South Yorkshire firms ‘put off hiring reserves’

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SMALL business leaders in South Yorkshire say they are being put off hiring military reservists.

A survey by the Federation of Small Businesses has found one in three small businesses are reluctant to give jobs to reservists from the Army, Navy and Air Force.

Firms say they have problems finding replacement staff if they are deployed and would like a longer notice period.

Gordon Millward, regional chairman of the FSB, said: “We have long said the smallest firms may find it more difficult to be supportive of employing a reservist, especially as each employee makes such a large proportion of a workforce.

“There is an appetite among some small businesses to hire a reservist in the future, but there are clear areas the Government must address.”

Ministers want to expand reservists as the size of regular armed forces is cut.