This year marks ten years since Reservists started to be mobilised for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in large numbers.  During this time, we have seen Reservists deployed all over the world to serve with their regular counterparts on operations and on home soil such as providing security for the 2012 Olympic games in London.

Many Reservists have a day job and without their employer’s support, would be unable to meet their Reservist commitment for such important tasks.   On behalf of Defence, SaBRE would like to thank employers for all the support they have given.

To mark this important 10 year anniversary, we have compiled a timeline of key milestones of what Defence has done to support employers over the years, and equally, what employers have done to show their support for their Reservist employees.   Much of this is the result of direct feedback from employers on how to make the process of employing a Reservist easier, such as the introduction of financial assistance when a reservist is mobilised, and giving employers at least 28 days’ notice of their employee being mobilised.

The continued backing from the employer community is more important than ever as Defence undertakes the transformation of the Reserve Forces which will place more reliance on the Reserve Forces as part of the future defence strategy.

As part of this, Defence has recently consulted with the public via a Green Paper consultation which asked a number of questions to employers about these changes to gauge their opinion and feedback. We await the confirmation of those changes and the affect they may have on employers, suffice to say Defence continues to recognise and value the importance of the support from the employer community.

In order to make this transformation successful, Defence seeks an open and transparent relationship with employers – a new direction in which both can work together and benefit from an improved Reserve Force.  This will be achieved through investment in transferable and accredited training and skills; and greater predictability in the training and mobilisation cycles.

Once the results of the Green Paper consultation have been analysed, the way forward will be published in a White Paper this Spring. This will confirm how Defence intends to use the Reserve Forces in the future and any changes that may affect employers will be outlined.  The consultation has demonstrated the value that Defence puts on the employer community, listening to them and their needs, and reaffirming their importance in enabling the necessary changes to the Reserve Forces.

SaBRE will be updating employers on what changes are being made that affect them once the White Paper is published, so be sure to look out for news on this from us this Spring.