British firms have been criticized by the former head of the Territorial Army (TA) for refusing to employ reservists who have a part-time military role, which further affects recruitment in the country.
The Duke of Westminster warned British firms were less likely to employ TA soldiers due to the prospect of losing staff to training and active service. The Duke also said firms that are foreign-owned are more likely to hire people who are active in the TA and may even pay their wages while they are on active service.
“There is undoubtedly discrimination against someone who at interview says he is in the Territorial Army. These days when you have to tick the boxes on the interview sheet, one of the questions is ‘Are you in the Territorial Army’. (But) we are not allowed by legislation to say: ‘Are you pregnant? Are you about to be pregnant?” the Duke said.
In the future, the TA will have a bigger role in the British armed forces as the regular Army is cut by the UK government from 102,000 to 82,000 and reservist numbers increased to 30,000 as a plan for the army by 2020, making it the biggest restructuring of the military service for decades.
The Duke told the Daily Telegraph British employers should understand that the TA troops made a commitment to a lifestyle that involves the act “to go out there and be shot at”. The actions of UK firms avoiding to recruit TA members, suggests that less citizens in Britain are likely to have a nationalistic approach to the country.
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