October 2012 Industry Update

FWBC promotes rights of Defence Reservists

Do you have any Defence Reservists in your workplace? FWBC has published a Fact Sheet which outlines the rights and responsibilities of Defence Reservists, and their employers, when Reservists take Defence leave from their regular jobs.

Our Reservists make a vital contribution to the defence and security of Australia, and to Australia’s contribution to the global community as a good world citizen. It is vital that we support them in any way we can.

FWBC’s Fact Sheet explains that reservists are protected, by law, in their everyday jobs from discrimination, disadvantage or dismissal for reasons associated with their Defence service. Employers must not prevent or hinder Reservists from taking Defence leave.  On the other hand, Reservists must give their employers as much notice as possible if they require Defence leave.

Some employers elect to pay Reservists for Defence leave, or some volunteer to make ‘top-up’ payments where the Defence wage is less than their regular wage, however, there is no legal obligation to do so. Employers may be eligible for financial assistance to offset the cost of releasing their employees for Defence service.

FWBC encourages all employers to have a Defence leave policy in place so all parties are clear about their rights and obligations.

FWBC may enforce compliance with Defence service leave entitlements as they relate to construction industry workplaces.

FWBC welcomes suggestions for future fact sheets that may be useful to the industry. Please email your ideas to publicaffairs [at] fwbc.gov.au.

Defence Reserves: www.defencereserves.com or Defence Reserves Support Helpline: 1800 803 485
FWBC Fact Sheet : Defence Reservists – rights and responsibilities at work

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