When a member of the reserve forces is mobilised, they and their employer are entitled to claim financial assistance under regulations (SI 2005/859) for additional costs incurred in relation to mobilisation. The MoD has published, for consultation, proposals to improve arrangements for employers, and to reduce the maximum payable to reservists to make up their pay during mobilisation to the level of their civilian pay. The consultation runs from 18 November 2014 to 17 December 2014, and regulations will be updated as a result next year.
Before making any amendments to SI 2005/859, the Secretary of State for Defence is required to consult a number of stakeholders, including bodies representing employers, employees, the self-employed, and the RFCAa.
Full details of the proposals can be found here: Consultations - The reserve forces call out and recall financial assistance regulationsThe reserve forces call out and recall financial assistance regulations
The existing regulations are here: The Reserve Forces (Call-out and Recall) (Financial Assistance) Regulations 2005 (SI 2005/859)
The Ministry explains that Reservist's Award (RA) aims to avoid placing reservists at a significant financial disadvantage as a result of mobilisation. In the case of the reservist, the most common cause of financial loss occurs where individuals have earnings in civilian life that are greater than their Service pay when mobilised. At present, reservists can claim for the difference between their Service pay plus any earnings from their employer which continue during mobilisation, and their civilian salary plus the cost of replacing certain benefits in kind that are suspended or withdrawn by their employer during mobilisation. Currently, such claims are subject to a cap of £548 per day (or £822 per day for certain medical officers).
The consultation proposes a lower cap of £400 per day for non specialist employees. The Ministry says this would have been sufficient for every claim submitted "in the past two years". Subject to any views from members, BAFF's initial reaction is that the reduction in the RA cap appears reasonable, and that improvements for employers are to be welcomed.
Action which BAFF members in the reserves may wish to consider
- Consider making your employer aware of the consultation, so that they can consider responding directly or through their business organisation;
- If you have any views as a reservist, consider making them known through your Unit and/or via BAFF. Any member comments to BAFF should be with us by 10 December using the normal email address or web contact form.
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