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Durham University

Human Resources & Organisational Development

Territorial Army

HR Guidance

Training commitments

By law, the University does not have to give a Reservist additional leave for training, either paid or unpaid.  However, we choose to do so because we realise that such training allows individuals to develop valuable skills that can be transferred directly to the workplace.


The University will authorise up to 10 days' paid leave per annum, pro rata for part time staff, in addition to annual leave for undertaking TA duties.

Leave requested in excess of these days, may be granted, subject to the line manager's approval, and should either be taken from the member of staff's annual leave entitlement or be unpaid.

Applying For Leave

Members of staff should give their line manager adequate notice (a minimum of one week) of any duties/training for which they wish to take leave. Leave requested at short notice (less than one week) may be granted, but at the discretion of the line manager.

Mobilisation rights

Subject to the severity and immediacy of the crisis, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) aims to give at least 28 days notice of mobilisation, although the Reserve Forces Act 1996 gives no statutory requirement for a warning period prior to a Reservist being called out.

If a Reservist is mobilised and the University believes their absence would cause serious harm to the business, we have the right to apply for exemption, deferral or revocation of the mobilisation. Applications must be made within seven days of the Reservist being served with call out notice, therefore, please speak to your HR Manager at the earliest opportunity if you think there is a need to make an application for exemption, deferral or revocation.

The total period of mobilisation can range from three months or less, up to a legal maximum of 12 months in total, accumulated over a 3 year period.

Employer's financial assistance

If a Reservist is mobilised, the University does not have to pay any salary or associated benefits (such as pension) for the duration of their operational duty. A Reservist can claim for any benefits 'lost' during their mobilisation so they will not be worse off.

The University might be eligible for financial assistance to cover the additional costs to replace an employee who is mobilised over and above their earnings. The additional costs may include;

• Overtime if the University use other employees to cover the work of a Reservist's earnings.
• Any costs of hiring a temporary replacement that exceed the Reservists earnings.

The University may also claim for certain one-off costs incurred in replacing the Reservist employee. These include;

• Agency fees, if the University use a recruitment agency or employment agency to find a temporary replacement.
• Advertising costs, if the University places recruitment advertisement by any medium to find a temporary replacement

The University must be able to support any claim with invoices or bills and evidence of payment.

The University can claim if the Reservist employee needs training when they return to work to carry out their duty's properly. The University would need to demonstrate that the Reservist needs the training as a result of having been mobilised; the MoD will not pay for training that the University would have carried out anyway.

Pension Contributions

Mobilised Reservists are entitled to remain a member of their occupational pension scheme. Provided that the Reservist continues to pay their contributions to the scheme (USS or RBP), the MoD will pay the employer contributions that would have been made by the University. Providing employee and employer contributions are maintained, there is no negative effect on the Reservist's pension arrangements.

The University's legal responsibilities


If a Reservist member of staff is mobilised, when they return the University has an obligation to reinstate them in the same role and on equally favorable terms and conditions as before, or to offer the most favorable alternative employment.

Protection of employment

The University cannot make a Reservist members of staff should be treated consistently, and redundancy criteria should not discriminate against Reservists on the grounds of their Reserve service or call-up liability.

The University is not allowed to dismiss a member of staff because he/she is, or has a liability to be, mobilised for full time service because they are a Reservist.

If you require any further advice, please contact your HR Manager/Officer.


Approved by HR SMT 19 August 2011