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Military Reservists & Unfair Dismissal

Military Reserves DismissalSUMMARY: Military reservists have immediate unfair dismissal rights

Dismissing military reservists

Most employees are required to have 2 years’ continuous service with their employer before they have the right to bring a claim for unfair dismissal; this period of time is known as the statutory qualifying period.

It is already a criminal offence for an employer to dismiss a military reservist because they are called out or likely to be called out. However, until 1 October 2014, reservists have to wait until they have acquired 2 years’ service before they can bring a claim for unfair dismissal. It could take a reservist longer than another employee to accrue 2 years’ service because periods of call-up are not usually counted for continuity of employment purposes.

From 1 October 2014, there will be no statutory qualifying period for unfair dismissal where the dismissal is connected with the employee’s membership of the Reserve Forces (the Territorial Army, Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Marines Reserve or Royal Auxiliary Air Force).

Costs

There is already an award (of up to £110 per day) available to employers in respect of replacement costs incurred as a result of the reservist’s absence. From 1 October 2014, small and medium-sized employers will be entitled to an additional monthly payment of £500 for each full month that a mobilised reservist is absent from work, assuming that they are on a full-time contract and work at least 35 hours a week. This payment is intended to cover the quantifiable extra costs of employing a temporary replacement, including agency fees, advertising and training costs.

Likely effect on employers

It is unlikely that many unfair dismissal claims will be brought by reservists even once the requirement for qualifying service has been removed. This is because a former employer is obliged to re-employ any reservist who was employed by it in the four-week period before mobilisation. The employee must be allowed to return to their job within six months after the end of their military service, and re-employment should be in the same job and on terms and conditions no less favourable than those which would have applied if there had been no call-up. If total reinstatement is not reasonable and practicable, the employee must be offered the most favourable terms and conditions that are reasonable and practicable in the circumstances.

An employee who is not re-employed can start a Reinstatement Committee case. This is similar to an employment tribunal claim, but an advantage to the employee is that there are no fees to start such a case, or have it heard. This is therefore likely to be the first port of call for any reservist who is not taken on by their employer following a period of mobilisation.

Contact Details

For more details about unfair dismissal and employing military reservists please contact:

fgmedia@fgsolicitors.co.uk

+44 (0) 1604 871143

This update is for general guidance only and does not constitute definitive advice.

Updated: by FG Solicitors
Call us on:  0808 172 93 22

MILITARY RESERVISTS & UNFAIR DISMISSAL

Military Reserves DismissalSUMMARY: Military reservists have immediate unfair dismissal rights

Dismissing military reservists

Most employees are required to have 2 years’ continuous service with their employer before they have the right to bring a claim for unfair dismissal; this period of time is known as the statutory qualifying period.

It is already a criminal offence for an employer to dismiss a military reservist because they are called out or likely to be called out. However, until 1 October 2014, reservists have to wait until they have acquired 2 years’ service before they can bring a claim for unfair dismissal. It could take a reservist longer than another employee to accrue 2 years’ service because periods of call-up are not usually counted for continuity of employment purposes.

From 1 October 2014, there will be no statutory qualifying period for unfair dismissal where the dismissal is connected with the employee’s membership of the Reserve Forces (the Territorial Army, Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Marines Reserve or Royal Auxiliary Air Force).

Costs

There is already an award (of up to £110 per day) available to employers in respect of replacement costs incurred as a result of the reservist’s absence. From 1 October 2014, small and medium-sized employers will be entitled to an additional monthly payment of £500 for each full month that a mobilised reservist is absent from work, assuming that they are on a full-time contract and work at least 35 hours a week. This payment is intended to cover the quantifiable extra costs of employing a temporary replacement, including agency fees, advertising and training costs.

Likely effect on employers

It is unlikely that many unfair dismissal claims will be brought by reservists even once the requirement for qualifying service has been removed. This is because a former employer is obliged to re-employ any reservist who was employed by it in the four-week period before mobilisation. The employee must be allowed to return to their job within six months after the end of their military service, and re-employment should be in the same job and on terms and conditions no less favourable than those which would have applied if there had been no call-up. If total reinstatement is not reasonable and practicable, the employee must be offered the most favourable terms and conditions that are reasonable and practicable in the circumstances.

An employee who is not re-employed can start a Reinstatement Committee case. This is similar to an employment tribunal claim, but an advantage to the employee is that there are no fees to start such a case, or have it heard. This is therefore likely to be the first port of call for any reservist who is not taken on by their employer following a period of mobilisation.

Contact Details

For more details about unfair dismissal and employing military reservists please contact:

fgmedia@fgsolicitors.co.uk

+44 (0) 1604 871143

This update is for general guidance only and does not constitute definitive advice.