Can an employer refuse to let a member of the reserve forces who has been called out go?

Where a call-out notice has been issued to an employee who is a reservist, including where they are mobilised to aid the military response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, they are required by law to comply with it. In these circumstances, within seven days of the call-out notice being served, the employer can apply to an adjudication officer for an exemption, deferral or revocation of mobilisation. For such an application to succeed, the employer must be able to show that the employee's absence would cause "serious harm" to the business. This could include loss of sales, markets, reputation or goodwill; impaired ability to produce goods or provide services; or harm to research and development. There is a right of appeal to an independent tribunal if the application is refused.

Where no call-out notice has been issued, an employer is not required to agree to a request from an employee for leave related to their membership of the reserve forces.