Time bars - are they illegal?

Having graduated from RMCS a few years ago with a BEng degree I'm considering a move to better paid/less mucked around environment!

I am wondering if anyone knows if MCM stop you leaving? Has anyone evaded their time bar or bought themselves out? Do you have to do 5 yrs before you can leave?

Any advice/stories appreciated............................ :eek: :eek: :eek:

Dodgy ground this one, particularly if you gained your degree hanging around Wiltshire with a bunch of Welbexians playing hockey and frightening the locals.

The bottom line is that there is a sliding scale of financial penalties to your five year point.  Quite right as you've had enough of my hard earned taxes while mincing around Swindon!  

But the good old EU will will ensure that your employer (MOD in this case), cannot prevent free movement of labour within the Union.  In simple terms you can b**ger off when you want.
There is a financial penalty laid down in some contract somewhere which you've probably never seen or never thought you'd signed which you are legally bound by. "Tuff luck"

If you plan to get out you are required to give 7 months notice min, but again I believe if you take the MOD to court over the issue you could get out earlier but that would probably cost you a lot. So it had better be a really good civvie job.
I just had to sign one and then spoke to my sister who is a businesswoman/employer.  She said that the max is 28 days (EU rule), which is a pain for her as she often has to train people (college kids mostly) for 2-3 years, who then promptly bugger off once qualified.

If you really wanted to get out, go to an employment solicitor who normally offers the first brief for free.
Time Bars  there not too bad there's one in Covent Garden bit pricey mind

No way as good as the Battery bars in Germany though


War Hero
In the MoD, there is no longer a 'Time Bar' as such.  If you read the Terms and Conditions of the document you are signing, most courses are subject to a 'Return of Service' clause.  This means that should you wish to leave within a specified time after the end of the course, you can either wait till the time period is up, or pay the remaining value of the cost of instruction you have recieved.

Cunning, but this happens very frequently in major corporations who are seeking to retain staff or conserve training budgets.
I would have paid a years salary if I could have bought myself out but I don't think you can anymore.   Luckily I only have 2 1/2 weeks left to go and my level of work at the moment stretches to no more than walking 10 metres to make a cuppa ;D
Time Bars, they should be banned.

The last time I went into one I ended up in 15th century China, and that was no fun I can tell you.
One of my Sappers has been informed - much to his anger - that he's time-barred 'cause of a bricklaying course he signed-up for (but was taken off after < a month of a nine-month course). He put his papers in last year and would be due out soon, after the twelve months' notice he's given - except that MCM Div's now come up with this bar thing and won't release him after the year's notice. Can they do this?

Advice much appreciated.
I heard of a Scaley who did the full Div 1 and Camberley package, took up his first appointment in a tech staff post in London - and then, after 12months or so, took up a civvy job in telecoms, earning much more. He had to do some negotiating with Morale Counter Measures Div, but since his right to leave despite the 'Time Bar' had never been tested in court and they were reluctant to push it, he got away with it.

Good luck...


CGS clears up a grey area by saying that the Army will make you pay back the cost of training that you have received ie briack laying etc. However the return of service that you sign is not a change in contractual conditions.

I had to sign one a few years ago and although I have no intention of leaving; the photocopied piece of paper that I did sign did left me wondering just how binding it is as it doesn't seem to change the engagement that I signed up for.


AGAIs chap 38 refers, but there is a new set of instructions due out shortly. They are coming down, the one for Interpreters language courses is coming down from 3yrs to 18 months I believe


Sorry for posting here, not being an officer type!

I have a friend, of the now ex RN type, who wanted out of the RN to start work in London, didn't want to give a years notice, so put in a transfer to the army!

To transfer inter service, your own service must first discharge you! Once discharged, he just carried on with his civie job in London.

Worked for him......... :p


Kit Reviewer
We had a young lad transfer from a Germany-based gunner mob, with the hidden intention of getting back to UK in order to subsequently sign straight off and spend his last year or so in Blighty. Sadly for him, he hadn't read the regs properly and was promptly time-barred from signing off for a further year. Of course he promptly went AWOL, but that'll teach the little t**t not to do his research. Ha! :D

Similar threads

Latest Threads