When a Reservist is called for service

Under the Defence Reserve Service (Protection) Act 2001, employers must release Reservists when they're called for service and for any training to prepare for that service.

The steps

As a Supportive Employer, you're encouraged to have military leave policies in place for your Reservists.

This means your Reservists can take leave for training or deployment without disadvantage.

Want to know more about what Reservists are entitled to?

The Act

Step 1: The call for service

The amount of leave required for service, or training to prepare for service, varies. 

Leave for service can cover the following:

  • initial recruit training - allow up to 7 weeks
  • annual exercises / camps - allow up to 2 weeks
  • specialist courses - varies by course, allow up to 12 weeks
  • deployment for service - varies, allow up to 8 months
  • general Defence service.

Where possible, leave will be scheduled outside of work hours.

Step 2: Telling you

Once your Reservist is aware of their leave dates for training or military commitments, they'll arrange a meeting with you (or their immediate manager).

The leave approval process will vary depending on whether you're a public or private sector employer.

Find out more on Reservist leave guidelines:

If you need help with implementing a Defence Reserve leave policy, speak to your Reservist or call us.

1800 803 485

Step 3: Assess the impacts on your organisation

Once your Reservist has discussed their leave with you, it's your responsibility to assess the impact this will have on you.

Your responsibilities

You might be eligible for financial assistance to offset the costs of releasing employees for Defence service through the Employer Support Payment Scheme.

Under the Scheme, you're paid for eligible Defence service at average weekly earnings (regardless of the employee's salary), although there is provision in special circumstances for higher payments.

Employer Support Payment Scheme details

Important! In some instances, your Reservist may feel they've been unfairly treated. Find out how to handle complaints and resolve issues.

Handling complaints

Step 4: When they return

When your Reservist returns to work, speak to them about the skills they gained and how these can be applied to their job.

You may also like to advertise their achievements in newsletters and other publications.

Last update: Thursday, 17 September 2015