Two dozen British reservists lose jobs while on active duty

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by hackle, Jan 9, 2005.

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  1. from the Independent. Posted in Current Affairs because although these personnel are apparently all TA, the issue could also affect called -up regular reservists. Not exactly a new story, but the defence select committee hearing on Wednesday will no doubt examine other matters of ARRSE interest.
    full story at http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/story.jsp?story=599115
    Btw I hadnt heard of POD being himself a former reservist - I thought he did a tour as (regular) training major of a TA parachute battalion.
     
  2. Any idea where they lost their jobs from?

    if its a large company (or more than one) i think we should show our disaproval by boycoting the companies.

    agent smith
     
  3. FBW

    FBW Old-Salt

    Just another example of the MOD letting us down again cause their too scared to fight the cause for the TA/RES soldier :evil:

    It makes me mad :evil:
     
  4. Gwynned Shipping is the only one named in the story.

    Would be interesting to know if any of the employers are in the public sector, including agencies.
     
  5. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    Or if they do business with MoD...

    MoD's failure to support these people is a disgrace, and another reason for TCH to resign.
     
  6. There were half a dozen in the TA troop in Germany who were called up for Telic 1 and were threatened with the sack off their German employers. They still went and lost their jobs, showing a lot more commitment to this country than a lot living in the UK. Although well in the right under euopean law they weren't given any support to fight their ex-employers for compensation when they returned and I didn't hear about that in the papers.
     
  7. Or if they are US-controlled companies...
     
  8. I know one bloke, he was working for a news agency. After he came back his job was removed. They worked out just how little work he did...

    While i doubt i have the whole story i did get it from the horses mouth so to speak.
     
  9. Are jobs not legally protected?
     
  10. Yes, but there's protected and protected. It's probably easier to sack someone called up to serve their country than it is to sack a girl who's pregnant. It's the wonderful world of mixed standards we live in.
     
  11. Yes, they are. By English/Welsh law specifically regarding TA/reserve forces and Euro law as mentioned by P-P before. That's why I'm confused. If the MOD were to challenge this then it would be a clear cut case wouldn't it?
     
  12. I would have thought that in this day and age of 'accountability', if the Big Rule Book said TA soldiers are guaranteed their jobs back after call-up, then it would be a brave (sorry, read cnutish) employer that denied it to them.

    A rare occasion when warm and fluffy leglislation actually works for us.
     
  13. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    The difficulty is that to bring a case means getting legal advice, and that's expensive. It also takes time, especially when the employer uses delaying tactics.

    I hope that the employers involved are named and shamed. I wonder if the great and the good in SABRE will take any meaningful action, such as not doing business with such companies.
     
  14. Reserve Forces (Safeguard of Employment) Act 1985
    http://www.acas.org.uk/faqs/reservists.html

    RFCAs should also be taking this up within the system.
    (statutory Reserve Forces and Cadet Associations operating under MOD)
     
  15. The big problem is that the legislation and "job protection" is utterly inadequate in the face of commercial reality: employers have found numerous ways to employ someone in such a way that they can be sacked without legal sanction. E.g. many TA people are employed on "project" contracts, with a standard Notice period - the employer simply states that "their part in the project is completed", and gives them notice. A TA person then is more or less completely on their own to start tribunal action, with derisory support from HMG. Many TA in this position seek advice via CAB from employment specialist counsel: the advice is usually that they'd be better off seeking a new job than having "Industrial Tribunal" on their CV - another raw commercial reality that doesn't have to be faced by anyone in MoD.

    Another, ignored, side of this problem is that, in theory, it is also illegal to discriminate against a job applicant on the grounds that they are in the TA. Following Telic, virtually every employer now makes enquiries about candidate's TA membership - if they are in the TA, they are not selected; if they conceal the fact that they are in the TA, they are providing grounds for their own dismissal by not being truthful in the job application. The problem is now so blatant, that even many employers who are themselves TA, now admit privately to discriminating against the TA.

    The solution to the looming TA & Reserves crisis (and there is a huge one, shoved under the MoD carpet) is blindingly obvious, at least to TA members:

    (a) Make TA people as well-protected in law as other social groups - pregnant women, ethnic minorities, the disabled, etc. Only if an employer is as terrified of disadvataging a TA person as they are with the other groups that there will be any realistic protection;

    (b) Raise, by Government advertisement, speech and publicity, the profile of the TA and emphasise its importance to the nation. I.e. make the TA as prominent in public conciousness as, for example, the National Guard is in USA;

    (c) Introduce a realistic employer compensation package for mobilised TA staff. The Government would never pay an amount that would properly compensate the employer (again the MoD is utterly ignorant of commercial reality), but the gesture, combined with (a) and (b), would go a long way to winning employers around;

    (d) When (a), (b) and (c) have been achieved, change the call-up procedure so that TA are called up as units, rather than sweeping for loyal "volunteers" - who not only bear the brunt of job losses, but by volunteering also remove some of the existing minimal legal protection they have.

    Alas, none of the above is ever likely to happen. Recently, a gathering of TA officers were addressed, over a number of days, by TA, Regular Army & MoD bigwigs who have some interest or "concern" for the TA. Common themes from the heirachy were a conviction that the existing legislation was entirely satisfactory, that there were no TA individuals who had suffered as a result of mobilised service, that there was no need (and no chance) of (a) to (d) above, and that there was no priority or intent at high level to address the problems. In fact, the TA audience largely gave up trying to put any views across - it was rather felt that the TA would simply be left to rot (TA problems give good gounds for cuts, of course....) as there is no political interest, let alone concern.