Reservists are citizens who, in addition to their profession, devote time to activities of general interest. They can benefit from advantageous and incentive rules, particularly in terms of absences, pay and taxation.
Very developed in the armed forces since the end of compulsory military service, the concept of reserves is now being exported beyond the military world. Civil administrations such as the national police (Minister of the Interior) or customs (Minister of Finance) have implemented similar reserves much more recently.
For the state, this reserve system has many advantages. The most obvious is to have a pool of volunteers, available and trained, ready to be mobilized according to needs. Reservists are only paid when they serve. This flexibility in event management is a strong point for the employer-administration and allows controlled cost management.
If we look further, reserves are also a good way for the state to give prospects to its citizens who wish to be useful, particularly young people. Thus, after the attacks of 2015, the President of the Republic, François Hollande, launched a broad appeal to the population to join the reserves.
Finally, the presence in this pool of a wide diversity of profiles is an additional asset, particularly when it comes to searching for rare skills.
To energize and promote this movement, rules have been adopted. They can prove to be very encouraging in certain cases.
45 days of leave for the national police reserve
Thus, in the civil service, article L644-1 of the general civil service code provides leave rights with pay for agents who are involved in reserve activities. This leave right is 30 days for the military reserves (including the gendarmerie), 15 days for the civil security reserve and 45 days for the national police reserve. For the health reserve, the law does not provide for a maximum number of days.
Concretely, during these periods, the agents concerned combine their usual pay, since they are on paid leave, with their reservist pay. A very advantageous situation, to encourage agents to get involved.
In the private sector, employees benefit from 10 days of absence authorization (5 days in companies with fewer than 50 employees), according to the provisions of article L3142-89 of the labor code. Companies are encouraged to put in place more advantageous arrangements.
By signing an agreement to this effect, they can also benefit from incentives and compensation. Interested companies can contact the secretariat of the National Guard, the coordination and communication body for all subjects related to the different reserves.
A balance that can escape income tax
On a tax level, the pay of reserve soldiers escapes income tax, according to fragile provisions regularly called into question by the Court of Auditors. The same goes for reserve police officers. In Le-de-France, a reservist deputy police officer will receive 80 euros gross non-taxable per day, 95 euros for a reservist peace guard, 111 euros for a reservist chief brigadier or even 11 for a major.
Other civil administration reservists normally see their income subject to tax, under the same conditions as salaries. In all cases, social security contributions are deducted.
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