Select Committee on Defence First Report

MOD/Employer/Employee Relations

24. The MoD stresses that the Sponsored Reserve concept "will only succeed if there is close liaison between the Sponsored Reservist's unit, the employer, and the Army Personnel Centre"[84] and the pamphlet clearly sets out what is expected from all sides. In the National Employers Liaison Committee (NELC) the MoD have a dedicated organisation which "provides advice to Ministers on the measures that are needed to secure and maintain the support of employers for the volunteer reserve forces."[85] The National Employers Liaison Committee are in a position to provide valuable assistance to the MoD in the establishment of this new form of Reservist and we will expect to see evidence of thorough consultation between the two organisations during the establishment of the Sponsored Reserves.

25. The MoD believe that the Regulations, overall, are fair and proportionate to the risk to operational effectiveness, that the effects of these regulations on business will be cost-neutral, and that it will "greatly assist business consideration of the MoD's invitations to negotiate on contracts with the potential for use of sponsored reservist manpower."[86] Notwithstanding our continued belief that, in the first instance, reservist roles should be given to existing volunteer reserves,[87] the MoD appears to be making progress in resolving some of our initial concerns. In particular we are impressed with the Sponsored Reserve Regulations pamphlet, which is a clearly written and informative document. However, only when Sponsored Reserves have been "combat tested" will we be in a position to evaluate their benefit to the armed forces.

84   Sponsored Reserves Regulations p 14 Back

85   Ev p 39 Back

86   Ev p 41 Back

87   Eighth Report, Session 1997-98, The Strategic Defence Review, HC138-I, para 273  Back

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