The CEO Poll: Call of duty

Employers of military reservists deserve compensation, Canadian CEOs say.

Business leaders give the federal mini-budget high marks.

Companies that employ military reservists deserve government compensation for the disruptions and costs incurred when reservists are called to active duty, according to a web poll of Canadian CEOs conducted by COMPAS Inc.

The poll was administered in response to a study released this month from the C.D. Howe Institute that urged financial compensation for such employers. When a reservist is called to duty, an employer has to find a replacement and potentially provide training. The U.K. already helps to cover such costs, as does Australia, which provides a weekly compensation to employers.

Three-quarters of the respondents in the COMPAS poll believe the Canadian government should implement a similar system here. ‘Employers should receive compensation for a reservist’s time away from employment, as the country has received valuable support from the individual,’ wrote one CEO.

The respondents argued that not only is it fair to the employer who experiences a disruption, but it’s also necessary to ensure reservists are not discriminated against when searching for employment. ‘Our ‘inconvenience’ pales in comparison with the service [reservists] provide to the country,’ wrote one panelist.

‘Our company has a policy of topping up the wages of the reservists when they are called for action or training,’ wrote another.