On November 25, 2014 the Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., announced a new Government of Canada program which will provide financial support to employers of Canadian Armed Forces reservists who are deployed on operations.

The Compensation for Employers of Reservists Program (the “Program”) was instituted in response to the increased use of reservists on operations in the mid-late 2000s during Canada’s mission in Afghanistan and the increased burden placed on employers due to the prolonged absence of their reservist employees.

The Program is expected to provide employers with approximately $403 per week for the duration of the absence of the reservist employee on operations by way of a grant paid to employers at the end of the reservist employee’s deployment period.

In order to be eligible, the employer must have an employee who is a reservist serving on a designated Canadian Armed Forces domestic or international operation for a minimum period of 30 days, up to a maximum of 18 months.  The reservist must have worked with the employer for a minimum of 30 hours per week for three consecutive months prior to being deployed.  Federal government employers are not eligible for the Program.

More information on the Program can be found at http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?mthd=tp&crtr.page=1&nid=908509&crtr.tp1D=1.

Alberta employers are reminded that under the Employment Standards Code an employer is required to provide an eligible reservist employee with reservist leave without pay in order to take part in operations or activities including both international and domestic Canadian Forces operations. The lawyers at Field Law have the experience and knowledge to help employers understand their obligations when a reservist employee is deployed on operations.