The Government of British Columbia has expanded job-protected leave for Canadian military reserve forces in B.C. to cover leave for military training.
Members of the Reserve Force serve part time in the Canadian Armed Forces (Navy, Army, and Air Force). Their main roles are to support the Regular Force at home during natural disasters and events such as the Olympics, and augment the Regular Force abroad on operations.
The leave expansion was announced today by Premier Christy Clark at Canadian Forces Base Comox on Vancouver Island, and by Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, and Minister Responsible for Labour at HMCS Discovery, the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve base on Deadman's Island in Stanley Park, Vancouver.
Bond was joined in Vancouver by Brig.-Gen Rob Roy MacKenzie, chief of staff Reserves, Canadian Forces; Col. Dave Awalt, commander 39 Canadian Brigade Group; Lyall Knott, QC, B.C. chair, Canadian Forces Liaison Council, Department of National Defence; and other military reserve forces representatives.
This change will allow reservists unpaid leave from their civilian jobs for up to 20 days-per-year for training activities. Unpaid leave for reservists is already provided for, if:
reservists are deployed outside of Canada;
engaged in pre- or post- deployment activities either inside or outside Canada, or
deployed to a domestic operation dealing with an emergency.
The change to expand leave for military training activities for reservists is effective immediately.
Reservists typically serve one or more evenings a week and/or during weekends at locations close to home. Most reservists also attend some full time occupational training during the summer.
Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia –
“We are fortunate to have brave men and women step up and serve in Canada’s Reserve forces. The selfless work they do on behalf of our citizens should be commended, and today’s announcement allows us to recognize and appreciate the significant service they provide.”
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, and Minister Responsible for Labour –
“We are grateful to the men and women who serve on our behalf. It is critical that they receive necessary training and we wanted to ensure their jobs are protected while that occurs. The change we are making today will provide certainty for reservists and employers.”
Rich Coleman, Deputy Premier, Minister of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing –
“Today’s event was about thanking and celebrating Canada's Reserve Forces. Extending leave for 20 days will not only help reservists and their families, but it will give employers the certainty they need to support the vital training these men and women need to help out Canadians.”
Brig.-Gen Rob Roy MacKenzie, chief of staff, Army Reserve –
“I can’t emphasize enough how important employer support is to our Reservists. It directly contributes to the operational readiness of the Canadian Armed Forces by helping ensure that we have skilled members always available for duty.”
Col. David Awalt, commander of 39 Canadian Brigade Group –
“The extension of job protection for reservists, for necessary training, is a significant step in strengthening the Reserves and will contribute greatly the operational readiness of the Canadian Armed Forces Reserve. As the Brigade commander for the Army Reserve in B.C., I know personally the challenges that reservists face in balancing the demands of their civilian career with that of military service. I look forward to seeing the positive effect this change will have on the troops under my command.”
Lyall Knott QC, chair, Canadian Forces Liaison Council of B.C. –
“The Canadian Forces Liaison Council of B.C. is delighted to see the extension of Job Protection to cover military training and I would like to personally thank Minister Bond. Employer support for this initiative directly contributes to the operational readiness of the Canadian Armed Forces by ensuring reservists get the time to acquire the leadership and military skills necessary to be effective on operations. As an organization, we believe this enhancement will further the culture of tangible support for the military by employers, not least when the very real benefits of employing reservists is understood.”
According to the Canadian Forces Liaison Council, there are approximately 2,900 active reservists in British Columbia; however, not all are employees as a significant portion of reservists are full-time students.
A reservist must provide at least four weeks of notice to his/her employer. This matches the general notice requirement that already applies to reservists going on leave for active duty.
The up to 20 days for training leave is per calendar year, and does not have to be consecutive.
Other job-protected unpaid leaves currently available for employees include:
Pregnancy Leave (up to 17 consecutive weeks);
Parental Leave (up to 37 consecutive weeks);
Family Responsibility Leave (up to five days per year to meet responsibilities related to the care, health or education of any member of the employee’s immediate family);
Compassionate Care Leave (up to eight weeks within a 26 week period to care for or support a gravely ill family member);
Bereavement Leave (up to three days of unpaid leave on the death of a member of the employee’s immediate family), and
Canadian Reserve Forces: www.forces.ca/en/page/careeroptions-123
Canadian Forces Liaison Council: www.forces.gc.ca/en/business-reservist-support/index.page
Information on HMCS Discovery, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMCS_Discovery
Naval Reserve – Royal Canadian Navy: www.navy-marine.forces.gc.ca/en/about/structure-navres-home.page
HMCS Discovery, Directorate of History & Heritage: www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/his/ol-lo/vol-tom-2/par1/discover-eng.asp