Legislation

As a Reservist the ability to balance your civilian work with being part of the armed forces is essential. Your employer can support you in maintaining this balance by signing the covenant. They can pledge specific measures to make it easier for you to meet your reserve service commitments, such as offering extra paid leave to attend annual training or career courses. 

Employers will need to be aware of the following legislation: 

The Reserve Forces (Safeguard of Employment) Act 1985 (SOE 85) 

This provides two types of protection: 

  • Protection of employment: the Act provides protection from unfair dismissal. It makes it a criminal offence for an employer to terminate a reservist's job without their consent solely or mainly because he or she has a liability to be mobilised. 
  • Rights to reinstatement: the Act provides a legal right to reinstate the reservist to their former job, subject to certain conditions. 

Reserve Forces (Safeguard of Employment) Act 1985 (SOE 85)


The Reserve Forces Act 1996 (RFA 96) 

This sets out the call-out powers under which Reservists can be mobilised for full-time service. MOD advice for employers. The MOD would advocate that employers provide the following: 

  • time off for training commitments wherever possible 
  • accommodate mobilisation if required to deploy 
  • support in preparation for, during and after mobilisation, including access to occupational health and employee support services 
  • recognition of training and experience from Reserve Service relevant to employment, which is included on personal records and personal development plans 
  • encouragement to keep in contact at a social level with friends and colleagues from the workplace during periods of mobilisation 
  • re-employment in the same type of job they were doing before being mobilised, on the same terms and conditions. If the job no longer exists, the Reservist is entitled to a reasonable alternative 

Reserve Forces Act 1996 (RFA96)


Maintaining  your career 

Support and advice is available to help you balance your civilian and military work commitments. 

Know your rights, and your employer's responsibilities.  

You can  nominate your employer or an organisation  for a silver or gold award under the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) which encourages employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same. 


Financial Support for reservists  

Managing your money now and in the future can be confusing, you can get financial advice and support specific to those in the armed forces community.    

Guidance and documents relating to the reserve service pension schemes