Reservist Policy

Reservist Policy

This Reservist Policy sets out an employer's policy towards employees who are members of the reserve forces. It sets out procedures for managing deployment, training (including paid and unpaid leave offered) and return to work.

For use by employers in the UK.

Price (inc VAT)Free

This Reservist Policy is designed to be incorporated into a staff handbook or other corporate resource. It provides information about what reservists are and outlines the employer's commitment to meeting their legal obligations. The policy also sets out what, if any, additional paid or unpaid leave the employer is willing to offer to reservist employees for annual camp or other armed forces training commitments.

There are 2 main pieces of legislation relevant to employing reservists:

  • Reserve Forces (Safeguard of Employment) Act 1985 (SOE 85)
  • Reserve Forces Act 1996 (RFA 96).

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

  • an employee can't be dismissed as a result of being mobilised
  • an employee has a right to be reinstated (conditions apply) after returning from having been mobilised.

The reserve Forces Act 1996 sets out the call-out powers used to mobilise reservists. The MoD aims to give employers at least 28 days' notice if a reservist employee is mobilised. Whatever amount of notice is given, as an employer you can appeal against the mobilisation if you feel the absence of the employee will seriously harm your business.

Employers are also offered financial support when reservist employees are mobilised. In particular:

  • employers don't have to pay salary or benefits to a mobilised employee
  • some businesses are eligible for financial assistance in finding replacement staff and/or retraining the employee on their return to work
  • SMEs (similar sized charities and partnerships) can claim £500 per month while a reservist employee is mobilised.

Visit the SaBRE website for further information and resources for reservists and employers.


This Reservist Policy is suitable for use in England, Scotland and Wales. It is based on a template HR policy document produced by SaBRE and includes clauses covering:

  • employer notification
  • definition and categories of reservists
  • training of reservists (including what additional leave the employer offers)
  • mobilisation
  • applying for exemption
  • terms and conditions of employment while mobilised
  • reinstatement (after deployment).

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