Firms pledge to back reserve army
More than 100 of the UK’s largest companies have officially pledged their support for the country’s volunteer soldiers, sailors and air crews.
The firms, including BT, Tesco, and Barclays, have joined a new campaign to get other employers, both in the public and private sector, to follow suit.
The aim of the initiative is for all firms to put in place a written policy on allowing reservists time off work.
Since 2003 more than 13,000 reservists have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Six of these have been killed.
There are currently 41,000 people in the four reserve forces, the Territorial Army, Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Marines Reserve and Royal Auxiliary Air Force.
‘Courage and dedication’
The new campaign is being organised by the Sabre (Supporting Britain’s Reservists and Employers) unit at the Ministry of Defence.
BT chairman Sir Christopher Bland, who himself did National Service, helped launch the initiative during a visit this week to Territorial Army troops in the southern Iraq city of Basra.
“These men and women serve alongside their colleagues in the regular forces with courage and dedication, often at considerable personal sacrifice,” he said.
“They are a vital part of the nation’s armed forces and deserve the support of their employers every step of the way.
“We at BT admire their commitment and will continue to support all current and future employees in the reserve forces.”
Yes, the occupation of Iraq matters to British capital.