Government consults on reservists

The Government consults on changes to the arrangements for reserve forces to make them an "integral and integrated element of our armed forces". 

The Government wants the reserve forces to play a greater role in the nation's security, which means that it will need more assurance that they will be available for training and deployment as required, necessitating changes in the arrangements with employers. The Government's proposals include:

  • making the reserve forces available for additional roles and increasing training provision for them;
  • achieving a more open relationship with employers, meaning that an employer should know if an individual is a reservist and the individual should have more confidence that being a reservist will not prejudice him or her;
  • achieving greater predictability of reservists' training and deployment, with the routine liability for reservists being no more than one six-month deployment every five years in addition to a period of associated training, recuperation and post-deployment leave, and less flexibility for employees to choose when they are mobilised;
  • establishing a voluntary employers' charter for the reserve forces, setting out an employer’s commitment to supporting reservists, recognising the benefit to the employer of employing reservists and setting the tone for the employer’s HR policies on reservists;
  • the possibility of introducing anti-discrimination legislation if there is evidence of disadvantage to reservists in the workplace;
  • building on the mutual benefit for employers and the reserve forces of having a reservist in civilian employment, including by increasing the accreditation and benchmarking of skills and experience gained in reserve service with recognised civilian qualifications, which may reduce employers' training costs;
  • implementing tailored arrangements with employers to reflect the difference in the effects reserve service can have on them; and
  • a tiered recognition system for employers that support reservists based on a "kitemark" approach, and the possibility of a financial reward for employers that support reserve service. 

The Government seeks responses to the consultation by 18 January 2013. 


XpertHR legal timetable and HR calendar Keep up to date with new legislation, consultations and HR developments in 2013 with XpertHR's legal timetable and HR calendar.