Volunteer Reservists are an essential part of our national security and defence capability. They are ordinary men and women, from all backgrounds, regions and jobs, who give up their time to train and serve in the Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Marines Reserve, Army Reserve and Royal Auxiliary Air Force, alongside our Regular Forces.
Reservists generally undertake training in the evenings, on some weekends and on a two-week annual training camp. In addition to the training commitment, Reservists may be mobilised. Mobilisation is the process of calling Reservists into full-time service to serve alongside the Regular Armed Forces.
Their training and mobilisation activities provide them with qualities that employers value and respect including professionalism, adaptability, morale, physical courage and trust-worthiness. It is important for employers to understand what Reservist employees can offer in order to tap their full potential.
Employer Engagement is an important activity within the RFCA helping to achieve Defence objectives. It is the principal activity required to develop and sustain strong, positive, mutually-beneficial relationships between employers and the Ministry of Defence to support the Defence personnel before, during and after their service.
The strategic priority has been to secure and sustain access to and availability of the skilled, capable people needed to deliver Defence outputs.
The Armed Forces Covenant helps to achieve that objective by having employers pledge support to the Armed Forces. It provides an opportunity for employers to confirm publicly that they recognise the value serving personnel, Regular and Reservists, Veterans and military families contribute to our country and that they will endeavour to uphold the key principles of the Armed Forces Covenant, which are:
- no member of the Armed Forces Community should face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services compared to any other citizen
- in some circumstances special treatment may be appropriate especially for the injured or bereaved.
East Midlands RFCA supports over 2,200 reservists and engages with over 2,959 active employer contacts, providing information, guidance and advice on all matters relating to Defence personnel including:
- How to develop a reservist HR policy
- Information on reservists’ training obligations
- The potential benefits of employing reservists
- Employers’ legal rights and responsibilities
- Financial assistance when a reservist employee is mobilised
- Providing feedback comments to the MOD