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Celebrating and Commemorating the Armed Forces


What is the news?

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings which saw tens of thousands of troops attack German forces on five separate beaches in Normandy, the aim of which was to bring an end to World War Two. UK Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron have joined D-Day veterans in Northern France to commemorate the 22,442 British troops who sadly lost their lives in 1944. May described the veterans as a “very special generation” who “laid down their lives so that we might have a better life a build a better world”.

What does the news mean?

With specific uniforms, standards of behaviour, etiquette, tradition and an extremely important role to play in defending our country and others, the view and treatment of the armed forces has always (and understandably) been different to “civilians”. Commemorative monuments exist all across the UK and allied countries to remember those who have fought on our behalf; discounts are provided at certain retail and leisure outlets and free London travel and a railcard are available for veterans. But did you know that people from the armed forces have some differing legal rights too?

What do we think of the news?

Below are a selection of rights that you may not be aware of which are specifically for the armed forces.

  • Members of the armed forces (except those employed by territorial, auxiliary and volunteer reserve associations) are not permitted to bring claims for unfair dismissal.
  • You can still vote even if you do not have a permanent UK address.
  • Army reservists cannot be made redundant if they are on training or are mobilised (called to duty). Employers do not need to pay their salary or pension contributions while the reservist is mobilised, this is paid by the Ministry of Defence. Employers can claim other financial assistance (up to capped amounts) should a reservist be mobilised, including the cost of a replacement if it is more than the salary, advertising costs, training and agency fees for finding a replacement and overtime if other employees have to cover the work.
  • Children of army officers who died in service can apply for costs assistance for further and higher education.
  • Veterans and people serving in the armed forces can obtain special assistance for their dependants including benefits (including statutory sick pay, maternity grants, tax credits), certain reduced benefits if they live abroad and council tax relief.

From all, at HRC we wish to say a huge thank you to those who were part of and continue to be part of our armed forces. Siobhan would like to specifically mention her late grandfather, “Flag” Howard, who served in the army in the second world war and who earnt his nickname.

On behalf of the team at HRC Law, we would like to acknowledge all that our armed forces do for us and say a huge thank you to our veterans.

If you would like to talk through any concerns you may have in relation to the above content, or would like to understand more about employers duties to reservist employees, you can contact Solicitor, Heena Kapadi on T: 0161 358 0540 or E: heenakapadi@hrclaw.co.uk or Associate, Siobhan Howard-Palmer on T: 0161 358 0537 or E: siobhanhoward-palmer@hrclaw.co.uk.

 This contains a general overview of information only. It does not constitute, and should not be relied upon, as legal advice. You should consult a suitably qualified lawyer on any specific legal problem or matter.