Future changes to the reserve forces


11 / 12 / 2013 9.59am

The Government's plan to increase the number of trained reservists to around 30,000 will have an effect on employers. The plans were set out in the white paper, Reserves in the Future Force 2020, released in July 2013.

The paper outlined initiatives for both reservists and their employers to enable these changes to take place.

What you need to know

A series of initiatives have been introduced by the Government to make employing a reservist easier. This includes the Ministry of Defence (MoD) building a stronger and more mutually beneficial relationship with employers.

A number of measures will be put in place, including:

January 2014

  • Units will notify employers when they have a reservist working for them. They will also inform employers of their annual training requirements and calendar so employers can  for plan absences.

April 2014

  • A National Relationship Management (NRM) scheme will be set up as a first point of contact for employers for all elements of defence work.
  • In support of the NRM, a new employer recognition scheme will be implemented, which will build on the existing SaBRE Supportive Employer Certificates and the Corporate Covenant.
  • Through increased civilian accreditation and access to the Standard Learning Credit (SLC) scheme, there will be improvements to both military skills and civilian employability. 

Late 2014

  • Introduction of a streamlined process for employers to apply for financial assistance to cover costs while their employee is mobilised. Regulations will be revised to improve financial assistance to employers and cap the level of reservist award for non-specialist roles.

The Defence Reform Bill

The Defence Reform Bill is expected to complete its passage through the House of Lords by early 2014 and to receive royal assent by the end of the current parliamentarty session (spring of 2014). 

The bill covers some of the proposals and measures for reform. It contains four early measures to strengthen and support the reserve forces and these are being implemented through the Defence Reform Bill. The four early measures are:

  • Expanding the powers to call out the reserve forces,
  • Changing the name of the Territorial Army to 'Army Reserve', to better reflect the significant changes to its role and full integration,
  • Introducing new financial incentives for the employers of reservists,
  • Providing reservists with additional protection by direct access to an employment tribunal (exempt for the two year qualifying period), where they have been unfairly dismissed due to their reserve service.

In the run up to 2020 and as the changes are rolled out, the MoD will continue engaging with employers to ensure that the new initiatives will be supported by employers and are sustainable.

Future developments

Further information will be provided through this website and via the NHS Workforce Bulletin.

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