Civilian employer support - What do you get? (If any?)

Hi All,

This is just a quick survey across the board. This is mainly to those who are employed by companies as opposed to those who are self employed.

Background: Being employed by a Banking firm, I was one of those lucky people who got part-paid for 10 days a year ORT. I.E. My company used to pay me the shortfall for what I didn't get paid by my less RN(R) income.

As we have been taken over by another company, their policy has changed to not paying at all, and they are only allowing me 10 days unpaid a year time to train (Have previously done a lot more), and this has also changed to whether my manager allows me to go! Having a very unsympathetic manager, who calls my time away with the RN(R), my "Sailing holiday", I foresee problems coming up with this also. I can't even take leave as this has insurance implications (Doing Military activity in paid company time, I think they said/classed it as). (Yes, I know I could take leave & not tell them what I was going to do).

Just to get one thing straight, I do what I do in the RN(R), because I love doing it, & it gives me a sense of satisfaction by doing my part for my country, however small that may be. I do not do it for the money. I don't complain about anything when I am away, and I completely immerse myself into my role. Now, I know I have been lucky over the past 8 years or so, & I know there are people who have never been paid by their employer and I also know that self employed people take the hit all the time, but I am just interested in what other people get in terms of allowances from their employers as a benchmark.

I know that you should never rely on your RN(R) income, & I never have, but as I no longer get paid to supplement my income I am having to ask some serious questions as to whether I can actually afford to be in the RN(R) anymore. In other words I don’t want extra, but I am seriously out of pocket now when I go away, and my civvy salary isn't that great either.

So it would be good to see some examples of what others get from their civilian employers, and I would like to see how many others are in the same boat as me now & I would welcome some suggestions how you get around the financial thing. Might make me feel better if a lot are in the same situation



Lantern Swinger
Invite your employer to the Executive Stretch weekend or in to the unit. Tell them they are very welcome to come and see that what you do is not, and cannot be considered a holiday. After a weekend on Exec Stretch they may change their tune.
Also put together a list of the skills and training that you're getting for free from the RN which will benefit your employers - particularly highlight leadership and management trainining (not sure if you're officer or rating - but LHLC or BRNC are great for that).
As TF110 suggest, Exec Stretch is a good opportunity to show some of what is done, although it is a little TA oriented.

Notwithstanding that get in touch with SABRE for advice, they have some information available and they can help putting a case together.

In my case I get 5 days special paid leave plus I can use either a week of leave or have a week unpaid.

I'm also working on chargeable time, so as long as I do the client work I can flex around that, work at home the days I need to get to the unit in the evening etc.
Hi TF110,

Many thanks for your reply. To explain, I work for one of the largest American banks in the world (My counterarts in the US get un-riveled support by the way, unlimited paid time off for basically anything). But here in the UK offices we are administered under UK HR, unfortunately, and the attitude they display, sadly reflects that of society in the UK as a whole, I am afraid.

There are 3,000 people in my office alone here in Chester, and we have a TA Colonel, who is a manager workin in our office here, figting our corner, (He is also our local regional reserve forces coordinator) but alas they are being very thick skinned about it all, despite having all the benefits being pointed out to them. The new head of HR in London is being very stubborn, & according to our "Colonel" she just doesnt get the "Reserves" thing. Executive stretch is something they just wouldn't do. We have tried this route already with them, they are just not interested.

Again, many thanks for your input


Lantern Swinger
If it's a US company, can't you contact the US board of directors and complain directly to them? Considering how patriotic the Americans are, they might be able to do something about this..?
Hi "Icantfly"

Yes our local SABRE colonel, who incidently works for us also (as above) has contacted them directly (Incidently again, he was warned by HR in UK not to do it again and not to stir up trouble). They agree with us, but diplomatically they have to go with the local UK HR policies, and there is nothing they can do. He has also spoken to "General Chuck Krulak" who used to be our UK head after he left US Marines (He was US Marine Commander in Gulf war 1, and served on the White house congressional staff). Even he can't sway the opinion.

This has been going on for a year now. Just really come to a final head, basically today.

HR in the UK basically say it also reflects HR policies in similar Banking institutions. I wouldnt mind hearing from Reservists, RN, RM Army or even RAF who might be reading this, who work in other Banks (Natwest, HBOS, anywhere basically) to see if this is the truth. I suspect they are telling a few porkies, to be honest.



Lantern Swinger
Hiya Matey
I'm a telecomms engineer and have worked for three different companies since being in the RNR. The larger, national based company gave me one weeks paid leave and one week unpaid leave. The small (20 employees) company I last worked for begrudgingly gave me 10 days unpaid, but I had to go over my bosses head and quote HR regulations to get that. The company I'm with now gives me unpaid leave, but at the discretion of my manager. He's a good egg and all-round snappy dresser and supports my naughtical activities. As long as I don't take the p*ss, then he lets me have as much time as I can get away with. Had 4 weeks unpaid last year. 2 weeks to do ORT stuff and 2 weeks to go sailing in the med. Generally I find that the larger companies are pretty good when it comes to suporting the reserves, because they buy into the whole "Character building / developing leadership skills" thing. This is probably because they've got enough staff to cover my job whilst I'm away.
Smaller companies can't quite cover for you quite easily, so they're usually reluctant to support you.
I'm surprised however that your internationally based banking organisation is refusing point blank to support you in this. From what you're saying though is it just down to the opinion of one person who's high up in HR? It's a shame if that's the case: One person's "opinion" shouldn't really be allowed to sway HR type decisions. Also seems a tad unfair.
Not sure if it'll help matey, but SABRE sent a pretty little leaflet to my employers explaining what it is we do and how much it benefits their employers (Not sure if they'd agree if they saw me falling out of a kebab shop in Pompey at 4am!!). Wonder if they'd be prepared to do the same thing for your employers, but take on a more heavy handed approach?

