Duke calls on employers to do more to back TA workers

Employers need to do more to help workers who are drafted by the Territorial
Army (TA) for tours of service, according to the Duke of Westminster, Gerald

Since January last year, more than 10,000 employees have been mobilised to
serve in the Reserve Forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans.

Speaking at the Institute of Directors (IoD) annual convention, Grosvenor, a
major general and the senior serving officer in the TA, thanked employers for
their support, but said that staff still faced difficulties with reinstatement
to their jobs and discrimination at work because of their affiliation with the

He warned delegates that employers’ feelings about the war on terror should
have no bearing on how they treated employees.

"It’s not up to employers to make political judgements about how TA
members conduct their affairs," said Grosvenor. "It should be a
privilege to employ people of this character."

He cited the example of Kingsman Michael Davison, a builder who won the
Military Cross for bravery during military operations in Iraq.

Grosvenor told the IoD that work needed to be done to simplify the
bureaucracy, inadequate information and ‘MoD speak’ that employers face.

Also addressing the convention, chancellor Gordon Brown said the new global
economy and the shift in global production away from the West to countries such
as India and China, meant the UK had to concentrate on high-tech, high-skilled,
science-driven products and services.

"The Britain that fails will be the Britain thatÉ fails to invest in
science, technology, infrastructure, skills and enterprise," Brown said.

Michael Howard, leader of the Conservative Party, agreed that technology was
the key to the future growth of the UK, but said the Government and the
European Union had overburdened business with tax and regulation. He said this
had the effect of "damming the flood of enterprise that should be sweeping
our continent".

Michael Millar

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