The new Supportive Employer Program recognises those employers and businesses that go above and beyond to support their Australian Defence Force reservist employees and their role in serving Defence’s mission in advancing Australia’s national interests.

Organisations and employers can apply to join the program by completing and submitting an application form (see below for details). The program is open to organisations of all shapes and sizes and you do not have to currently employ ADF reservists to be a part of the program. Public Sector applications will be considered at departmental level and private sector at organisational level.

Once an application is received, our team will assess your application and determine which level of the program your organisation best meets; bronze, silver or gold. We will be in contact to advise you of this and explain your responsibilities as an employer of reservists and the ongoing support Defence can provide.

As a supportive employer, you will receive a certificate that recognises your organisation as a supportive employer of ADF Reserves and a merchandise pack will be sent to the business address you provided in your application! You’ll also be provided with the Supportive Employer logo to display on your organisation’s website and in the workplace to demonstrate your corporate responsibility through your support of the ADF.

Employers will also be recognised through the Supportive Employer Program Directory. The directory displays the logo of organisations in the program as confirmation of Defences endorsement of their business as a supportive employer of reservists.

Reservists benefit when their employer becomes a Supportive Employer by having a publicly-recognised understanding and supportive employer, with additional opportunities for engagement and support for their employer as well as the opportunity for invitations to ADF Reserves and Employer Support events where possible. Also, reservists who are looking for new employment can use the directory as a tool to find workplaces which are supportive of ADF Reservist Service. We encourage reservists to work with their civilian employers to sign up to the program! Read our Frequently asked Questions to learn more about the program and contact us if you have any further questions.

Membership Tiers

Gold (Advocate)


  • The employer has achieved Silver membership, and not only demonstrates, but also positively advocates for their Reserve members through a current Defence/ADF leave policy that may include more generous leave provisions (e.g. additional paid leave may be provided).
  • The employer demonstrates recognition and utilisation of the skills, knowledge and experiences that reservists can bring to their organisation.
  • The employer proactively advocates and demonstrates that their recruitment and selection process considers reservists and ADF veterans equitably.
  • The employer actively ensure that their workforce is aware of their positive policies supporting ADF Reserve service.
  • The employer must have met their reserve service protection obligations for a period of 2 years prior to applying for the program.

Silver (Demonstrate)


  • The employer has achieved Bronze membership and has a current Defence Leave Policy (DLP) that is compliant with the Defence Reserve Service (Protection) Act 2001.
  • The employer must have met their reserve service protection obligations for a period of 2 years prior to applying for the program.

Bronze (Declare)


  • The employer is a signatory to the Supportive Employer Program.
  • The employer must have met their reserve service protection obligations under the Defence Reserve Service (Protection) Act 2001 for a period of 12 months prior to applying for the program.


How do I apply?

We encourage interested employers and organisations to apply using the Supportive Employer Application Form.

If you require assistance or have any further questions, email

Employer Support Payment Scheme

Online Claims System