Cash Incentive to SME’s to Employ More Military Reservists

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Defence Secretary, Phillip Hammond, has announced that the cash incentives are to be offered to small businesses to encourage them to hire members of the military reserve forces. Current plans compensate employers for the costs of hiring a replacement for a reservist who is called up to go away on operations or to cover overtime costs of current employees covering that role. Hammond has suggested that a further cash bonus would give small businesses “more reasons to employ reservists”. The size of the incentive is still being looked into but a decision will be made in time for a White Paper which is to be published later in the spring. He considers that larger employers are happy to allow staff the time off without any financial incentives as “they do this because it’s good for their business and because it’s part of their corporate social responsibility”. It is a completely different issue for small employers for whom this could directly affect their bottom line. Under the Coalition Government’s defence review, the Territorial Army is expected to increase in size from 19,000 fully trained reservists to 30,000 by 2018 while the regular army is to be cut from 82,000 down to 62,000. We are interested to know your view on this. What sort of cash incentive would you consider to be a reasonable amount to assist you if one of your staff members was to be called up for six months or so?

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