7. Returning to work

After service, reservists are given a period of leave. If they want to return to work before the end of their leave they must get permission from either their commanding officer or the demobilisation centre.

Employers can’t force a reservist to return to work before their leave finishes.

Notice of returning to work

Reservists should write to their employer as soon as they know when they can return to work. This must be no later than the third Monday after their last day of service.

Employers must re-employ them as soon as they’re able to.

Returning to the same job

Reservists are entitled to return to the same type of job they were doing before they were mobilised, on the same terms and conditions.

If the job no longer exists, they’re entitled to a reasonable alternative.

How long reservists must be re-employed for

Employers must offer reservists employment for a certain amount of time, depending on how long they were employed by them before mobilisation.

Weeks of employment before mobilisation Number of weeks reservist must be re-employed for
Up to 13 At least 13
Between 13 and 51 At least 26
52 weeks or more At least 52

Problems returning to work

If you aren’t re-employed you can apply to a tribunal. They can instruct your former employer to re-employ you or award you financial compensation.

Write to the tribunal if, after telling your employer you’re returning to work:

  • you don’t hear back from them
  • they won’t re-employ you
  • they offer you a job you’re not happy with

Employment Tribunal Service (England, Scotland and Wales)
3rd Floor
Alexandra House
14-22 The Parsonage
Manchester
M3 2JA
Tel: 0161 833 6316

The Secretary, Office of the Industrial Tribunals (Northern Ireland)
Killymeal House
2 Cromac Quay
Ormeau Road
Belfast
BT7 2JD
Tel: 02890 327 666