It is mandatory for employers to release employees who are members of the Reserve to undertake defence service, including defence service training. It is an offence under the federal Defence Reserve Service (Protection) Act for an employer to dismiss or otherwise disadvantage an employee for undertaking Reserve service.
Where there are no award entitlements to defence reserve service, Reservists can request to use their leave entitlements during the period of absence, but they cannot be compelled to do so by the employer.
Employers may be eligible for financial assistance to offset the costs of releasing employees on defence reserve service.
The Office of Reserve Service Protection can provide advice on legal obligations and entitlements, assist in resolving complaints and negotiate workable solutions to meet Defence Force requirements. Reservists can also call the Defence Reserves Support hotline on 1800 803 485 for further assistance.
The Office of Reserve Service Protection website has more information. www.defencereservesupport.gov.au