TRAFFORD Council has reinforced its commitment to support its employees who are also members of the reserve forces through its new ‘reservist’ policy.

The policy has been developed as part of the council’s wider work and commitment to Trafford’s Armed Forces Community Covenant, which is a voluntary statement of mutual support between a civilian community and its local Armed Forces Community.

Director of Human Resources Joanne Hyde said: “The council is determined to play its part in supporting employees who volunteer as reservists and also promoting their significant contribution.

“With reducing numbers of personnel within our regular forces, their role is becoming increasingly important. There is going to be a need for more reservists over the coming years and as a responsible employer, Trafford Council is proud of and committed to supporting employees who give their time for their country in this way.”

Trafford Council employee Phil Valentine, who is a reservist in the Royal Armoured Corps said: "I believe the support was good before this policy; however, its introduction will make it far easier for me to manage my family, work and reserve forces commitments."

Colonel K Trow TD L/QARANC, Commanding Officer 207 (Manchester) Field Hospital said: "In today's competitive market place we all need employees who can communicate effectively, think on their feet, be willing to take decisions and operate as part of a team. I believe that the training undertaken by our reserve forces develops these qualities as well as many others. “Trafford Council has recognised and embraced the opportunity brought by employees being part of the Reserve Forces. The initiatives set out to support Reservist staff members are very much welcomed. Trafford Council’s continued support to our reservists is very much appreciated by the Armed Forces community, and we ask other businesses to encourage reservist service within their workforce."

The new policy sets out the Council’s obligations towards employees who have notified them they are members of the reserve forces. It reinforces the council’s commitment to enable reservists to take up to 10 days’ paid special leave to be used towards their training activity commitment, currently between 30 and 35 days a year.

It also explains the process for releasing a reservist who is called up for active service, which is usually up to a maximum of 12 months. Having a formal policy in place is seen as important for both the individual staff members and their managers.