Whistleblowing website set up for TA soldiers
The Government is currently preparing to start a £1.8 billion drive to increase the size of the Territorial Army by more than a third. However, it seems this could be an uphill struggle given the results of a recent survey which found that one in three small business said that nothing would induce them to employ a reservist.
Currently small and medium-sized firms are paid £500 a month when a reservist is mobilised. Employers are also to be encouraged by the military training reservists receive, apparently worth an estimated £8,000 a year, which can be put to good use in the civilian workplace. In return an employee has a minimum training commitment of 27 days a year in addition to any possible postings.
Last year’s TA recruitment figures highlighted a real problem as reservist numbers dropped by 4,000 below target. It is difficult to know just how much of this is due to difficulties members have had juggling military life and civilian employment.
To try and combat this problem, a website has been designed so that soldiers can report bosses who they consider have turned them down for jobs or who have overlooked them for promotion because of their role in the military. Philip Hammond, Defence Secretary, has promised to investigate any whistleblowing saying, “If there is a case for further action, we will take it.”
Depending on the success and results of this website, a new anti discrimination law may be introduced to make it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees on the grounds of them being a member of the TA. We shall wait and see whether this becomes a reality.