Can an employer dismiss a reservist during the prescribed period following reinstatement?

The employer can dismiss a reservist during the prescribed period following his or her reinstatement after a period of active service only if it is no longer reasonable and practicable to employ him or her.

If it ceases to be reasonable and practicable to employ the reservist in the occupation and on the terms to which he or she was reinstated, the employer has a duty to offer the reservist the most favourable alternative position, on the most favourable terms and conditions that are reasonable and practicable. For example, if the reservist's role is made redundant during the reinstatement period, the employer must give him or her priority in relation to suitable alternative employment over other employees (except any employees on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave for whom a vacant position would be suitable).

If the reservist is found to have committed an act of gross misconduct during the prescribed period, depending on the circumstances, the employer could argue that it is no longer reasonable and practicable to employ him or her. The employer should ensure that it follows a fair procedure in carrying out a dismissal in these circumstances.