I also think that the whole "You're going to get called up now matter what" approach is doing a lot to frighten employers at the moment. In which case it's a crying shame that our employers are more frightened of the RNR than the Taliban are!!! :rambo:


Lantern Swinger
Bravo2Zulu said:
As we have been taken over by another company, their policy has changed to not paying at all, and they are only allowing me 10 days unpaid a year time to train (Have previously done a lot more), and this has also changed to whether my manager allows me to go!
I think that your employer is skating on very thin legal ice. You are protected under TUPE (Transfer of Undertaking Protection of Employment) which prevents your new employer from changing any of your terms & conditions of employment for 2 years after they took your company over. Explain this to your HR people in the nicest possible way. If they don't restore your previous terms, then its off to the Employment Tribunal.

Your employer is also under a legal obligation to make you available for 2 weeks training each year. I quote An Employment law website:

"The general rule is that a reservist cannot refuse to attend when called up or for training and that an employer must allow the reservist to go unless he can demonstrate that serious harm will be caused to his business which will not be adequately compensated for by the compensation arrangements available (a person who fails to attend for service or training when required to do so is guilty of "desertion or absence without leave", an offence triable by a civil court or by a court martial, but not both (Reserve Force Act 1966 ss.95 to 109). "

Finally, my employer gives me 5 days additional paid Special Leave for ORT and expects me to discuss and agree with my line manager when I will be away.

Hope this helps,
I work for a US IT firm in the UK, who are VERY supportive of reservists. I get ten day's PAID leave each year, over and above my annual leave, so I consider myself quite lucky.

Our HR dept also has a section related to Mobilisation by Reservists, and explains to managers what actions they need to take in the event one their employees gets the callup.
I get absolutely nothing from my employer.

No paid holiday, part paid holiday or even unpaid holiday. All the time i do with the RNR is my own holiday entitlement.

I have tried to speak with him about it but he just does not want to know.

I've tried inviting him on things such as executive stretch, days at sea, ships visits, SaBRE FUNCTIONS ETC he wont even entertain it.

It came to a head when i wanted to intellegently mobilise earlier this year. I put him in touch with SaBRE and he wrote them a letter asking them all sorts of stupid questions which i'd already explained to him. He also told them that i'd told him things which i didn't.

The bad thing is that RNR aside, he's a good boss really.

If your employer gives you anything then think yourself lucky. Some of us get nowt!


Lantern Swinger
trehorn said:
If your employer gives you anything then think yourself lucky. Some of us get nowt!
Just remember Trehorn that no-one dips out in the Navy, it's just that some people dip in more! :giggle:

ps: I get 10 days paid leave annually.
When I got a new boss about 3 years ago & I asked for my time off for ORT, she emailed HR to ask what procedure was (rather than ask me!).
New HR bod tried to say that "new" complany policy was for unpaid leave/take it out of annual leave. This promply changed when I said I would see them at the industrial tribunal as this was a change to my terms & conditions of employment that I hadn't agreed to.

edited for mong speeling
I am afraid I have always fallen into the same situation Trehorn's in.

It always gauls me when people spoke about going on holiday when I got back from ORT, or when people question the commitment of othersin the reserve forces who aren't fortunate enough to get extra leave.

And breathe...
The group I work for is pretty small staff-wise, and mostly of "a certain age". When I let them know that I was going to join they had to create a new policy for reservists, which basically boils down to not a lot lol...

I have to do all my ORT etc during my own personal annual leave allowance, and should i get mobilised for longer than one month I loose entitlement to any unclaimed leave that might be still due.

Apart from that, they havent got many problems with it, although having only just started really they havent had to put up with much... time will tell!

I cannot in a million years see them entertaining the idea of giving me extra days paid/unpaid leave to do RNR activities - the mantra is "fine, as long as it doesnt mess with your work or otherwise get in the way".



Lantern Swinger
Reservist-Monkey said:
I am afraid I have always fallen into the same situation Trehorn's in.

It always gauls me when people spoke about going on holiday when I got back from ORT, or when people question the commitment of othersin the reserve forces who aren't fortunate enough to get extra leave.

And breathe...
But I bet that these are the same people who just have to have all the best leave periods during the year so that they can take their darling children off on holiday.. and have to come in late and leave early to drop them off/pick them up from school.



Lantern Swinger
Bravo2Zulu, have you thought of anominously writing to the Papers (the Sun springs to mind) They have a big thing on at the moment trying to get more support for HM Forces, and a case like this is exactly what they are fighting for. You've tried all the above board courses of action, now its time to show the pale skinned, bullet dodging, pencil pushing, ban the bomb tree hugging air thiefs in HR how to play dirty.

P.S my HR are actually really supportive (and Fit)

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