April 6, 2020

Ministry of Defence calls up 3,000 Reservists in Response to Coronavirus Crisis

Call up: what happens when the MOD needs your reservists?

The  Ministry of Defence (MOD) has announced that it is calling up 3,000 military reservists with ‘specialist skills’ in order to bolster the fight against Coronavirus / COVID- 19. Many employers will be asking what their responsibilities are and what help is available when the call comes.

The first thing to bear in mind is that the MOD has already contacted the relevant employers, and those employers will therefore be in receipt of, or will shortly be in receipt of a full information pack. The pack gives notice of the MOD’s intention to call up an individual, the relevant dates, plus information for employers. Employees are given at least two weeks’ notice of call up.

What do employers have to do?

You cannot refuse to release an employee for military service if they are called up. However, if your business will suffer serious harm as a result of their absence, you can apply for an exemption or deferral.

Is there any other help?

If you incur costs over and above the employee’s earnings, you can ask the MOD to reimburse you for these, up to daily maximum of £110 plus another sum to cover any expenses of handover between the mobilised employee and their replacement at the beginning and end of the mobilisation.

There are various other expenses and allowances that can be claimed too, especially for smaller businesses. It’s important to claim in the specified time frames for the various types of payment.

Is this paid leave?

No, the leave is unpaid, and during the period of mobilisation the employee does not accrue statutory holiday. The employee is paid by the MOD for the work they do.

What rights does the employee have?

A reservist has the right not to be dismissed because of their status as a reservist or if they are called up. There is no period of service required to bring a claim of unfair dismissal on these grounds.  They have the right to be reinstated in their job within six months of demobilisation and for a minimum period thereafter. They retain continuity of employment, although their length of service does not include the period when they were away serving.

Moorepay can help you deal with Army Reservists leave and accrual plans. Our system is flexible enough to be able to end the payments on the day the reservists goes back in to work. We can then stop or suspend payments at the request of customers who use our Managed Payroll Service or do it themselves using our Payroll Software.

Moorepay can help you deal with army reservist’s leave and accrual plans, our system is flexible enough to be able to reinstate payments on the day the reservist goes back in to work (as their salary will have been suspended when they were called up for duty). The only exception on this if the payroll is in the middle of the processing cycle and as such may be in lockdown/cleardown status meaning that the amendment couldn’t be made on the day they return to work, but on the next available day end.

To find out more, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly Moorepay team on 0345 184 4615.

**Information in this blog was correct at the time of writing, however with government and legislation changes happening daily some of this may now be out of date.**

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About the author

Audrey Robertson

About the author

Audrey Robertson

HR Consultancy & Insurance Manager, Audrey, has a strong background in HR, Employment Law and related insurances in a career spanning over 15 years leading teams in-house and as a consultant supporting clients across retail, education and the B2B sectors. At Moorepay, Audrey heads up the Policy & HR Consultancy team as well as the insurance claims department. With a strong commitment and investment in employee wellbeing, having studied counselling and coaching, Audrey is a qualified Mental Health First Aider and supports our staff on-site.

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