Employers to lose out over MoD call-up

The Ministry of Defence has denied claims that 300 employers are appealing
against the call- up of reservists for a possible war against Iraq.

The Daily Telegraph claimed large numbers of reservists and their employers
are angry about the length of time employees will serve without sufficient
compensation, and are challenging the call-up.

However, the MoD said there had been few formal complaints, but would not
disclose the exact number. MoD rules allow employers to apply for an exemption
if they can show that the reservist’s absence would seriously harm the

Many business owners claim that losing employees will cost them dearly,
despite MoD compensation.

Anthony Caffyn, consultant with Caffyn’s car dealership, said businesses
could suffer if they lost skilled staff, and that current laws need to be

"If a company loses a skilled worker for nine months or so, that would
create a significant, serious situation for the employer," he said.

"While there are compensation and hardship payments available, these do
not begin to cover the costs," he added.

Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon has announced a further 4,500 reservists would
be called up in preparation for possible military operations against Iraq.


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