Most Employers Support Activated Reservists Workers

May 8, 2003 ( - More than four out of 10 companies have had employees called to active military duty and 88% were supportive of their military employees.

Forty-four percent of human resource professionals said their organizations had employees called to active duty in the war in Iraq, with most (66%) noting that workplace morale has not been affected during this time of military status, according to a recent survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

The relatively normal levels of morale may be closely related to employees not being distracted by the happenings in the Middle Eastern conflict. An earlier SHRM poll found the majority (72%) of HR professionals reporting no effect on productivity due to such distractions (See Iraq War Is Not Affecting Productivity ).

Further, employers are doing what they can to support their staff that is being called up. Six out of 10 report providing health insurance for the immediate family of activated employees and 62% said they have some or extremely good understanding of their obligations to employees of the Guard and Reserve (See Coping With Call-Ups ).

Other levels of support provided by HR professionals were found in the majority (54%) updating their disaster policy and procedures in preparing for possible future attacks. However, one thing they do not fear is a small pox strike, as 86% believe employees have little or no concern regarding the affliction and 97% of respondents are not offering small pox vaccinations.

“During times of war, employers must step up to the plate to support employees who have pledged to protect our country by serving as members of the Guard or Reserve,” said Debra Cohen vice president of knowledge development at SHRM. “HR professionals have provided important leadership to organizations over recent months by addressing employee morale and anxiety in uncertain times, providing fair benefits to employees called to active duty, understanding employer responsibilities to activated employees and helping their organizations address safety and business continuation matters in the event of an attack.”