the announcement of the Government’s plans to call up thousands of reservists,
Croner Consulting offers a guide to the costs employers could face and answers
Do I have to pay my employee while they are away on service?
The short answer is no. Reservist employees may be able to claim a Reservists
Standard Award for loss of earnings and other financial benefits, however any
awards made are subject to statutory limits, depending on their rank or
What happens to their occupational pension while they are away?
If the employee belongs to an occupational pension scheme they are entitled to
remain a member. The Ministry of Defence will pay the employers contribution,
providing that the employee continues to pay their contribution.
I need to employ an extra person to cover the workload that will be left when
my employee is on active service. Is there any financial help available to my
business to help cover costs?
Employers who incur extra expenditure as a result of an employee being called
on active service may claim an Employers Standard Award. This covers:
The initial cost of replacing the employee subject to a ceiling of 6 per cent
of the reservist’s salary or £2,400, whichever is less
Continuing expenses, subject to a ceiling of 4 per cent of salary or £31 per
week, whichever is less
A standard administration fee of £55.00
for the Standard Award must be made within four weeks of the reservists’ being
accepted for service.
What happens if my employee is away for a long period of time is there any
extra help available?
Further hardship awards can be applied for during prolonged absence. Hardship
requests must be made within eight weeks of the reservist being accepted for
When my employee returns to work after active service and needs retraining can
I get financial assistance to help cover costs?
In addition to the two other awards, employers may also claim up to £2,000
towards retraining the employee. Retraining must be taken within eight weeks of
the employee returning to work.
Can I challenge the call-up of a reservist if I feel it will damage my
To obtain exemption, you must be able to show that the absence of the reservist
would cause serious harm to the business or undertaking in which the reservist
is employed, or to a partner, proprietor or employee of that business or
undertaking. While the definition of serious harm will vary from case to case,
the regulations mention:
The serious loss of sales, markets, reputation, goodwill or other financial
The serious impairment of the ability to produce goods or provide services
Demonstrable harm to research and development of new products, services or
processes, provided that the harm could not be prevented by the employer being
given financial assistance