Human Resources

Support Reservists: Tips for Employers

May 01, 2006
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Support Reservists: Tips for Employers

More than half of the men and women serving in the armed forces are members of the National Guard and Reserve. As employers, credit unions are vital to enabling employees who are members of the National Guard and Reserve to serve their country.

The Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve, an agency within the Department of Defense, offers these suggestions for supporting employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve:

  • Learn more about the role of the National Guard and Reserve. Attend open houses andpublic functions at local military units. Talk about the National Guard and Reserve withmilitary and civilian leaders in your community. Ask your employees about their NationalGuard and Reserve duties and how they fit into the "big picture" of national defense.
  • Meet and get to know your employees' military commanders and supervisors. Ask them toprovide you with advance notice of your employees' annual military duty schedule and work outconflicts as early as possible. For an introduction, contact your local ESGR or call 800-336-4590.
  • Put your support in writing bysigning a statement ofsupport for the National Guard and Reserve.
  • Review your personnel policies to see how they accommodate and support participation inthe National Guard or Reserve. For example, do they include provisions for military leave ofabsence (exclusive of earned vacation time)? Do they ensure job opportunities and benefitsequivalent to those of other employees?
  • Recognize and publicize employees' participation in the National Guard and Reserve.
  • Accept that there may be occasional conflicts or concerns with your employment of"citizen soldiers" and their requirement to perform military duty. Seek to resolve them assoon as they arise. Discuss with your employees their service requirements before problemsarise, and keep an open dialogue to prevent them. Call your employee's military commander orsupervisor if you have a conflict.

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