Future Reserves 2020 – White Paper Announcement by Secretary of State for Defence

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The Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, announced on 3rd July, 2013 the results of the White Paper on Future Reserves 2020.  The detail can be found at the links below, but here are some generic bullet points summarising the white paper. Future Reserves 2020 (FR20) was the result of the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review which demonstrated how the armed forces would be restricted to meet future threats. It is designed to deliver a new structure to meet the needs of a smaller, more flexible and agile Armed Forces in order to meet threats as they evolve and will involve an increase in the proportion and operational involvement of Reserves of all three of the UK’s Armed Forces. The Reservists will be gradually integrated into a single “Whole Force” with their Regular counterparts and will require being more available for training, readiness and deployment. The “Territorial Army” will be renamed “Army Reserve”. The White Paper recognises the pivotal role played by Employers and families in making Reservists available for service.  Incentives for Employers are listed below from a Ministry of Defence publication entitled “Reserves in the Future Force 2020: Valuable and Valued”:
  • “We will provide new financial awards to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises when their reservists are mobilised.

  • We will revise the financial assistance regulations to ensure that the levels of financial assistance provided to employers are appropriate and streamlined.

  • We will better explain the benefits of reserve service and extend civilian accreditation of skills, training and experience provided by the military.

  • We will introduce a new scheme to recognise supportive employers underpinned by the Corporate Covenant

  • We will develop an open and predictable relationship by:

    • Ensuring that reservists notify employers of their reserve status subject to security considerations

    • Notifying employers of the training programme annually

    • Providing notice of mobilisation and periods when a reservist is at high readiness for mobilisation

    • Providing relevant feedback on what a reservist ahs achieved during a period of reserve service.

  • We will introduce a new National Relationship Management scheme to establish strategic personnel relationships with major employer organisations, relevant trade bodies and the largest employers.

  • We will work with employers and education organisations to develop opportunities for both the employer, the reservist and Defence in the transition period between education and work, including for those no in education, employment or training.”
A number of high level key messages have been published and the following relate to employers:
  • “Key Message: Employers play a key role in enabling reservists to take their place in defence of the Nation. Their support has been crucial to the mobilisation of our Reservists in such large numbers over the last 10 years. The future relationship may need some incentives, which could include a cross-Government commitment to support employers who encourage volunteering; the public sector will take the lead in setting an example.

  • Key Message: Following publication of the White Paper on Future Reserves 2020 there will be a natural nervousness about the new conditions of Reserve Service until they have been seen ‘in action’, but it can be seen from the White Paper that the MoD will attempt to match any increased commitment with increased incentive for employers. Deployments (in the foreseeable future) are not anticipated to exceed current levels to any great degree and any employer concerns will be listened to. The MoD will ensure that use of the Reserves is as predictable as possible to help Reservists, their families and employers to plan ahead.

  • Key Message: Defence recognises that the needs of employers must be understood and respected; as part of a wider Defence initiative, the Armed Forces will enter into a dialogue and partnerships with the employers of reservists. Through partnering with employers, we seek to identify and better exploit those areas which mutually benefit the employer, the Forces and the individual, and pilot projects under the Partnering for Talent programme will be in place from September.”
If you are interested in finding out more, the White Paper ‘Reserves in the Future Force 2020’ and the Army Reserve’s future basing and structure are available on the Ministry of Defence website. Lastly, a number of background documents will be accessible through the SERFCA website by the end of the week.

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