Ways of working for service categories 3-5


The Total Workforce System allows flexibility in the way Australian Defence Force (ADF) reservists serve. Reservists can, with supervisor approval, serve flexibly in relation to their hours of work per day and location of work to support their personal circumstances.

Reservists have the ability to transfer between part time and continuous full time service. There is also scope to transfer to the permanent forces if there is a capability requirement for their role.


Defence offers a wide range of exciting and diverse roles across many different disciplines all over Australia. There are roles for all skill levels, backgrounds and interests. Reservists are also able to contact their career management agency to understand available job opportunities.

Continuing service while overseas

If reservists are temporarily residing or travelling in the United Kingdom, Canada or the United States, a memorandum of understanding exists that allows the opportunity to serve with the foreign service. More information, including the specific conditions of service, can be found on the Defence intranet.


Reserve service is protected by law. This means that the employer of reservists must release them to undertake periods of ADF service, including military training. Reservists can not be made to take any form of paid or unpaid leave to take up their service. Reservists cannot be discriminated against, disadvantaged, hindered, prevented or dismissed in their civilian employment for rendering ADF service, including training.

This is mandated under the Defence Reserve Service (Protection) Act 2001, which also includes employment, partnership, education, financial liability and bankruptcy protection for reservists in relation to their rendering of Defence service.

ADF Reserves and Employer Support Organisation

The ADF Reserves and Employer Support Organisation supports reservists and their employers by providing resources, information and engaging with stakeholders to build relationships, awareness and understanding across the community.