Hire A Squaddie, Bag A Bonus (Maybe!)

Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond ...
Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond Meets Troops in Afghanistan (Photo credit: Defence Images)

The UK Government has hinted that employers could be given hundreds of pounds if they hire a reservist, in a move aimed at bolstering the UK’s part-time Army.

Defence secretary Philip Hammond confirmed that a cash bonus was being considered to help businesses – particularly SMEs (Small & Medium Enterprises) – employ staff who are also volunteer soldiers.

“We are looking at the equation around financial incentives. It would be direct cash when their employees get called out on reserve service, ” he told the BBC.

Firms are currently compensated by the Government only for the cost of replacing a reservist member of staff when called up on a formal tour of duty.

However, it looks like it may take more than hard cash to convince employers. The Federation of Small Businesses found only 39% of business owners would be encouraged by financial incentives to hire a reservist.

Both regular and reserve soldiers gain a wealth of skills and experiences that are very useful in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors; shame on those employers who do not take advantage.

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