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The Times - 17 March - Reservist sacked by MoD
By A Correspondent
A TERRITORIAL Army soldier has been dismissed by the Ministry of Defence for answering the call-up papers that it sent to her.
Private Jenny Long, 20, was a driver at an army depot in Bicester, Oxfordshire, when she got the call to join the regulars in Kuwait last month. She asked a senior officer to sign her release papers, but was told she would be given two weeks’ unpaid notice and her job would not be held for her return. When she complained, the MoD said that it had no obligation to preserve her job.
Private Long, who is in Kuwait with the 1st Armoured Brigade, said that she got her job at the Defence Storage and Distribution Agency because she was a Territorial. Now she has given up her rented home in Oxfordshire and moved to her parent’s house in Hull.
“It is extraordinary to think that I can be given a job by the MoD and then they sack me for agreeing to go to a war that they have insisted I sign up for,” she said.
An MoD official said last: “If there has been any sort of mistake, it should be put right and she should get her job back.”
The "senior officer" who refused to sign and gave her notice should be put on the next plane out and made to do the job himself. :mad:
17th Mar 2003, 00:05
I imagine that Director, Reserve Forces will be just a little irritated by this...
After all, if the MoD sacks reservists who are called up, why shouldn't all the other companies who have reservists follow their example? And how can the efforts of DRF to persuade employers that they should be sympathetic towards their reservists be taken seriously?
The solution for the 'senior officer' ought to be a hats-on, no-biscuits presentation of a P45.
17th Mar 2003, 04:20
This has to be a joke.
What a disgrace, no wonder we have a retention and recruitment problem. If there is a starred officer out there who reads this, get it fixed now! With a grovelling apology to the young lady.
The mind boggles.
17th Mar 2003, 05:46
Out of interest, what would have happened to the young soldier in question had she refused to answer her call up?
17th Mar 2003, 16:25
This is simply disgusting.
As someone who resigned late last year from the RAuxAF I am amazed at the stance. And yes, this is one of the reasons that was pivotal in my resignation.
A sad, sad day. I hope this is the only example of this.
17th Mar 2003, 16:52
She should talk to a lawyer
17th Mar 2003, 16:57
She would if she could but her mobile has been confiscated !
18th Mar 2003, 09:13
Major boo boo on the numpty of a boss' part. The following is an extract from the employers' Q&A on the relevant law:
Can I dismiss a reservist?
No. The dismissal of a reservist before he/she is mobilised solely or mainly because you fear that he/she might be called up is a criminal offence. The same is true once the reservist has been mobilised.
Do I have to take back a demobilised employee?
Yes. You have a legal duty to allow the reservist to return to work following demobilisation, however long his/her absence on duty might have been. This requires you, within six months of the end of military service, to re-employ any reservist whom you employed in the four-week period before he/she was called up. Employment must be on the same terms and conditions as would have applied had the reservist not been called-up (e.g. including any pay rises awarded to comparable employees during the reservist absence on service).
If it is not reasonable and practicable to give the reservist his/her old job back on the same terms and conditions, you are required to offer him/her "the most favourable occupation and on the most favourable terms and conditions which are reasonable and practicable". It is not reasonable to give the reservist's job to his/her replacement, if that person has the same or less service than the reservist, or has had longer service but his/her employment was "of a kind that was... less permanent in character than the reservists" (e.g. if you recruited a temp to cover for the reservist, rather than simply moving another employee to his/her post).
Where a reservist is taken back in a new job, you must not dismiss him/her nor change his/her terms and conditions of service detrimentally for a period of up to 52 weeks (depending on his/her period of employment before mobilisation) unless it becomes unreasonable and impracticable to continue employment on the same terms.
If you fail to meet your obligations then, in addition to his/her usual contractual and statutory rights, the employee will have the right to apply to a Reinstatement Committee for an order or reinstatement and/or compensation. Failure to comply with a reinstatement order is a criminal offence.
18th Mar 2003, 12:09
This really beggars belief...
What sort of message does it send to any employers who were in doubt about what their obligations under the Reserve Forces Act are??:mad:
As another ex-RAuxAF bod (also resigned last year like AlanM), I'm only glad that my employer took a more conciliatory attitude when I was mobilised for GW1 (at which time, legally, they didn't have to)
AlanM - murmerings from my former unit suggest that the young lady may not be alone (another :mad: )