Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020

27.

Provisions governing return of reservists to employment

27. (1) Where a member of the Reserve Defence Force as defined in the Act of 1954 (in this section referred to as the “reservist”) is called out on permanent service or in aid to the civil power, under the provisions of the Act of 1954, and such reservist was, at the time he or she was so called out, employed by another person (in this section referred to as the “former employer”) the following provisions shall apply:

(a) on the expiry of the period during which the reservist was absent from work while called out on such permanent service or in aid to the civil power, the reservist shall be entitled to return to work as soon as reasonably practicable—

(i) with the employer with whom he or she was working immediately before the start of that period or, where during the reservist’s absence from work there was a change of ownership of the undertaking in which he or she was employed immediately before her or his absence, with the owner (in this section referred to as the “successor”) of the undertaking at the expiry of the period of the absence,

(ii) in the job which the reservist held immediately before the start of that period, and

(iii) under the contract of employment under which the reservist was employed immediately before the start of that period, or, where a change of ownership such as is referred to in subparagraph (i) has occurred, under a contract of employment with the successor which is identical to the contract under which the reservist was employed immediately before the start of that period and (in either case) under terms and conditions—

(I) not less favourable than those that would have been applicable to the reservist, and

(II) that incorporate any improvement to the terms or conditions of employment to which the reservist would have been entitled,

if he or she had not been so absent from work.

(2) Where a reservist is entitled to return to work in accordance with subsection (1) but it is not reasonably practicable for the employer or the successor to permit the reservist to return to work in accordance with that subsection, the reservist shall, subject to provisions of this section, be entitled to be offered by the employer, the successor or an associated employer suitable alternative work under a new contract of employment.

(3) Work under a new contract of employment constitutes suitable alternative work for the purposes of this section if—

(a) the work required to be done under the contract is of a kind which is suitable in relation to the reservist concerned and appropriate for the reservist to do in the circumstances, and

(b) the terms or conditions of the contract—

(i) relating to the place where the work under it is required to be done, the capacity in which the reservist concerned is to be employed and any other terms or conditions of employment are not less favourable to the reservist than those of his or her contract of employment immediately before the start of the period of absence from work while on protective leave, and

(ii) incorporate any improvement to the terms or conditions of employment to which the reservist would have been entitled if he or she had not been so absent from work during that period.

(4) During a period of absence from work by a reservist who is called up on such permanent service or in aid to the civil power, the reservist shall be deemed to have been in employment of the employer or successor and, accordingly, while so absent, the reservist shall be treated as if he or she had not been so absent and such absence shall not affect any right, whether conferred by statute, contract or otherwise, and related to the reservist’s employment.

(5) Entitlement to return to work in accordance with subsection (1) or to be offered suitable alternative work under subsection (2) shall be subject to a reservist who has been absent from work as a result of being called out on permanent service or in aid to the civil power having, as soon as reasonably practicable, notified in writing (or caused to be so notified) the employer or, where the reservist is aware of a change of ownership of the undertaking concerned, the successor of his or her intention to return to work and the date on which he or she expects to return to work.

(6) Where, because of an interruption or cessation of work at a reservist’s place of employment, existing on the date specified in a notification under subsection (4) given by the reservist, it is unreasonable to expect the reservist to return to work on the date specified in the notification, the reservist may return to work instead when work resumes at the place of employment after the interruption or cessation, or as soon as reasonably practicable after such resumption.