Firms failing to take reservists, says survey
MANY small businesses are failing to employ reservists from the Army, Navy and Air Force, according to new research.
A survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that small and medium-sized firms need more support and investment to encourage them to recruit reservists.
The FSB found that 30 per cent of small business owners said nothing would encourage them to employ a reservist, while 89 per cent said they had not heard of the Ministry of Defence "employer awareness" events.
The results came from a poll of the FSB "voice of small business" panel during December 2012 and January 2013.
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A total of 1,836 responses were received – 29 per cent of the panel's 6,352 members.
About 86 per cent said any government support to businesses employing reservists should focus on the specific needs of small and micro firms, rather than big business.
Asked what would encourage them to employ reservists, 39 per cent wanted a financial incentive, 30 per cent said help in finding replacement staff and 21 per cent wanted more flexibility in training.
Almost half said they would require two to three months notice if one of their employees were to be mobilised.
David Shephard, FSB Devon regional chairman, said: "At the end of 2012 the Government said it would work with employers of reservists and give them more notice before their staff are deployed. These results suggest the support cannot come soon enough."