Information for:


  • Yes! Under the Volunteer Employment Protection Act 1973.

    Find out about more.

  • There is no compulsion to deploy as a reservist. As a volunteer you have the choice, although it is expected that reserves have a willingness to deploy and support NZDF operations.

  • Don't panic. Some employers and supervisors do not understand the role reserves have to play. Visit the Working with Your Employer section of this website to find out how to address any concerns or disagreements about reserve force service.

    Find our more about Working with Your Employer.

  • No. It is up to you to judge what to tell your employer. 

    Find some tips on how to notify your employer about being a reservist.

  • No. There is no requirement to pay reservists while on leave under the Volunteer Employment Protection Act 1973. Although, DESC encourages employers to top-up reservist payments to ensure there is no financial hardship.

  • Yes. Military leave is considered as uninterrupted employment under the Volunteer Employment Protection Act 1973.

    Find out more about leave.


  • Just a name. Reserve forces is the modernised name for the Territorials. 

  • No, however we encourage you to fill out your employment details on The Hub so that we can provide support if required and for statistical purposes. 

  • Easy! Get them to go to desc.govt.nz/opportunities and register their interest. You can explain to them what each of our outreach initatives encompass. This applies to Statement of Support as well. 

    Find out more.

  • Firstly, congratulations! If you direct your employer to the Benefits of reservists by rank section they will be able to see just what benefits you bring to their organisation. 

    Find out more about benefits by rank.



  • No, but many employers provide a 'top-up' payment to fill the gap between their normal civilian pay and any discrepancy with their reservist pay to ensure no financial hardship. Some employers offer continuation of pay during military training, military-leave-without-pay, and paid leave. 

  • Without your support, many part time military personnel cannot get time off for valuable training. Reservists and cadet force officers especially require time to upskill, facilitate courses, and train others to contribute to the Defence community. 

  • Defence People have diffferent requirements for time off. The Volunteer Employment Protection Act allows up to 3 weeks off for routine training. 

    Find out more about VEPA.

    Find out more about service obligations.

  • No, however we do encourage employers to take an interest in Defence service in order to develop a stronger appreciation for the value of Defence training. 

  • They could be one of a number of types of service personnel and could be working for you!

    Find out about Defence People.

  • Each Defence person brings with them a set of business benefits. Continued training and exercises hone their skills and make them into a highly valuable employee.

    Find out about the benefits.



Cadet Force Officers

  • Not to the same extent as reservists. However, DESC encourages employers to apply the principles of the Volunteer Employment Protection Act 1973 to any cadet force officer employees. 

  • No. It is completely up to you how much or what you tell your employer. Although, DESC does encourage honesty and openess to foster a strong relationship between you and your employer. 

    Find out more about working with your employer.

  • Yes, within the principles of the Volunteer Employment Protection Act 1973. Military leave is considered as uninterrupted employment under VEPA. 


Youth Graduates

  • As a Defence Person, DESC can assist with emloyment disputes that arise from your youth programme experience. DESC also champions the benefits you bring to the workplace, ensuring that NZDF youth graduates are recognised as the valuable employees they are. DESC can also help you to find a new job and provides to tips when looking for work.

    Find out more about finding work.

  • DESC offers Operation Mōhiohio, an insight into Defence activities. The events listing will have what is coming up in the coming month. If you see one for your youth programme be sure to link you employer to register for Operation Mōhiohio. 

    Find out more under opportunities.


Service Leavers

  • DESC is here to champion Defence People and the benefits they bring to their organisations. DESC ensures that employers will be aware of how valuable service leavers are and how your time in uniform has set you up well for civilian employment. There are also some top tips on translating your military skills and experience into civilian langauge.

    Find out more. 

  • Translating military skills and experience into civilian language can be challenging. DESC offers some advice on this and you can find further information on NZDF service transition pages on the Hub.

    Find out more about marketing yourself.

    Find your service transition page on the Hub.

  • Coming back in can be an exciting time. Defence Careers will help you through this process and get you back in uniform part-time to get the best of both worlds!

    Find out more at Defence Careers.