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I am a Reservist on Military Leave. Does my civilian employer still have to pay me?

No. Military Leave provisions under the Volunteers Employment Protection Act 1973 does not require employers to pay employees on Military Leave. If you use your annual leave for military training and exercises, then your employer will have to pay you.

As a Reservist, will I continue to accrue annual leave while I am on Military Leave?

Yes, being granted Military Leave provisions under the Volunteers Employment Protection Act 1973 means that your normal employment is viewed as uninterrupted and you are entitled to accrue your normal leave entitlement.

What accommodation options does the NZDF offer?

The NZDF offers very affordable barrack accommodation for NZDF members on most bases and camps. Regular Force members become eligible for a housing allowance after 3 years of service. Regular Force members also become eligible for service housing after three years of service or under exceptional circumstances.

What is service housing like?

The majority of NZDF service houses were built in the 1950’s and are of wood construction. They have been maintained but are not as good as most modern homes of this century.

Can I transfer between the Reserve Force and Regular Force?

The opportunity for transfer exists, however this process is not managed by Defence Careers. If you wish to transfer from the Reserve Force to the Regular Force, you must submit an application through your chain of command.

As a Reservist, will I be forced to go on deployment?

In times of war or emergency, you may be called upon to deploy.

When re-enlisting, will I retain my previous rank and seniority?

Most of the time people re-enlist with the same rank and seniority, however this is assessed on a case by case basis, and includes factors such as how long you have been out for and what you have done since you left.

What do I sign when I become a Reservist?

Successful Army and Naval Reserve applicants sign both an Offer of Service and an attestation form (legal document that means you agree to abide by the Armed Forces Disciplinary Act).

As a Reservist, is my civilian employment protected by law?

Yes, the Volunteers Employment Protection Act 1973 allows Reserve Forces personnel to perform their military duties without risking their normal employment and entitlements.

Is there are forced retirement age in the NZDF?

There is no upper age limits to continuing your service in the NZDF. Continued service is determined by vacancies, your performance, and your health and fitness.

Do I have to tell a new employer that I am a Reservist?

No. It is at your discretion to tell a new employer if you are a member of the Army Reserve or Naval Reserve. However, we encourage you to be open with your employer or a potential employer. The Volunteers Employment Protection Act 1973 makes it an offence for an employer to discriminate against, disadvantage, or dismiss an employee or prospective employee for rendering service in the Reserve Force. No one from the NZDF will contact your employer without your prior consent.

Does NZDF provide dental and medical care?

The NZDF provides free dental and medical care to all full-time serving uniformed personnel.

When re-enlisting, do I have to go through aptitude and fitness tests again?

If you’re applying for your previous trade you won’t have to re-sit your aptitude tests, but you may need to if you’re applying for a different trade. You will need to pass an RFL before re-enlisting in the Army, and the Navy and Air Force will require you to pass their fitness tests shortly after you’re back in uniform (usually on the day of enlistment for the Navy and within three months for the Air Force).

When re-enlisting, how long does the medical clearance take?

This will vary depending on how long you have been out of the NZDF and whether you have had any medical treatment since leaving. We may require additional information from your civilian GP and the sooner you provide this, the sooner our military doctors can review your medical file. A decision on your medical clearance is usually made within a week as long as we have all the information we need from you.

Do I have to pay for my uniform?

No, you will be issued with the uniform and equipment you require free of charge.

Can I re-enlist for a different trade or service?

Yes. Your previous experience will be reviewed against what you are applying for and you may be credited some course requirements. This is assessed on a case-by-case basis and it may also be decided that you need to start again in your new service or trade alongside new recruits.

Will you review my previous military file?

Yes, both the Recruiter and the Career Manager will review your file to assess your suitability for re-enlistment. If it is decided that you are not suitable for re-enlistment, you will be given the reason for this.

How much leave am I entitled to?

The annual leave entitlement is 25 days per year for all service personnel. In addition to annual leave there are over 20 other categories of leave that you can apply for. These include study leave, representational leave, household removal leave, sick leave, and bereavement leave among others. The most common form of additional leave besides statutory holidays, is stand-down leave (for respite after long operations and intensive work periods) and equivalent leave (for working weekends and statutory holidays).

How long does it take to re-enlist?

Each application is different and there are a number of tasks that need to be completed before you re-enlist (military file check, police check, medical test, etc). The timeframe can also depend on availabilty of a position for your rank and trade. Some people are back within a month, and others can take up to six months or longer. You will have responsibility for completing parts of the process, the faster you complete these the faster your application will progress.

When re-enlisting, will I have to go through initial training again?

This is assessed on a case-by-case basis. If you were fairly junior in your career when you left the NZDF, it may be decided that you need to start again alongside new recruits to re-familiarise yourself with a military environment.

Have I been out of the NZDF too long to re-enlist?

We assess each re-enlistment application on a case-by-case basis. A variety of factors are considered including how long you previously served for, how long you have been out for, what you have done since you left.

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