The call-up of reservists in preparation for war against Iraq creates a legal minefield for employers, Abbey Legal Protection has warned.

At least 1,500 reservists are expected to receive call-up p ...

The call-up of reservists in preparation for war against Iraq creates a legal minefield for employers, Abbey Legal Protection has warned.

At least 1,500 reservists are expected to receive call-up papers from the Ministry of Defence in the near future.

"For employers, this may cause all kinds of problems with unexpected staff absence," an Abbey spokeswoman said.

She said employers who refused to let their employees go could face imprisonment.

Employers must also provide the reservist with the same or similar job on their return for a set period.

Aon Political Risks director Martin Stone said the impact of war with Iraq would depend on the length, nature and scope of any war. "If it is short it will have a minimal effect on political risk. If it is long and drawn out and affects neighbouring states, it would not be positive."

Commenting on the recent report by Schroder Econo-mics that said war was

80% likely, Stone said: "I am sceptical of quantifying risk. It depends on what the figure is based on."

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