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Helping hand for Reservists and their bosses.



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MEDIA RELEASE The Hon. Danna Vale, MP Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence

 

06 Feb 2002 MIN 26/02

 

HELPING HAND FOR RESERVISTS AND THEIR BOSSES Help is on the way for Defence Force Reservists and their civilian employers and educators trying to balance Defence Force service with civilian obligations, the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, Danna Vale MP, announced today.

"Reservists make a vital contribution to Australia’s defence capability, as evidenced by their involvement in East Timor and Bouganville, and to the wider community, such as their involvement in the Sydney Olympic and Paralympic Games," Minister Vale said.

"The Federal Government acknowledges that this contribution would not be possible without the support of the community in general, and employers and educators in particular.

"To maintain and further encourage this support, the Federal Government has established the Office of Reserve Service Protection, within the Defence Department, to provide information and mediation services and investigate complaints from employers or employees regarding the release of Reservists to attend military training.

"For example, a Reservist can appeal to the Office if they experience discrimination in the workplace or educational institution because of their Defence Force obligations; or an employer can seek assistance in negotiating Defence Force leave with their employee’s Reservist unit.

"The Office can explain to employers or educational institutions the conditions under which they must grant leave for Defence service and help them reduce the impact of that leave on their business."

Minister Vale said the Office was established as a result of legislation passed earlier this year regarding Reserve service.

The Defence Reserve Service Protection legislation protects Reservists against discrimination in their employment or education because of their ADF service.

"This new initiative builds on other recent enhancements to Reserve service such as the

Reserve Employer Support Payment Scheme," Minister Vale said.

"Under the scheme, eligible employers are paid $809.70 a week for releasing their Reservist employees to attend military training.

"It is imperative that we ensure that those Australians who serve this nation as part of the Reserves, and the employers and educators who support them, can do so safe in the knowledge that their interests are adequately protected."

The Office of Reserve Service Protection can be contacted on 1800 100 166 or by email: orsp@defence.gov.au.

Media Contact: Rachael Thompson 02 6277 7820 or 0417 265 289

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