ANDREW Barr says it will be easier for ACT Government employees to serve their country as an Australian Defence Force Reservist under a new agreement signed today between the ACT Government and the Department of Defence.
“The Australian Public Service Commissioner is also committed to a reciprocal arrangement so that the ACT is able to call on Commonwealth employees who volunteer for our own Emergency Services Agency, including ADF employees, in times of need,” Andrew said.
“The ACT Government Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Defence will allow ACT Public Servants to fulfil their requirements as an ADF Reservist without impacting on their allocated ACTPS annual leave.
“This is a significant recognition of the important duty these Canberrans are engaging in. The Government believes that our employees who are engaged in this type of work for their country should not be punished by being forced to take annual leave.
“The ACT Government is a strong supporter of ADF Reserves and is one of the largest employers of Reservists in Canberra. We recognise Reservists make a valuable contribution to the Australian community, providing assistance in times of emergency situations both at home and abroad.”
Head of Cadet, Reserve and Employer Support Division, Major General Iain Spence said the MOU aims to create better management of a shared workforce.
“Defence Reservists play an important role in Australia’s national security interests both at home and abroad,” Major General Spence said.
“It can be challenging for employers to release their employees for Defence service or training and this is particularly the case for big employers where there can be a large number of Reservists.
“This is an important agreement and it will ensure Defence and the ACT Government are in a position to work more collegiately,” Major General Spence said.
The MOU will be signed at the annual ACT Employer Support Awards hosted by the Defence Reserves Support Council, and held tonight at the Australian War Memorial. Seven Reservists have nominated their ACT Government employers for an ACT Employer Support Award.