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Cash rewards for firms with army volunteers

Cash rewards for firms with army volunteers

The Government is planning to offer cash to small businesses to encourage them to allow their workers to join the army reserves, according to Defence Secretary Philip Hammond.

“Important” financial incentives form part of new measures to encourage more volunteer recruits to help make up for a planned 20,000 cut in full-time troop numbers, the minister told the BBC’s Sunday Politics show.

Mr Hammond said he was looking to increase the number of ‘weekend warriors’ who support the British Army to 30,000 as a part of a White Paper to be put before the House of Commons before the summer.

Under the plans the Territorial Army would become known as the Army Reserves to recognise its increasing importance. “Financial incentivisation” in the form of direct cash payments to employers would be looked at, meaning they will be compensated while their staff are away from the workplace, Mr Hammond, adding that businesses employing reserve troops prove that they have an agenda of social responsibility in their organisations.

However, he recognised that it was difficult for many firms to cope without these members of staff and although the incentive amounts have not yet been decided, Mr Hammond said exact figures would be available before the White Paper is published.

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