Interview with Jean-Luc France on National reservists

25 October 2023 Human ressources Group News

On the start of the 2023 National Reservist Days from 14 October to 14 November, our Human Resources Director Jean-Luc France has announced that the group will be doubling the number of days granted to Naval Group reservists. He speaks of the benefits their commitment can brings the company and shares his own experience.

Why has Naval Group decided to strengthen its support to the French Operational reserve force?

“Naval Group is acting in response to the wish expressed by Sébastien Lecornu, Minister for the Armed Forces. He announced last July his objective to double the number of operational reservists, the aim of the 2024-2030 military programming law being to obtain a ratio of one reserve soldier for every two active soldiers. This amounts to 100,000 reserve soldiers for an active army of 200,000 women and men.

As a company working in the defence sector, we have an important role to play in encouraging our employees sign up. This is why we have decided to double the number of days granted to our reservist employees, enabling them as such to perform all or part of their assignment on working time. We will soon be renewing the agreement with the National Guard that we signed in 2019. It will specify that reservists now benefit from a total of 20 days of leave per year, 10 days more than at present. In addition, this support agreement allows for a reduced advance notice of mission departure to 15 days instead of 1 month, allowing more flexibility for reservists.

The aim is to reinforce our commitment to group employees who are already reservists, as well as encourage others to take the step. It is an opportunity for Naval Group to contribute to the Armed Forces-Nation alliance and moves the company closer to its End customer in particular, thanks to our reservists serving in the French Navy. These reservists contribute enormously to facilitating our mutual understanding.

How do you consider the commitment of reservist employees from a manager’s perspective?

“The experience of reservist employees is as profitable for the armies they serve in as for the company in which they work. They bring a different way of looking at situations to the army, and come back to work with a unique experience too. This is why both managers and employees at Naval Group must do their best to encourage our reservists in the assignments they carry out.

Integrating the activities of reservists into the organisation of team activities allows them to leave on assignment reassured, also enabling other members of the team to cover their absence in full knowledge of the current situation. The whole team supports the operational reservist in this way!”

You yourself have been a reservist. Can you tell us about your experience of the army?

“I followed a military preparation course as part of my military service, then I joined the School for Reserve officers and served in the battalion of alpine hunters; joining the reserve force seemed an obvious step to take after that! Military personnel apply a tried and tested method of reasoning which I now use within the company.

I really appreciated the sense of teamwork within the army. It works perfectly as each person knows their role and scope of actions. Preparation work plays a key role in decision-making and the success of operations, and this way of working can be easily adapted to our industrial activities.

Several Naval Group sites are participating in the 2023 National Reservist Days to allow our employees to meet their reservist colleagues and discover the wide range of activities that motivate them in the work.