A new survey published on 17 January by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) suggests one in three (30%) small businesses are failing to hire members of the volunteer reserve forces. The FSB believes a lack of support and investment is to blame and says small and medium enterprises need more Government backing to encourage recruitment and to give reservists the support they need.
Responding to the Government consultation Future Reserves 2020, the FSB said that better communication from Government is key for small firms to employ a reservist – 89 per cent of respondents to an FSB snap poll said that they hadn't heard of the Ministry of Defence's Employer Awareness Events.
Furthermore, 86 per cent of FSB members said that any Government support to businesses employing reservists should focus on the specific needs of small and micro firms, rather than big business.
Specifically, a financial incentive (39%), help in finding replacement staff (30%) and flexibility in the training schedule (21%) would encourage more businesses to employ a reservist in the future. Almost half (48%) said that they would ideally require two to three months notice if one of their employees were to be mobilised.
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