When a reservist has been demobilised, must the employer reinstate him or her to the job that he or she had before mobilisation?

The Reserve Forces (Safeguard of Employment) Act 1985 provides that when a reservist is demobilised, if it is "reasonable and practicable" to do so, his or her employer is required to reinstate the reservist to the same job in which he or she was employed when he or she last worked for the employer. The employer must take the reservist back on terms that are at least as good as they were before he or she was mobilised.

If it is not "reasonable and practicable" to reinstate a reservist to the same job, the law requires the employer to offer him or her the most favourable occupation on the most favourable terms and conditions that are reasonable and practicable. This means that if there is another job that the reservist could do, the employer should give the reservist the job with the best terms and conditions that could reasonably be offered, even if this means appointing him or her to a more favourable job than the one he or she had before mobilisation. As a minimum, this will mean giving the reservist priority for any job vacancies where reasonable to do so. The reservist's capabilities and experience will be relevant when deciding whether or not it is reasonable and practicable to offer him or her a particular role.

The duty to reinstate a reservist applies only if the reservist (or someone acting on his or her authority) makes a written application to the employer. The application must be made no later than the third Monday after the end of the reservist's service, or as soon as reasonable if sickness or some other reasonable cause prevents him or her from making the application. No later than the sixth Monday after the end of his or her service, the reservist must notify the employer of the date on which he or she will be available for work. The date of availability must be no later than the sixth Monday after the end of his or her service.

The reservist's application for reinstatement expires 13 weeks after it was made if he or she has not been reinstated by this point. If the reservist still wants to be reinstated, he or she will have to renew the application in writing. Each renewal expires 13 weeks from the day it was made.

The employer's duty to reinstate ends six months after the end of the reservist's call-out, if he or she has not already been reinstated by this point.