How often do reservists work

Military exercise! What bosses and reservists should know!

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When they are discharged from the Bundeswehr at the latest, the question arises for many temporary soldiers whether they would like to become involved in the reserve after the end of their service life. But the decision on this does not lie with the reservists alone - because regular military exercises are hardly possible without the goodwill of the employer. However, those responsible in the company often have no reference to the subject of reserves. The following summary is therefore intended to provide a first entry for all bosses Offer.

The fact is that the Bundeswehr is increasingly dependent on the support of motivated reservists when it comes to fulfilling its mission. These are often former temporary or professional soldiers who can usually take on the tasks of their active comrades without much training. Thus they form an important support in almost all troops or special reserve units. Some of the reserve service providers (RDL) are permanently scheduled for certain posts and practice there regularly. The times of large-scale military exercises with thousands of reservists, even those called up against their will if necessary, are long gone.

Labor law aspects of the reserve

A basic distinction is made between short exercises lasting up to 3 days and longer individual exercises. The most important military regulations for employers can be found in the Compulsory Military Service Act and the consequences under labor law in the Occupational Safety and Health Act. A military exercise then lasts a maximum of 3 months, although the period can be extended voluntarily. The legally stipulated maximum limit for all compulsory exercises is between 6 and 12 months, depending on the rank. After that, all exercises in the reserve take place voluntarily.

First things first: During the exercise, the employment relationship is suspended, so that the mutual main performance obligations are temporarily lifted while the employment relationship continues. The employee does not have to perform any work during the exercise period and in return the company is released from its payment obligation for the wages. In addition, the employer's pension insurance contributions, contributions to statutory health and long-term care insurance and contributions to unemployment insurance do not apply to the employer during the exemption period. In addition, contributions to the company pension scheme of the employee concerned are reimbursed.

Of course, the worker does not have to gnaw on starvation during his exercise. In the case of a military exercise lasting more than 3 days, he receives tax-free compensation for loss of earnings, provided that he does not receive any wages during the exercise. In this case, the monthly wage tax table can be applied to the monthly wage that remains after deduction of the wage loss for the days of the military exercise. If the employer nevertheless pays the agreed wages during a military exercise, the employment relationship continues for tax purposes and the wage tax deduction is retained in accordance with the general regulations.

Nothing works without voluntariness

Today it says in all the exercises Requirement of voluntariness first of all. This means that no former soldier will be called up for an exercise without his or her active consent. In practice, the reservist and the troop unit mutually agree on the period of the intended exercise, whereby the employer should always be involved in the planning as early as possible. From this point of view, the employer's consent is regularly requested even for smaller exercises. Ultimately, a consensus should be reached between all those involved and the "civilian" superior should be able to adjust to the absence due to the exercise in good time. From a purely legal point of view, consent must only be given for voluntary exercises if the total duration exceeds six weeks per calendar year and for compulsory exercises a period of time is set for more than 3 months. In practical implementation, however, the Bundeswehr usually does not arrange for a call-up if the employer is completely opposed to it.

If the boss has agreed to a possible exercise, the responsible career center of the Bundeswehr will send out a so-called reference notice and various additional documents. In doing so, the reservist is obliged to submit the notice of recruitment to the employer immediately. If the convocation has a negative effect on business operations, the employee can be temporarily made indispensable. If, on the other hand, no objection is lodged, the employment relationship begins at the stipulated point in time and when the barracks begin working.

Services for reserve service providers at a glance

Since the employment relationship is officially suspended during the exercise period and the reservist is regularly not paid any wages, dependent RDL can apply for a Loss of earnings compensation apply to secure the net earned income in the same amount. Forfeited allowances such as vacation and Christmas bonuses will be reimbursed on a pro-rata basis. If the employer continues to pay the salary, the loss compensation does not apply accordingly. This also applies to public institutions, for which different regulations apply to the payment of wages. If the reservist receives little or no income from work, it may still be possible to do so tax-free minimum benefits according to the Maintenance Assurance Act (USG). Incidentally, self-employed RDL receive compensation for income from self-employed work that is lost due to service. However, before being called up, it is first necessary to weigh up the necessity of the service and the expected costs of the USG services on the part of the Bundeswehr.

In addition to the loss of earnings, reserve service providers receive a tax-free reserve service bonus for each day of the service. Depending on the rank, this is between 18.82 euros and 29.00 euros per day. In addition, a tax-free obligation surcharge can be granted if an RDL undertakes to complete a minimum number of practice days per calendar year due to a special offer. For the entire duration of the reserve service, the Bundeswehr also pays the contributions for the statutory pension and unemployment insurance. In addition, reservists become one during the exercise free medical care in case of illness, free accommodation as well as a Reimbursement of travel expenses granted. Because of the free medical care, the statutory health insurance is suspended during the exercise period. Insurance premiums paid to private health insurers can be reimbursed or offset upon request.

What to watch out for in terms of protection against dismissal and vacation entitlement

During an exercise, an employer may not terminate the employment relationship with the reserve service provider because the provisions of the Workplace Protection Act to grab. The right to terminate for an important reason remains unaffected. If the employee resumes his previous work after the military exercise, the absence must not result in any professional or operational disadvantage. The military training period must also be counted towards the professional and company affiliation. In terms of vacation entitlement, the annual vacation to be granted by the employer is reduced by one twelfth for each month of practice.

Numerous opportunities for companies

An open approach to the issue of reserves can offer a company numerous advantages. The support of the reserve service usually has a very positive effect on the motivation and operational satisfaction of the reserve service providers. On the other hand, active reservists can also benefit in their working life from the practical and social experience gained during the exercise. Especially for companies in the armaments-related area or with customers in this environment, the military networks as well as the latest insights behind the scenes of the Bundeswehr can prove to be extremely valuable. Especially since the armed forces are also developing at a rapid pace.

In addition, the regular reserve work of employees can also be financially attractive for a company. Finally, there are no salary payments during the exercise period, which can lead to noticeable savings in wage costs during quieter operating phases, especially in industries with seasonally fluctuating workload. Another plus point can be the special training and further education offers for reservists, which can of course also be used profitably for their civilian work. Quite apart from that, with its acceptance of military exercises, a company can ultimately show its own employees a great deal of appreciation as well as a certain recognition for their voluntary and social work.
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2 comments

  1. Weckenmann Albert -

    When were these military exercises in the past?

  2. Llama -

    What about the taxation of the company car during a military exercise?


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