Two dozen British reservists lose jobs while on active duty

#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.
Two dozen British reservists lose jobs while on active duty
By Severin Carrell
09 January 2005

At least two dozen Territorial Army veterans of the Iraq war were sacked by their employers in Britain while they were on active duty, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

None of the sacked soldiers has been given any legal or financial help to win their jobs back by the Ministry of Defence - provoking furious criticism from senior MPs and military welfare agencies.

Geoff Hoon, the Secretary of State for Defence, faces a grilling from MPs on the defence select committee on Wednesday when he gives evidence with the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Mike Jackson - himself a former reservist.

Bruce George, the chairman of the Labour-dominated committee, was shocked by the disclosure and warned it could severely undermine morale inside the Territorial Army and worry the families of reservists...
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
 

FBW

Old-Salt
#3
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
Agent_Smith said:
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
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
hackle said:
Would be interesting to know if any of the employers are in the public sector, including agencies.
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.
 
#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.
 
#10
Awol said:
Are jobs not legally protected?
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
Awol said:
Are jobs not legally protected?
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
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.
 
#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.
 
#16
The place to look for the letter of the law is The Reserve Forces (Safeguard of Employment) Act 1985. Ammended in RFA 1996. People can do their own googling because I'm getting too tired.
 
#17
I remember a story about one guy who was sacked because he was called up to go to bos

Thing was he worked for a swiss company in switzerland
 
#18
Outstanding post from 4T which deserves to be widely read. For good reason you express cynicism as to whether any of your suggestions are likely to be followed, but they are all sensible IMO, and most or all are achievable if the will was there.

On a slightly different tack but sparked off by one of your suggestions, the majority of TA members and their employers are charged excess National Insurance contributions for any month in which they earn TA pay. The excess where a TA member is also in full-time employment can only be claimed back if his/her combined income exceeds a certain level. Not an expert on National Insurance (!) but unless the system has changed, I see no reason why the excess cannot be refunded to the employer as an encouragement for having TA members on the books. Or employers could be given a token but nevertheless welcome annual 'bounty'.
 
#19
Speaking as a Company director,
I dont not discrimate against age, race, TA etc...
Infact i would actively encourage candidates to be in the TA or come from the forces, as it means they are not no hope wasters, and actively wish to do a good job and progress within the company.

The problem stems from if worker (A) was making the company money then the govenment should compensate the company the money he would loose by that worker being called up.
If worker (A) volunteers for an OP somewhere (min of 6 months for example) then the company is within its rights to relinquish that worker.The govenment would not compensate the company for taking of one its employees. As the company would not be making any profit with having a man less, and it could also mean more work for the rest of the workers in the company to bridge the gap.

To take on a Temp or Contractor worker 'to bridge the gap'means paying a lot more money than a permanent employee for the amount of time the said employee is on Op's. When the govenment offers compensation it is on the fee of what the employee is paid.

On average the employee will make X amount . But the company charges X+Y for the services per employee.
Y being company profit

When the govenment only payes the employer X amount it means the company will be loosing money i.e the profit. so it doesnt really work out to be cost effective.Especially in a small company.

This is unfortunatley how most companys work, and whilst we agree that people called up on Ops and loosing there job is a disgrace. I feel this problem will continue until the govenment pulls its finger out.
 
#20
The system is flawed in more ways than in the lack of real protection or status offered to TA soldiers.

From an employers perspective, they will not be happy to lose employees frequently to far-off climes because of regular forces overstretch. So they will ditch them. There are probably money-grabbing b@stard firms involved and also small struggling firms.

The fault is with the MoD and their "have your cake and eat it" attitude, imagined below.

What is the point in having a reserve that is constantly in use? Doesn't matter as long as it saves money.

But what about the likely decline in TA membership? As long as it gets us through the five years of the current financial plan then who cares! And if we really need reservists and there is no one available, then we can call up those we made redundant and who have a reserve committment!
It crossed my mind to join the reserves on PVR (having had a hoot the first time around) but there is no way in this current climate that I will support this lot of t0ssers and what they are doing to the Armed Forces. And if a brown letter comes through the door looking for unwilling volunteers because of overstretch, it is going in the bin. Someone needs to make MoD aware that this is likely to happen in many mobilisation cases in future, given the very bad feeling generated over the last 2 years because of MoD cutbacks and incompetence!
 

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