[Re: Small firms fear effects of rise in army reservists, Monday]
In your article, The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) calls on the Ministry of Defence to understand business concerns about the rise in army reservists. That is exactly what we are doing. With reservists set to play an expanded role in defence, we are ensuring that employers – particularly smaller companies – have access to practical support to help them manage the impact of employing reservists. We have consulted widely on our plans. Based on what employers have told us, we have developed a comprehensive package designed to ensure that firms know about reservists’ training commitments in good time, and are compensated if they are mobilised to support operations. But we are not complacent. We recognise the importance of business support in helping us to achieve our recruiting targets. We have improved engagement and we will continue to do so. Many employers have always supported reservists. They recognise the business benefits – skills, experience and attitude – that reservists can bring to their organisations. A growing number are proactively working with us to support recruitment and adopt reservist-friendly policies. I am confident that many more will follow.
Maj Gen John Crackett TD, assistant chief of defence staff (reserves and cadets)
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