates around short tours for some reason, I'm new to it, so I'll ask this weekend.
I recently went for a look see at a RauxAF open day. I was told there that if I joined expect a 4 month tour every 3 years. Maybe it is standard.
 
The_Duke said:
squidgypie,

Have you read the thread? If not, try my post on page 2 and easesprings on page 3.

Short tours happened for 3 Para's Herrick tour in 2006, the R Anglians Herrick in 2007 and again for the 2 and 3 Para tours this year.

I am sure that many other units have done the same. It can be done, it works, and both sides benefit. The soldier gets a tour length more compatible with employers and the receiving unit gets a very useful pair of hands for 3 months.

And so the argument goes round in circles again, like a goldfish in a bowl (and with as much mental ability in the case of some posters!).
too much to read right through, i stand corrected i thought they knocked it on the head, but that was in 2000 b4 all this crap going on
 
i know of several people who have been away on short tours some for 7 weeks some 10 weeks these guys have previously been mobilized most are for replacements for some poor unfortunate who,s copt it in some way but some have been to reinforce units that have suddenly had a high workload (herrick) they all were in contact with CVHQ before they went i think some of its who you know or if you badger them enough they will ask around units in theater these were signals guys heres the CVHQ web site http://www.army.mod.uk/royalsignals/ta/cvhq/index.htm
perhaps other arms have similar admistration units
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
There is a precedent or at least a prince for this right now!
 

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