Companies might be banned from asking about Territorial Army activity

In plans being drawn up by Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, TA reservists could be offered similar rights to those available to pregnant women, in an effort to prevent employment discrimination.

Proposals will be published when parliament reconvenes after the summer break to rapidly increase the numbers of the Territorial Army, to essentially replace thousands of full-time soldiers who will be made redundant.

There are however increasing concerns that employers will not be jumping for joy at the prospect of letting employees take months off at a time for training and to serve their country as reservists.

The Government is considering safeguards to prevent employers asking potential employees about likely reservist activity – in much the same way as employers are not allowed to ask whether a candidate is having a baby.